Atlanta, GA,
16:18 PM

Shepherd Center Adolescent Program Patients Host a Cookout

Outdoor activities promote practicing important skills patients work on in rehabilitation.

Shepherd Center adolescent patients turned the Woodruff Plaza into a campground for an afternoon, taking the rehabilitation process outdoors for a cookout.

Patients helped with food prep and grilling burgers and hot dogs. They also helped set up hammocks and tents before enjoying their meals and playing games. Staff members on the adolescent rehabilitation team say they are incorporating important skills into a fun afternoon.

Each year, more than 100 adolescents are admitted to Shepherd Center’s spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation programs. Treatment team members provide age-appropriate therapy and expertise in returning these patients to the highest possible level of functioning and independence, while addressing adolescents’ needs for autonomy, privacy and control.

“Helping at the grill means working on strength in the lower extremities, and practicing standing and safety awareness,” Shanna Thorpe, Shepherd Center recreation therapist, says. “Some of the patients are working on feeding skills, like opening condiments, and they’re all socializing with other patients.”

The adolescent program often engages the patients in similar fun activities to apply the skills they’ve been working on, including community outings, such as going to restaurants, shopping malls and sports arenas to promote problem-solving and the experience of being out in the community in a supportive group.

Learn more about Shepherd Center’s rehabilitation programs for adolescents with spinal cord and brain injuries:

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.