In June, Kennedy Krieger Institute's Career and Technology Center graduated its largest class of students yet 17 young men and women, who despite enormous personal challenges, are looking forward to bright futures ahead. Several of these students will go on to further their educations; the majority of the others will enter a tight job market armed with a competitive advantage: industry recognized certifications. The Kennedy Krieger Career and Technology Center serves 152 students with serious, often multiple, learning, emotional, neurological and developmental disabilities in a state-of-the-art, newly renovated high school on the campus of the old Children's Hospital in Northwest Baltimore. Its unique work-based learning curriculum is a model for special education programs in the state and nation. The school's graduates prove that children and youth with development disabilities can, with the right attention and support, be extremely productive, valuable members of our society. We feature the school in this issue of Touch.
Also in this issue: Playing is fundamental to being a child, but because of deficits in their ability to communicate or interact with others, children with developmental disabilities often require extra guidance to channel their energies and express themselves through play. We chronicle ways that three different programs at Kennedy Krieger and its affiliate, PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs, are helping children do this.
In our Success Story, we describe how one child's life was improved following a dramatic "limb-lengthening" surgery. And, on the research front, we feature two articles, one on Kennedy Krieger's recent designation as a National Autism Center and the other on two innovative studies that are applying breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease to individuals with Down syndrome.
There are a lot of exciting things going on at Kennedy Krieger. We hope you enjoy this snapshot of just some of what is taking place.
Gary W. Goldstein
President and CEO