The Focused Interdisciplinary Therapy Program at Kennedy Krieger Institute offers children and adolescents with persistent, physically disabling conditions the chance for intensive therapy, targeting specific therapeutic goals.

Some of those goals include:

  • Physical abilities, such as sitting, standing or walking
  • Daily activities, such as handwriting, eating or dressing
  • Communication skills, such as use of an augmentative device, articulation or breath support
  • Cognitive skills, such as memory or organizational skills

The program is part of the Fairmount Rehabilitation Programs, an array of interdisciplinary therapy programs for patients with injuries and disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.

Who We Serve:

Our program is designed for children and adolescents, typically ranging from 4 to 21 years of age. Patients may have a variety of chronic conditions, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injury or other acquired central nervous system injury
  • Spinal cord injury or dysfunction
  • Cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilities

Before participating in the Focused Interdisciplinary Therapy Program, patients must complete the initial rehabilitation required by their specific injury or surgical procedure.

Our Team:

Patient care is provided by an interdisciplinary team of:

  • Pediatric rehabilitation physicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech and language pathologists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Counselors
  • Nurses
  • Special educators

Our Treatment Approach:

When a child begins our program, an individualized treatment plan is developed under the direction of the team's pediatric rehabilitation physician. Our therapists have found that the structured, highly repetitive practice of a skill in a variety of contexts often helps a child learn that particular skill more quickly. The specific frequency and duration of therapy varies according to the patient’s age, abilities, and goals for therapy. However, patients enrolled typically receive therapy services three to six hours per day, five days a week, for four to six weeks.

During this time, patients receive a combination of individual and group therapy services to help them achieve the goals set by the family and therapeutic team. If appropriate, educational services are also provided so that patients may keep up with their schoolwork while participating in the program.

Our team uses a variety of therapeutic equipment to assist patients in reaching their goals, including:

  • Electrical stimulation
  • Treadmills
  • Gait trainers
  • Adapted video games
  • Robotic technology, including the Armeo Boom and the Hand and Leg Tutor
  • Game Cycle
  • Cutting-edge gaming technology

Therapists also make recommendations for ordering new equipment for home, such as the following:

  • Walkers or canes
  • Adapted utensils for mealtime
  • Bathroom equipment
  • Splints and orthotics
  • Environmental controls and devices to improve access

The team will also help set up the equipment and train the patient and family on its use, so that the new skills carry over into the child's natural home environment.

Peer Reviewed Publications:

Garcia Reidy, T., Coker-Bolt, P. & Naber, E. Cerebral Palsy. In Pediatric Skills for the Occupational Assistant. 5th Ed. (in press). Edited by JW Solomon & JC O’Brien. Mosby. St. Louis, MO. 

Coker-Bolt, P., Garcia Reidy, T. & Naber, E. Neuromotor: Cerebral Palsy In: Occupational Therapy for Children 7th Edition. 2014. Edited by J. Case-Smith & J. O’Brien. Mosby. Maryland Heights, Missouri.


Garcia Reidy, T. &  Syretz, C. Presentation (March, 2015) Client Centered Care: Using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure for Collaborative Goal Setting. Brain Injury Association of Maryland Annual Conference, Timonium, MD.

Garcia Reidy, T., Martin, R. (April, 2014) Short Course: Setting Ourselves Up for Success: A Formula for Increasing Research Activities in the Clinic. American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Baltimore, MDGarcia Reidy, T. & Holt, H. (November, 2012) Presentation Intensive Models of Care for Children and Teens with Brain Injury. Brain Injury Association of Maryland Annual Conference, Timonium, MD.

Naber, E. & Garcia Reidy, T. (2011,Feburary) Workshop Intensive Pediatric Therapy Interventions: Emerging Models of Care. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Related Materials and Information:

Focused Interdisciplinary Therapy Program Factsheet (PDF)