Letter From Our President
For many children with developmental disabilities, the struggle to communicate their wants, fears and joys can be an enormous challenge. Many are not verbal at all; others have a limited arsenal of words at their disposal. Inability to share their thoughts and feelings with others can lead to intense frustration, even angry and aggressive behavior. For these children, art and music can be powerful vehicles of self-expression. At the Kennedy Krieger schools, our art and music therapy programs offer children with special needs an opportunity to convey emotions that might otherwise stay locked inside. In this issue of Potential, we spotlight these remarkable programs and their emphasis on the benefits of the creative process, rather than the finished products.
This issue also introduces readers to one of our newest programs, Constraint-Based Movement Therapy. For years, therapists have used casts and splints to restrain patients' stronger limbs in an attempt to encourage recovery of function in hands and arms affected by stroke. At Kennedy Krieger, we're expanding this type of therapy to young children whose cerebral palsy causes weakness on one side of the body.
Our Research feature spotlights Kennedy Krieger researcher Dr. John Laterra's groundbreaking work in improving brain cancer treatment. We hope you enjoy that article as well as our overview of a unique outreach program designed to help Spanish-speaking families secure services for children with developmental disabilities. Don't miss our profile of Sheiku Koroma, a pre-teen with cerebral palsy who has learned to walk despite tremendous obstacles.
At Kennedy Krieger Institute, we are committed to creating programs that emphasize hope and possibility for children with developmental disabilities not limitations created by their conditions. We hope the stories in this issue of Potential help you understand just how great those possibilities are.
Gary W. Goldstein, MD