News Brief

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June 02, 2011

Learning Opportunities Available though Kennedy Krieger Resource Network

The Community Training Center, part of Kennedy Krieger's Resource Network, will host a number of compelling continuing education courses in the coming months. Seating is limited, but courses are open to all interested parties. Topics include:

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities: Approach to Definition and Intervention Strategies (Dec. 9)—Children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) are at increased risk for a variety of social, emotional and academic problems, and they typically require comprehensive assessment and diagnostic services as well as specialized academic and therapeutic intervention. This workshop is designed to provide an overview of the characteristics of pediatric NLD, as well as information regarding specific interventions appropriate for this population.

Twice Exceptional and Misunderstood: Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities (Jan. 13)—Gifted students with learning disabilities can be viewed as underachievers. This course is designed to help participants understand the needs of students who have exceptional talents, but struggle to achieve academic success.

Each one-day course costs $85 and is held on Kennedy Krieger's Greenspring Campus. For more information on these and other programs, visit or phone 410-298-9286. 

Kennedy Krieger Sponsors 8th Annual ‘Eat a Peach' Challenge

Twenty Kennedy Krieger employees turned out for the 8th Annual Eat a Peach Challenge Bike Ride and Fun Walk on August 14. The event, which benefits the Brain Injury Association of Maryland, included 12-, 33-, 40-, 67- and 100-mile bike routes, along with a brand-new 1.3 mile Fun Walk. The 100-mile ride, known as the “Peach Pit Century,” dared participants to complete the hilliest single day ride in Maryland, one with more than 7,500 feet of climbing.

Lucky participants ended their day at the Peach Festival at the Carroll County Agricultural Center in Westminster, where they enjoyed scrumptious peach cobblers, pies and sundaes. Kennedy Krieger has supported the Eat a Peach Challenge since it began eight years ago. In addition to participating in the rides and walks, Kennedy Krieger employees helped staff a rest stop for fatigued racers. 

Kennedy Krieger Students Exhibit Masterpieces at Artscape

Kennedy Krieger School students had the chance to show off their paintings, collages and sculptures at this summer's Artscape Festival. Artscape, held July 16-18 in Baltimore, draws thousands of visitors. A number of students' works sold at the festival, raising several hundred dollars to benefit art programs at the Kennedy Krieger Schools.

In addition to exhibiting and selling their artwork, students enjoyed a visit by Daniel Keplinger, a former Kennedy Krieger patient and the subject of the Academy Award-winning film “King Gimp.” Daniel is a celebrated artist whose work sells in New York galleries.

Art is an integral part of the therapeutic and educational services provided to Kennedy Krieger students. For many children with profound emotional, neurological and developmental disabilities, art offers a way to express themselves when they cannot communicate in more traditional ways. “When students are given the opportunity to express themselves through art,” says Patrick Millard, special education director at Kennedy Krieger, “not only are they expressing their emotions, they're learning and having fun.”

High Schooler Shines in Kennedy Krieger Lab

This summer, one ambitious high schooler took advantage of an opportunity to discover whether a career in science might be right for him. Andy Parchman, a sophomore at the Culver School in Indiana, spent three days a week assisting the team in Kennedy Krieger's Pevsner Lab. Andy created a database of diseases that cause intellectual disabilities that included the chromosomes involved in each disorder.

Lab Director Dr. Jonathan Pevsner welcomed Andy's participation. “Opportunities like these give students a chance to see how a lab works,” he says. “A positive lab experience might even lead Andy towards an interest in science or medicine as a career.”

Dr. Frank Pidcock Addresses International Pediatric Rehabilitation Conference

Kennedy Krieger's Dr. Frank Pidcock, a pediatrician and research scientist, recently returned from the 4th Annual International Children's Rehabilitation Congress, held Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 in Mexico City, Mexico. Organized by a network of pediatric rehabilitation fundraising organizations, the Congress drew experts in children's rehabilitation from around the world. 

Dr. Pidcock delivered two lectures: one on cerebral palsy treatment since the adoption of the approach pioneered by Dr. Winthrop Phelps, the orthopedist who founded what later became the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and one on the use of botulinum toxin in cerebral palsy treatment. Although the use of Botox is well-known in the United States, it is a novel approach in other regions, and experts in other countries show great interest in its therapeutic benefits. 

In addition to Dr. Pidcock, Kennedy Krieger physical therapist Heather McLean attended the Congress and delivered a presentation on physical therapy techniques for cerebral palsy patients. 

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