Institute Updates & Clinical News -- Summer 2011

Clinic provides improved mobility and independence

Children who struggle to move need more than just a standard wheelchair: They may need specialized mobility equipment. The Seating Clinic at Kennedy Krieger helps people with special needs find seating systems to optimize their mobility while ensuring safe and effective positioning. Our specialists are experts in determining which solutions best meet the needs of our patients. We also provide specialized evaluations for complex medical equipment including:

  • Custom manual wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair seating components
  • Bathing equipment
  • Toileting equipment
  • Adaptive strollers
  • In-home positioning chairs
  • Gait trainers
  • Walkers
  • Recreational mobility equipment

During an initial evaluation, therapists work with the family and rehabilitation equipment specialists to determine the most appropriate seating and mobility equipment.

The Seating Clinic sees both existing Kennedy Krieger patients as well as individuals coming from outside the Institute who wish to just use the clinic's services. We also offer a seating clinic specifically for patients with spinal cord injuries.

Education program provides evaluation and support for struggling students

The Center for Development and Learning provides learning disorder evaluations for children and young adults. These evaluations provide a diagnosis, determine appropriate interventions, and monitor the progress of students in kindergarten through grade 12 who are experiencing academic delays and struggles. We also offer evaluations for young adults who are considering or attending college or post-secondary educational institutions. Our comprehensive evaluations include:

  • Findings and interpretation
  • Recommendations for appropriate accommodations
  • Referrals
  • Academic resources

Additionally, the clinic offers consultations for parents and caregivers seeking advice or suggestions about school placement or IEP issues.

Sports Concussion Clinic

Built on the expertise of Kennedy Krieger’s nationally recognized brain injury program, the Institute recently launched a Sports Neurorehabiltiation Concussion Clinic. Intended to address the needs of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries (concussion) who do not need intensive rehabilitation, the clinic treats children and adolescents, between ages 5 and 18 years.

By quickly evaluating children soon after a concussion, we strive to help them return to daily activities, such as school and athletics, as soon as possible. We also offer training and support for families trying to help their children return to normal activities.

Our approach and services include:

  • Diagnosing concussions
  • Evaluating physical and cognitive symptoms
  • Developing a treatment plan
  • Providing follow-up care
  • Determining when athletes can safely resume play

Physician Survey: Are concussions taken seriously?

We are seeking the input of medical professionals nationwide to answer questions including:

  • Do you believe concussions are effectively diagnosed and treated?
  • What is the role of athletes, parents, coaches, and physicians in detecting them?
  • Do athletes, their coaches, and their families fully understand the potentially serious long-term impact?

To participate in a brief survey, visit www.kennedykreiger.org/healthcare-professionals.

Evaluation Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Kennedy Krieger provides comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations and consultations to deaf and hard-of-hearing children, their physicians, families, schools, and other agencies. Our Deafness Related Evaluations clinic is staffed by a team that includes three psychologists and neuropsychologists who are fluent in American Sign Language. Based in our neuropsychology department, this clinic is one of the country’s largest and most specialized programs for assessing children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Providing Resources for Patients and Families

The Resource Finder at Kennedy Krieger is a free service that connects people with needs related to developmental disabilities and related disorders to government and community resources. Geared toward our Maryland clients, Resource Finder offers a comprehensive listing of developmental disability-related services and providers using a database to identify professional services (such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, speech language pathology, etc), durable medical equipment providers, tutors, child care resources, specialists, and more.

Visit www.resourcefinder.kennedykrieger.org.

Help Your Patients and Families Learn About Research Study Opportunities

Kennedy Krieger’s scientists and researchers are leaders in the worldwide effort to prevent and treat disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system. Through the years, our work has yielded answers that have revolutionized patient care.

Our research studies include the following fields:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Bioinformatics
  • Genetics
  • Learning disabilities
  • Metabolism
  • Molecular neuroscience
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuropsychology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injury and paralysis
  • Sturge-Weber syndrome

To learn more about our research and training initiatives and recruiting studies, visit www.kennedykrieger.org/research.