The mission of the Neurobehavioral Programs is to fully integrate clinical service, research, training, and advocacy to achieve the best possible outcomes with the patients we serve, and to benefit the broader community of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who suffer from severe behavior disorders.

The integration of these activities is essential to ensuring excellence in clinical care for our patients, and informing and inspiring clinically relevant research that contributes to both scientific knowledge and practice. As a formal training site for over 200 doctoral-level trainees, these programs have contributed to expanding the availability of specialized services for this population. In addition, faculty of the Neurobehavioral Programs with appointments at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have contributed to the understanding, assessment, and treatment of severe behavioral dysfunction in this population regularly via presentations at national and international conferences, and the publication of over 300 articles in over 50 different peer-reviewed journals. Moreover, their translational and clinical research has been supported by 13 NIH-funded grants totaling over $13M. In fact, two NIH-sponsored clinical trials on treatment resistant self-injury and precursors to problem behaviors are currently ongoing on the Neurobehavioral Unit. The Kennedy Krieger Institute is one of the nation’s fourteen Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRC), which supports bio-behavioral research on disabilities.

The Neurobehavioral Programs consist of several distinct but related programs that comprise a continuum of care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who display problem behavior (self-injury, aggression, property destruction, pica, etc.) of varying levels of severity.  The continuum of care includes an inpatient unit, intensive outpatient program, and outpatient clinic.

Faculty work with post-doctoral Research Fellows to develop an individualized training experience based on their specific training goals and previous experiences.  Training opportunities include a range of activities including participation in ongoing clinical and translational grant-funded research, grant writing, data analysis, manuscript preparation, development and execution of clinical and research protocols. Although these research projects are largely behavior analytic, our faculty direct and support the IDDRC’s behavior core leading to collaborations with colleagues in other disciplines including neurology and genetics. Fellows are encouraged and provided the opportunity to attend and/or present research data at local and national conferences. Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in a range of training experiences including clinical services, supervision, administrative activities, and community advocacy and education that are representative of the mission of the Neurobehavioral Programs. Emphasis is placed on developing an individualized training opportunity with participation in the above listed activities being based on the specific training goals and previous experience of the fellow. 

Of note, non-clinical, research positions with the Neurobehavioral Programs are available for applicants with a PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis; however these positions are not part of our psychology (APPIC-member) postdoctoral fellowship program.