Children with motor impairments who are patients at Kennedy Krieger Institute now have a new way to become mobile. Through a national program known as ‘Go Baby Go,’ Kennedy Krieger offers ride-on cars, such as ones you would find at toy stores, adapted specifically for each child to use as part of physical or occupational therapy. The Go Baby Go program originated from the University of Delaware physical therapy department.
The first time 3-year-old Sophia Ridgley tried one of the cars at Kennedy Krieger, her face lit up with a smile. She has spastic quadriplegia, a type of cerebral palsy, so she is unable to walk or crawl, and she is not yet ready for a power wheelchair. But behind the wheel of a modified toy car, she suddenly had the ability to explore her environment at the press of a button. The result was pure joy.
Nearly 450,000 Marylanders live on the Eastern Shore, with its quiet towns close to the water, pastoral farmland, and relaxed style of living.
At a time when the U.S. is growing more diverse, the number of clinicians and researchers from underrepresented populations—including racial and ethnic minority populations and people with disabilities—is not keeping pace. Kennedy Krieger’s Harolyn Belcher, M.D., M.H.S., is determined to change that through public health leadership education programs she has led since 2005.
Did you know that Kennedy Krieger has a wheelchair tennis team, a basketball team, and an ice hockey team? Some 20 sports make up the Bennett Institute Physically Challenged Sports Program at Kennedy Krieger, and directors Gerry and Gwena Herman expect the program to grow even more with the recent addition of a new adaptive sports park at the Greenspring campus.
Catering to a child who is a picky eater is like being a short-order cook: chaotic. Dinnertime becomes a war zone, leading to hopeless battles fought over vegetables and macaroni and cheese.
When Stephanie Cooper Greenberg visits the children on Kennedy Krieger’s inpatient unit with her Dalmatian therapy dog, Mattilda, she gets to experience something magical. She has seen first-hand the natural bond that exists between children and dogs, and it can serve as a powerful motivator for therapy.
When Chris and Crystal Ditch delivered their baby boy, Mason, they burst into tears of joy. It had taken them four years to get pregnant, and they finally held the baby they had awaited for so long. But two hours before Crystal and Mason were scheduled to be discharged, doctors told them that Mason had tumors in his tiny heart. A few days later, doctors found tumors in his brain, and diagnosed him with tuberous sclerosis, a rare complex genetic disorder occurring in one out of 6,000 births that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow in multiple organs, including the brain, eyes, heart, kidneys, skin, and lungs.
Any parent who’s ever struggled to put a child to bed— whether as an infant or a teenager—knows well the effects that poor sleep habits can have on an entire household. For some children the trouble might be something as common as difficulty falling asleep. For others, perhaps night terrors or sleep walking. In children with developmental disabilities, sleep disorders are all too common and run the gamut.