At a Glance

Kennedy Krieger Institute is an internationally recognized institution dedicated to helping children and young adults with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system to achieve their potential. Caring for more than 20,000 children and young adults annually, we strive to help those with developmental disabilities to thrive at home, in school, and throughout their communities through a wide range of patient care, special education, research, and community programs.


Patient Care

  • Kennedy Krieger Institute uses an interdisciplinary approach to treatment with many outstanding professionals working together to provide comprehensive patient care that incorporates multiple fields, including, but not limited to: audiologybehavioral psychology,  child life and therapeutic recreationneuropsychologynursingnutritionoccupational and physical therapies,  social workspecial education, and  speech/language pathology.  
  • Kennedy Krieger is home to the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI), the world's first facility focused on researching and treating chronic spinal cord injuries and paralysis. While most other spinal cord programs concentrate on helping individuals learn to compensate for injuries believed to be permanent, the spinal cord injury center relies on an innovative treatment philosophy known as activity-based recovery to actually promote recovery of function, even in patients whose injuries occurred years ago.  
  • The success of Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Feeding Disorders Program can be attributed to its interdisciplinary combination of medical expertise in gastroenterology, behavioral psychology, nutrition, occupational therapy, nursing and social work to develop successful treatment programs that continue in the home, school and community. The Pediatric Feeding Disorders Continuum of Care transitions patients from the most intensive inpatient program, to a daily program, and then to a less intensive weekly outpatient clinic.  
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Genetic Muscle Disorders provides expert clinical care to children and adults with muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy and congenital myopathy in the Baltimore-Washington region and across the nation. The center offers leading research programs both in the clinical and laboratory setting.  
  • Through its inpatient Neurobehavioral Unit, Kennedy Krieger is leading the way in treating children with developmental disabilities and severe behavioral problems, who have not had success with community-based treatment. Continuing services on an outpatient level enables individuals to successfully transition back into their homes, schools and communities.  
  • The Institute operates one of the most successful pediatric rehabilitation programs in the world. Kennedy Krieger's Rehabilitation Continuum of Care helps children recovering from strokes, traumatic brain injury and orthopedic surgery learn to participate as fully as possible in home, school and community life.  
  • Autism is now the second most common developmental disability, affecting as many as 1 in 68 children. The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is a multi-faceted, multidisciplinary program that combines research, assessment, therapeutic, community outreach and training. CARD endorses a flexible treatment approach, adjusting the core set of methods used and goals of intervention to meet the needs of each child and his or her family. CARD is comprised of three primary programs: its REACH research component, named one of eight national centers for autism; a clinical program providing comprehensive assessments, diagnosis and treatment plans; and the Achievements day therapy program, which serves children between the ages of 2 and 5 years, 11 months.  
  • Children with rare genetic disorders come from around the world to be treated by physicians and other specialists from Kennedy Krieger’s highly specialized Neurogenetics Program. This team offers diagnosis and treatment of peroxisomal disorders such as Adrenoleukodystrophy and Zellweger syndrome.  


  • Researchers at Kennedy Krieger—many of whom also hold appointments at Johns Hopkins University—are international leaders in the effort to diagnose, treat, and ultimately, prevent and cure childhood neurological disorders and developmental disabilities. Studies being conducted now in areas such aslearning disabilities, Down syndrome, adrenoleukodystropy (ALD), cerebral palsy and autism will help identify treatment and improve outcomes for future generations.  
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute is funded through the Leadership Education in Neurological Disabilities (LEND) project of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to provide interdisciplinary training in the field of developmental disabilities. Each year hundreds of graduate and post-graduate students from all over the world come to the Institute for training in more than a dozen disciplines.  

Special Education

  • The Kennedy Krieger School addresses the special education and related service needs of students, ages 3 to 21 years, who exhibit a wide range of learning, developmental and neurological disorders. It has been recognized by the United States president and the U. S. Department of Education as a “Blue Ribbon School of Excellence” - the first in the state of Maryland.  
  • The Kennedy Krieger High School, located at our Greenspring Campus, offers a model work-based learning program that blends expectations of the working world with school-based instruction to help students develop the lifelong learning skills needed for meaningful employment and economic independence. Students can specialize in one of five industry clusters: information technology, retail and consumer services, hospitality and tourism, construction trades, or arts and communication.  


  • Through its Community Rehabilitation Programs and home to the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, Kennedy Krieger reaches out directly to children, adolescents and adults with disabilities in their communities, providing counseling and therapy in the home, and acting as advocates and brokers for other support services.  
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute was the nation’s first University-Affiliated Program (UAP), later renamed University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). These programs were established in 1963 to advance the understanding of children with intellectual disabilities and other brain related disorders. The Institute set the precedent for this important program, and today more than 67 UCEDDs serve children with developmental disabilities, with at least one found in every state of the United States.

Kennedy Krieger Institute Announces Retirement of President and CEO

Dr. Gary W. GoldsteinThe Institute’s board of directors is conducting a national search and is expected to name a new CEO in the coming months.
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Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.