Our Program

Our program is built on the philosophy that with the right combination of therapies, recovery is always possible -- even many months or years after an injury. Our medically-supervised therapy program follows techniques that have shown great promise in helping individuals with chronic spinal cord injuries recover sensation, movement, and independence, as well as achieve improved health and quality of life. While our therapists and physicians work with patients to help them reach their potential for recovery, our scientists work to find a cure.

Who We Serve:

We provide inpatient care for children through the age of 21 and outpatient care to patients of all ages.

Unique Program for Children with Paralysis

Child on Therapy BikeOur program is one of the first in the world focused on rehabilitation and restoration for children with paralysis.

Children have the greatest potential to recover from neural damage. The lessons we learn from their successes could help us make the dream of recovery a reality for the many people with spinal cord injuries around the world.

Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis

While most people associate spinal cord injuries with a traumatic injury, such as a diving or motor vehicle accident, a gunshot wound, or a fall, paralysis can also occur as a result of these factors:


  • Developmental events such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy
  • Vascular events such as arteriovenous malformation, spinal cord strokes, or aortic aneurysm
  • Demyelinating diseases such as transverse myelitis, multiple sclerosis, or acute disseminated encephalomyelitis
  • Infectious diseases such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • Tumors
  • Complications of spinal surgery
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Continuum of Care:

Kennedy Krieger Institute has a comprehensive Rehabilitation Continuum of Care, with extensive experience in providing acute and chronic neurorehabilitation. The Continuum is accredited by both CARF and The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO).

Although we work primarily with individuals with chronic spinal cord injuries, the pediatric inpatient facility allows us to begin our program as soon as a patient is medically stable -- maximizing their chances for recovery. Our proximity to Johns Hopkins Hospital provides access to expanded medical and emergency services.

Treatment at ICSCI is conducted by an interdisciplinary team led by a physiatrists and neurologists. The program includes two levels of services:

Inpatient Program

A comprehensive evaluation and treatment program for children and young adults, ranging in age from birth to 21, with acute or chronic spinal cord dysfunction, including those requiring ventilator assistance. During this program, the treatment team, directed by a pediatric physiatrist, evaluates each patient. Based on these initial evaluations, an intensive rehabilitation plan is tailored to the unique needs of each patient and his or her family. Patients in this program receive a minimum of five hours of therapy each day and most receive more.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is provided by an interdisciplinary team composed of the following:

  • physicians
  • nurses
  • occupational and physical therapists
  • speech-language pathologists
  • behavioral and neuropsychologists
  • social workers
  • educational specialists
  • nutritionists
  • child life specialists
  • recreational therapists
  • assistive technology specialists
  • clinical care managers

The team has the overall rehabilitation goal of assisting each patient to be as functional as possible in the home, school, and community setting. After discharge, follow-up services are provided for ongoing support.

Outpatient Clinic

This clinic provides specialized outpatient evaluations, periodic follow-up, and medical management. A central focus of this program is physical health and quality of life.

Clinic Hours

Monday & Thursday - 8am-7pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - 8 am-6pm
Saturday: as needed (no medical appointments)

Day Treatment Program

This five-day-a-week, medically supervised program is for individuals with chronic spinal cord dysfunction. Patients will benefit from this program’s intensive, multi-disciplinary evaluation and short-term intensive treatment. The goals is to help patients develop and transition into outpatient and home-based care and to improve independence and maintain muscular and cardiovascular function.

Seating & Mobility Clinic 

Achieving independent mobility and being able to access your environment can be difficult following a spinal cord injury or paralysis. The Seating and Mobility Clinic within the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) at Kennedy Krieger Institute provides comprehensive evaluations and fittings of wheelchairs and specialized seating systems to determine the best equipment to meet your mobility and positioning needs. Our clinic welcomes both children and adults.
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