Stories of Potential

A School of Real World Experiences

Elizabeth
Heubeck
Unique Work-Based Learning program of the Career and Technology Center Results in Graduates Who Are Highly Qualified to Get, Keep Jobs

High School Students Ebony Wilkens and Larry BruceAcross the country, young adults preparing to enter the workforce are feeling the sting of a tight job market. Competition for employment is stiff for the brightest, most talented youth, much less young adults with learning, emotional and neurological problems.

Standing Firmly on Two Feet

Julie
Lincoln
Boy Undergoes Dramatic Surgery, Therapy to Lengthen Short Limb

Tyler KiskisAt 5 years old, Tyler Kiskis is a bundle of energy, a little spark-plug with tossled brown hair and an impish grin who revels in the things that most 5-year-old boys do baseball and soccer, chasing the family Labrador, jumping through a water sprinkler in the front yard of his family's Pasadena home.

Making the Grade

Courtney
McGrath
Kennedy Krieger Clinic Evaluates College-Aged Students with Learning Disorders

As soon as Joshua Fine reached pre-school, his mother Kathleen noticed that he learned differently from his older brother. As he picked up his ABCs and began trying to piece words together, Josh often reversed the order of his letters. This tendency continued as Josh began elementary school, but never reached a crisis point. Although Josh frequently refused to read, his grades stayed adequate. But Kathleen harbored nagging suspicions that her son wasn't reaching his full academic potential.

Hands that Heal

Courtney
McGrath
Researchers at Kennedy Krieger Investigate Whether Energy Therapy Can Benefit Children with Developmental Disabilities

To an outsider, it looks like the small boy is having fun with a baby-sitter. As he moves from toy to toy, his "sitter" follows him, occasionally placing her hands on his arms and legs. She tries to touch his head, but he pushes her hand away. She spends a lot of time pressing lightly on his chest. When he gets tired, she keeps applying light pressure as he becomes more and more relaxed. As the boy starts to nod off, she steps back, ending the session.

Working at Play

Holly Lewis
Maddox
A Child's Work Is to Play, But Not All Children Know How. Several Programs at Kennedy Krieger Teach Them -- For the Sake of More Than Just Amusement.

Corey Opher, Jr.The playroom of Kennedy Krieger Institute's Achievements program doesn't look like a typical child's playroom. There are no blocks, books, dolls or trucks lining the shelves or scattered about the floor. In fact, the room seems practically devoid of toys, those things that inspire the imaginations of children but it's not.

Something to Talk About

Courtney
McGrath
Early Interventions Can Bring Out the Chatterbox in Children

Madelyn Dennis with Her TherapistFew experiences thrill a parent more than the first time they hear their child say "mama" or "dada." Those words, often a baby's first, are usually followed by a flurry of new ones, and eventually phrases, thoughts, questions and observations that give parents constantly new glimpses of the unique person their child is becoming.

Into the "Real" World

Courtney
McGrath
Student with Autism Prepares for His First Permanent Job

Mani El-MahdiNot long ago, no one would have imagined that Mani El-Mahdi would hold a job or complete a project without someone watching his every move. His behavior was just too unpredictable. Diagnosed with autism, Mani displayed the most severe symptoms of the disorder: he kicked, punched, disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Alcohol Anonymous

Courtney
McGrath

Simmons Girls and Their Mom with DoctorLike all siblings, the six Simmons girls are unique in almost every way. Adopted in early childhood by Betty Simmons of Baltimore and her late husband Gregory, they have their individual interests, temperaments and strengths. But they also share much in common, in particular some serious cognitive, and possibly behavioral, issues that may be the result of prenatal alcohol exposure.

Winning The Weight Loss Battle

Courtney
McGrath
Strict Diet and Discipline Helps Teen Lose More Than 200 lbs.

Ashley Melvin had a blast this summer swimming at camp, walking her dog in her Eastern Shore hometown, celebrating her Sweet Sixteen at a bowling alley.

What a difference a year makes. In August 2002, paramedics rushed to Ashley's house when she fell and her frightened grandparents realized they couldn't help her get up. At 397 lbs, Ashley was dangerously overweight. The teen depended on oxygen 24 hours a day and her feet had swollen so large she could not wear shoes.

The Will to Walk

Courtney
Jolley
Spinal cord injury: innovative therapies lead to remarkable results

Loretta McRaeAs she typed the words into the Internet search engine, Loretta McRae knew it was a long shot. In the months since the 15-year-old struck her head on an ocean sandbar in Australia, sustaining a C6 level spinal cord injury, virtually every expert said she'd already gotten her miracle. She was alive, she could wiggle her toes, she was regaining sensation in her limbs.

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