Program Spotlights

A Kennedy Krieger clinic helps deaf and hard-of-hearing children get the treatments and services they need to communicate and let their personalities shine.

Mustafa’s parents had always known their son was smart. But because of his limited access to language early in his life, they had a hard time getting others to believe it.

At age 3, Mustafa’s doctor in Yemen, where he was born, determined that Mustafa was deaf. Doctors fitted him with hearing aids, but the window for language acquisition—during which he might pick up Arabic, his family’s native language—was quickly closing.

A few years later, his family moved to the Washington, D.C., area. Their new public school system evaluated Mustafa, determined that he was both deaf and intellectually disabled, and placed him in a program with students with similar diagnoses.

by Kristina Rolfes • December 05, 2016
Modified ride-on cars offer mobility (and fun!) for young patients.

Children with motor impairments who are patients at Kennedy Krieger Institute now have a new way to become mobile. Through a national program known as ‘Go Baby Go,’ Kennedy Krieger offers ride-on cars, such as ones you would find at toy stores, adapted specifically for each child to use as part of physical or occupational therapy. The Go Baby Go program originated from the University of Delaware physical therapy department.

The first time 3-year-old Sophia Ridgley tried one of the cars at Kennedy Krieger, her face lit up with a smile. She has spastic quadriplegia, a type of cerebral palsy, so she is unable to walk or crawl, and she is not yet ready for a power wheelchair. But behind the wheel of a modified toy car, she suddenly had the ability to explore her environment at the press of a button. The result was pure joy.

Staff Editor • June 28, 2016
Children with complex disorders and injuries need multi-faceted care
Kristina Rolfes • December 08, 2015
Extending educational and healthcare resources to Maryland's eastern shore facilities.
Maryland bridge

Nearly 450,000 Marylanders live on the Eastern Shore, with its quiet towns close to the water, pastoral farmland, and relaxed style of living. 

Kristina Rolfes • September 08, 2015
Professional training program aims to reduce health disparities

At a time when the U.S. is growing more diverse, the number of clinicians and researchers from underrepresented populations—including racial and ethnic minority populations and people with disabilities—is not keeping pace. Kennedy Krieger’s Harolyn Belcher, M.D., M.H.S., is determined to change that through public health leadership education programs she has led since 2005.

Kristina Rolfes • December 02, 2014
Bennett helps athletes with disabilities get off the sidelines and into the game
Bennett Institute Physically Challenged Sports Program

Did you know that Kennedy Krieger has a wheelchair tennis team, a basketball team, and an ice hockey team? Some 20 sports make up the Bennett Institute Physically Challenged Sports Program at Kennedy Krieger, and directors Gerry and Gwena Herman expect the program to grow even more with the recent addition of a new adaptive sports park at the Greenspring campus.

Kristina Rolfes • August 01, 2014
New center offers comprehensive treatment, research, and hope for patients with debilitating neurological disorders.
Dr. Hugo Moser

Patients with a group of rare degenerative brain diseases known as leukodystrophies have few places to turn for expertise in their medical care. Neurologist Dr. Ali Fatemi and his colleagues hope to change that with the new Moser Center for Leukodystrophies, launched this past December.

Stan Stevenson • November 13, 2013
Kennedy Krieger's Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program helps children overcome feeding problems.
Baby eating

Catering to a child who is a picky eater is like being a short-order cook: chaotic. Dinnertime becomes a war zone, leading to hopeless battles fought over vegetables and macaroni and cheese.

Kristina Rolfes • August 02, 2013
Animal Assisted Therapy program uses specially trained dogs to enhance therapy.
Occupational therapist Lisa Rones works with Destiny Fallas to improve movement in her arm with the help of therapy dog Mattilda.

When Stephanie Cooper Greenberg visits the children on Kennedy Krieger’s inpatient unit with her Dalmatian therapy dog, Mattilda, she gets to experience something magical. She has seen first-hand the natural bond that exists between children and dogs, and it can serve as a powerful motivator for therapy. 

by Kristina Rolfes • November 02, 2012
New interdisciplinary clinic brings world-class research, care, and support for families of patients with complex neurodevelopmental disorder.
Mason Ditch playing

When Chris and Crystal Ditch delivered their baby boy, Mason, they burst into tears of joy. It had taken them four years to get pregnant, and they finally held the baby they had awaited for so long. But two hours before Crystal and Mason were scheduled to be discharged, doctors told them that Mason had tumors in his tiny heart. A few days later, doctors found tumors in his brain, and diagnosed him with tuberous sclerosis, a rare complex genetic disorder occurring in one out of 6,000 births that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow in multiple organs, including the brain, eyes, heart, kidneys, skin, and lungs.

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