Pediatric physical therapists provide services to children or youth who have genetic, congenital or acquired conditions that affect motor development and motor function, including positioning, sitting and walking.

Through any one of Kennedy Krieger's inpatient or outpatient programs, the physical therapy department provides the following clinical services:

  • Comprehensive evaluations and recommendations
  • Direct interventions based on therapy goals and outcomes
  • Assistance with coordination of services and program planning
  • Assistance with functional management of the child in the home, school and community
  • Assessment and recommendations of a child's equipment needs
  • Family and patient education regarding appropriate goals and interventions, home exercise programs and adaptive equipment

Inpatient Programs:

Each individual admitted to either the Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit (PRU) or the Brain Injury Unit is assigned a physical therapist to be part of the interdisciplinary team.

For patients on the Feeding Disorders Unit and Neurobehavioral Unit, a physical therapist provides services on a consultative basis as requested by the physician.

Outpatient Programs:

In addition to providing individual outpatient physical therapy in the Physical Therapy Clinic , physical therapists are assigned to the following outpatient multidisciplinary clinics:

Community Programs:

Physical therapy services are provided through the following community programs:

School Programs:

Physical therapy services are provided through the following school programs:

Professional Training:

The Physical Therapy Department participates in the Kennedy Krieger Institute/JHMCH Bureau/LEND Program, and has a direct educational link to the University of Maryland School of Medicine Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Department. We also provides clinical affiliation opportunities with a variety of colleges and universities across the country. For more information about professional training opportunities in the Physical Therapy Department at Kennedy Krieger Institute, please visit our professional training web page.


The Physical Therapy Department is involved in research activities that include: collection of standardized outcome measures regarding individual and family function, quality improvement projects and clinical drug/device trials and multidisciplinary collection of natural history data.

Community Training/Technical Assistance:

The Physical Therapy Department participates in Specialized Health Needs Interagency Collaboration (SHNIC) Project activities, providing technical support and training to school- and community-based programs; it also participates in the Therapeutic Foster Care training seminar.

Professional Certifying Organizations:

  • American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS), which issues the Pediatric Certification Specialist (PCS)
  • Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association, Inc. (NDTA), which issues the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Certification (NDT Certified)

Staffing (Licensure):

All staff members of Kennedy Krieger Institute's Physical Therapy Department are licensed in the state of Maryland as either a physical therapist (PT) or a physical therapy assistant (PTA), which requires licensure through the state of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

In addition, all physical therapists have either a doctorate, master's, or bachelor's degree. Physical therapy assistants hold an associate's degree in physical therapy from a school accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association.