KKI/JHU Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency Program Curriculum

The Kennedy Krieger Institute is an ideal place for training in neurodevelopmental disabilities. Working closely with faculty and other disciplines will help to develop the skills needed to reach your professional goals. Clinical programs encompass an inpatient unit, 90,000 outpatient visits per year, the Kennedy Krieger Institute schools, a specialized foster care program, and an adoption agency. It receives grants from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau for Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) programand from NICHD for Research Training in Brain Injury Rehabilitation. It is an Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Research Center (Neurocognitive), a Neurobehavioral Research Unit that focuses on brain-behavior interactions, and the Kirby Center for Neuroimaging.

The Four Year Curriculum follows successful completion of two core years of Pediatrics in an ACGME approved training program

  • 12 months of adult neurology: The purpose of this experience is to develop knowledge of the cardinal manifestations of neurological disease. Trainees will learn anatomic localization within the nervous system and apply analytic and synthetic approaches associated with diagnosis and management of neurologic disorders. This component will include care for adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities.
  • 18 months of clinical child neurology and neurodevelopmental disabilities: The purpose of this experience is to develop diagnostic and management skills for neurologic and developmental disorders of childhood. This component will include training in interdisciplinary team approaches to children with these disorders.
  • 18 months of clinical and basic science: The purpose of this training component is to develop a broad background in clinical and basic neuroscience. Trainees will cultivate the skills necessary for academic viability: research, teaching, and administration. This component will include at least one-month experience in each of the following: child and adolescent psychiatry, neurosurgery, and neurorehabilitation. The trainee will gain significant clinical experience with behavioral neurology, neurogenetics/metabolism, neuromuscular disorders, neuro-oncology, and neuro-opthamology. Research training and experiences will be included during this component.

Didactic Components

  • Residents will obtain a sufficient background in those basic sciences upon which child neurology and neurodevelopment are founded, including neuroanatomy, neuroembryology, neurodevelopment, neuropathology, basic neurophysiology, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, molecular biology, genetics, neuroimmunology, epidemiology, and biostatistics.
  • Residents will learn principles of evaluation, diagnosis, and management of neurological disorders.

Specialty Content:

Residents will learn the fundamentals of specific diagnostic and management strategies of the major neurodevelopmental disabilities including, but not limited to cognitive disorders (intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, progressive encephalopathies), communication disorders, neurobehavioral disorders (autistic spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), motor disabilities (cerebral palsy, spina bifida, neuromuscular andother neuromotor disorders, movement and tic disorders), special sensory disorders (visual and auditory), and multiple co-morbidities associated with these disabilities.

Residents will learn to utilize instruments for neurodevelopmental assessment and apply these measurements to better understand clinical problems.

Residents will become familiar with anticipatory guidance and counseling of families with children who have developmental disabilities.

Residents will learn strategies for pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of self-injurious and other troublesome behaviors.

Residents will learn the management of abnormal tone and movement disorders. 

Residents will learn how to secure, organize, and manage patient resources and treatment.

Bioethics, Economics and End of Life Content: Residents will receive instruction in the bioethics and economics of medicine, particularly as they apply to individuals with chronic disabling conditions. The resident will also receive instruction in appropriate and compassionate methods of end-of-life palliative care.

Conferences: Residents will regularly attend conferences in the following disciplines: child neurology, neurorehabilitation, neuropsychology, and clinical pharmacology. Residents will attend and participate in periodic seminars, journal clubs, lectures, didactic courses, and meetings of local and national neurological societies. Residents will be responsible, periodically, for the design and presentation of clinical conferences.