Program Spotlights

by Kristina Rolfes • November 02, 2012
New interdisciplinary clinic brings world-class research, care, and support for families of patients with complex neurodevelopmental disorder.
Mason Ditch playing

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.

Lauren Manfuso • July 08, 2011
Sleep disorders common in children with developmental disabilities.

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.

Meredith Purvis • November 20, 2009
Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Here at the Kennedy Krieger Institute we mourn the loss of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy and founder of the Special Olympics. She was an advocate for people with special needs, and her relentless work on their behalf changed the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world.

Meredith Purvis • January 22, 2009
 How a Husband and Wife Team Built the Bennett Institute
Gerry and Gwena Herman

In 1989, when Gerry and Gwena Herman got the call to move from Boston to Baltimore to start a physically challenged sports program, there was no question that they would do it. Gerry, who had self-styled his college major to do sports and physical education with special populations, found in the offer a chance to pursue his dream.

Meredith Purvis • January 01, 2008
SHNIC helps teachers learn about special needs.
Making the Grade

Bryan's teachers were at a loss for how to help him when he hid under his desk or back in the cubby area and cried. They knew he had been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; dysgraphia, a learning disability that affects writing abilities...

Anne Hoffman • January 01, 2008
Project HEAL blends health care and advocacy.
Jeffrey

Life has dealt 14-year-old Jeffrey a particularly challenging hand. Jeffrey, who lives with his parents and sibling in a low-income neighborhood in South Baltimore, has bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders

Meredith Purvis • January 01, 2008
Special Care for Special Kids

For years, child care providers throughout the State of Maryland have been asking for help. They want to learn how to better care for children with special needs in their programs. Many are unfamiliar with certain pediatric disabilities and are often afraid they will be unable to meet their needs. Still more worry about safety and whether they will be able to integrate children with special needs into their child care programs.

Meredith Purvis • January 01, 2008
A helping hand for parents with special needs.
Growing Together

A new baby means new responsibilities: doctors' appointments, menu planning, finding a good child care program. Although for almost any new parent this can be a daunting prospect, for new parents with intellectual disabilities, special support and guidance is critical to providing safe, supportive, and nurturing family environments for their children.

Meredith Purvis • January 01, 2008
Buenos días. Gracias por llamar al Kennedy Krieger Institute. ¿Cómo le puedo ayudar?
Primeros Pasos

If the line of text above is confusing, imagine living in a world where every word, every conversation is a mystery.

Meredith Purvis • January 01, 2008
"When you have a child with special needs, you're often running to the doctor's office..."
Bringing It All Home

Having a child with special needs often makes parents feel as though they are spending their lives driving from one specialist to another, trapped in waiting rooms, and filling out forms. It was no different for John and Amy Thompson. Their son Jake was diagnosed with Rasmussen's syndrome, a brain disorder that causes seizures. Because of the disorder, he underwent a hemispherectomy, a surgery to remove half his brain. After the surgery, Jake needed many different therapies, and the visits to specialists seemed unending.

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