Feature Stories

Allison Eatough • January 27, 2010
Social skills program helps children with autism.
Budding Friendships

Weekday mornings are always a struggle in the Smith household. Like most preteens, Joseph likes to sleep. The 12-year-old is slow to start and has trouble shifting gears -especially before breakfast. Constant prompting from his mom Kathleen keeps him on track, and eventually, he gets himself bathed, dressed, fed, and out the door to school.

Melissa Stanton • January 21, 2010
Kennedy Krieger’s new Aquatic Therapy Center gives a spinal cord injury patient mobility and hope.
Aquatic Therapy at Kennedy Krieger

It's the dead of winter, but college junior Darin Ruark is spending much of his winter break afloat in a sparkling, penthouse-level pool. The air is warm and the sun shines through floor-to-ceiling windows. But while it may sound like a relaxed get-away, Darin isn't enjoying a winter vacation with friends or family. Instead he's swimming at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as part of an innovative aquatic therapy program.

Martie Callaghan • November 26, 2009
Kennedy Krieger gives hope,not limits, to a family from Nebraska.
Never Say Never

It was spring of 2007, and the town of Hastings, Nebraska, was looking forward to summer. Memorial Day weekend had come and gone, and Kirk and Jami Ortegren had just watched their son Jack crawl for the first time.

On Thursday, May 31, they dropped him off at day care, telling the staff there that he was a little grouchy because he was teething. 

Laura Liang • November 24, 2009
The Long Road to Recovery After A Brain Injury
Girl Interrupted

A faded piece of paper taped to her bathroom mirror lists the things that 20-year-old Amy Dykes needs to do each morning: take her medicine, brush her hair, wash her face, brush her teeth, apply her makeup. Today that piece of paper is seldom used, but just two years ago, it was a map that helped guide Amy through each morning.

Meredith Purvis • September 01, 2009
Kennedy Krieger's new Center for Genetic Muscle Disorders helps mother and son live with muscular dystrophy. 
Lileen Walters

It’s 1976 and flash bulbs pop as eager relatives urge seven-year-old Lilleen Walters to smile for the camera. Feeling fancy in her flower girl dress, she fights to curve her lips into a smile to please the wedding guests, but her muscles won’t obey. Days and months go by, and Lilleen still can’t smile.

Meredith Purvis • January 28, 2009
Justin with His Sister

"Mom, Lauren pinched me," Justin calls back to his mother. He and his little sister, Lauren, are walking arm in arm through Baltimore's Inner Harbor on their way to the National Aquarium. Just over a year ago, this trip might not have been possible. 

Meredith Purvis • January 21, 2009
How one girl found herself through Kennedy Krieger's Physically Challenged Sports Program
Colbie Bratlie

Colbie Bratlie wants to be a world champion. And the odds are good that she will be because she competes in wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, track, field, archery, table tennis, and swimming. The athletic 14- year-old already seems Herculean for her stamina and determination, but when you add in that she has cerebral palsy, it truly does make her accomplishments seem superhuman.

Meredith Purvis • January 15, 2009
Overcoming complex regional pain syndrome.

It was a twisted ankle that finally brought Corinne down. After so many injuries-a broken hip, surgery on her knees and her shoulder-it was one small twist, something anyone would dismiss offhand, and Corinne was flat on her back, in absolutely unimaginable, intolerable pain.

Meredith Purvis • January 01, 2008
Piecing Together the Autism Education Puzzle

Families whose children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder typically have a wide range of reactions: sadness, fear, and, for some, relief at having a name for their child's challenges.

Meredith Purvis • January 01, 2008
Children at Play

It's a gorgeous day in late summer, and there's a crowd at the local putt-putt golf course. The sounds of waterfalls and laughter float on the breeze. At the sixth hole, a group of kids gather around their friend as he squares up and aims to sink a hole in one. With a sharp tap, the ball sails down the green, around a corner and under a windmill. The kids, cheering for their friend, could be here for a school trip or just an afternoon of fun, but they're actually from Kennedy Krieger. They're here for a therapeutic program that helps children with developmental disabilities learn to transition from the hospital to community life.

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