Letter from our President
Most of the children we treat at Kennedy Krieger deal with challenges created by disorders that no one could possibly have predicted or prevented. And while we can provide them with medications, therapies and other programs designed to help them live the most fulfilling lives possible, we are rarely able to completely remedy our patient's difficulties. That's why we're so excited about our newest program, the Cranial-Cervical Clinic. The clinic treats torticollis, or head tilting, and plagiocephaly, or flattening of the skull. Left untreated, torticollis and plagiocephaly can cause scoliosis, facial asymmetry, visual difficulties and delays in reaching milestones such as crawling. While some cases stem from placement in utero, many develop when babies spend too much time lying on their backs. Our Clinic focuses on providing interventions as early as possible as well as raising awareness of how to prevent these conditions. This issue of potential introduces the Clinic and several children who have benefited from its therapy methods.
Also featured: our Behavior Management programs, which help families respond to behavior challenges that go far beyond the typical tantrums of childhood. One of the ways misbehavior can become a serious threat to family functioning is when children engage in behaviors that can hurt themselves. This issue's Research story describes a study designed to determine why self-injury intensifies in some children and not others an understanding that could someday lead to earlier, more effective treatments.
Next up: a spotlight on the Young Marines of Central Maryland. Operated by Kennedy Krieger Schools, the Central Maryland unit is the only one specifically for special education students.
Finally, this issue's Success Story features Krystal Spencer, a young mom with spina bifida whose baby son is showing her the importance of taking responsibility for her own health.
At Kennedy Krieger we are fortunate to know many children and young adults who are thriving in our programs. The stories in this issue of potential and others like them inspire us each and every day.
Gary W. Goldstein, MD