It's difficult for any child to thrive without a stable home, but for a child with a disability, it's practically impossible. Raising children with special needs means frequent visits to medical and psychological specialists, regular appointments with therapists, constant interaction with the school system and managing complicated prescription needs and medical equipment. Kennedy Krieger's Therapeutic Family Care program recruits and trains foster parents to care for children like these, most of whom are at risk for institutional placements. These men and women demonstrate an extraordinary level of selflessness and commitment, plus an infinite degree of understanding that things that come easily for most children will be an enormous challenge for theirs.
But they don't see themselves as heroes. Most say that the children they care for enrich their lives to a degree that far outweighs any sacrifices they've made. In fact, many go on to adopt the children in their care. This issue of Touch profiles several families who have made this decision.
Also in this issue: Current treatments for brain tumors can leave children with serious physical and cognitive disabilities. Research at Kennedy Krieger is shedding new light on how tumors grow, which may lead to more effective treatments with less serious side effects. We'll highlight the team's work as well as efforts by our rehabilitation specialists to help children who have had brain tumors regain skills impacted by treatment.
Next, we'll profile Kennedy Krieger High School Career and Technology Center junior Seth Jackson, an indispensable member of the team at a Baltimore children's museum. We'll visit World of Care, part of our affiliate PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs and the Baltimore area's only daycare center for medically fragile children. In our research feature, we'll check in with Dr. Sakkubai Naidu, who is about to launch a trial of a drug aimed at easing the neurological deterioration caused by Rett Syndrome.
Kennedy Krieger's programs exist for the sole purpose of ensuring that children with developmental disabilities have the resources they need to achieve their potential. We hope this issue of Touch shows you that our children's dreams are within reach.
Gary W. Goldstein
President and CEO
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A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.