Located in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., region, Kennedy Krieger Institute is internationally recognized for improving the lives of tens of thousands of children, adolescents and adults with neurological, rehabilitative or developmental needs through inpatient and day hospital programs, outpatient clinics, home and community services, education, and research.

Who We Are

Kennedy Krieger Institute is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with care and research focused on pediatric developmental disabilities and disorders of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system.

Where We're Located

Located in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., region, Kennedy Krieger Institute is internationally recognized for improving the lives of tens of thousands of children, adolescents and adults with neurological, rehabilitative or developmental needs through inpatient and day hospital programs, outpatient clinics, home and community services, education, and research.

When We Started

Kennedy Krieger’s tradition of improving the lives of children with neurological disorders dates back to 1937, when Winthrop Phelps, MD, an orthopedic surgeon from Baltimore, responded to a dire need for treatment for individuals with cerebral palsy. He founded the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute, the first treatment facility in the country dedicated solely to children with cerebral palsy. The Institute was renamed the Kennedy Institute in 1968 in memory of President John F. Kennedy, who enacted the Medical Training Act during his administration, to protect the rights and improve the lives of persons with disabilities. In 1992, the name was changed again to Kennedy Krieger Institute to honor original board member and long-time supporter, Zanvyl Krieger.

Why Our Experts

Kennedy Krieger’s patient care programs offer an interdisciplinary treatment approach tailored to the individual needs of each child, throughout all stages of care.

Highly trained professionals from various disciplines and departments collaborate to design treatment plans specific to each patient's needs.

In addition to our neurobehavioral, rehabilitation, and pediatric feeding disorders inpatient units, we offer more than 55 outpatient clinics, along with several home and community programs. 

  • Kennedy Krieger Institute uses an interdisciplinary approach to treatment with many outstanding professionals working together to provide comprehensive patient care that incorporates multiple fields, including, but not limited to: audiology,  behavioral psychology,  child life and therapeutic recreation,  neuropsychology,  nursing,  nutrition,  occupational and physical therapies,  social work,  special education, and  speech/language pathology.  
  • Kennedy Krieger is home to the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI), the world's first facility focused on researching and treating chronic spinal cord injuries and paralysis. While most other spinal cord programs concentrate on helping individuals learn to compensate for injuries believed to be permanent, the spinal cord injury center relies on an innovative treatment philosophy known as activity-based recovery to actually promote recovery of function, even in patients whose injuries occurred years ago.  
  • The success of Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Feeding Disorders Program can be attributed to its interdisciplinary combination of medical expertise in gastroenterology, behavioral psychology, nutrition, occupational therapy, nursing and social work to develop successful treatment programs that continue in the home, school and community. The Pediatric Feeding Disorders Continuum of Care transitions patients from the most intensive inpatient program, to a daily program, and then to a less intensive weekly outpatient clinic.  
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Genetic Muscle Disorders provides expert clinical care to children and adults with muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy and congenital myopathy in the Baltimore-Washington region and across the nation. The center offers leading research programs both in the clinical and laboratory setting.  
  • Through its inpatient Neurobehavioral Unit, Kennedy Krieger is leading the way in treating children with developmental disabilities and severe behavioral problems, who have not had success with community-based treatment. Continuing services on an outpatient level enables individuals to successfully transition back into their homes, schools and communities.  
  • The Institute operates one of the most successful pediatric rehabilitation programs in the world. Kennedy Krieger's Rehabilitation Continuum of Care helps children recovering from strokes, traumatic brain injury and orthopedic surgery learn to participate as fully as possible in home, school and community life.  
  • Autism is now the second most common developmental disability, affecting as many as 1 in 68 children. The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is a multi-faceted, multidisciplinary program that combines research, assessment, therapeutic, community outreach and training. CARD endorses a flexible treatment approach, adjusting the core set of methods used and goals of intervention to meet the needs of each child and his or her family. CARD is comprised of three primary programs: its REACH research component, named one of eight national centers for autism; a clinical program providing comprehensive assessments, diagnosis and treatment plans; and the Achievements day therapy program, which serves children between the ages of 2 and 5 years, 11 months.  
  • Children with rare genetic disorders come from around the world to be treated by physicians and other specialists from Kennedy Krieger’s highly specialized Neurogenetics Program. This team offers diagnosis and treatment of peroxisomal disorders such as Adrenoleukodystrophy and Zellweger syndrome.  

What We Do

Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and young adults with disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, serves more than 24,000 individuals each year.

At Kennedy Krieger, we believe that early identification, intervention, and treatment of disabilities are key to maximizing potential and preventing major problems throughout a child’s life. We also know that individuals with developmental disabilities often have multiple issues and diagnoses. That's why we offer an interdisciplinary approach that unites all areas—science, medicine, therapy, and education—to treat the problems and injuries that affect a child’s development. In addition, we offer a full continuum of care, including inpatient, outpatient, day treatment, and community- and home-based programs.

Providing services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, the Institute is also home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis. Our more than 80 years of experience has given us an unparalleled understanding of developmental disabilities that allows us to care for our patients throughout their lives, ensuring their success at home and in the community.

At A Glance

Patient Care:

Evaluation & Treatment

Kennedy Krieger’s patient care programs offer an interdisciplinary treatment approach tailored to the individual needs of each child, throughout all stages of care. Highly trained professionals from various disciplines and departments collaborate to design treatment plans specific to each patient's needs.

In addition to our neurobehavioral, rehabilitation, and pediatric feeding disorders inpatient units, we offer more than 55 outpatient clinics, along with several home and community programs. 

Patient Care Highlights

Research and Professional Training:

Programs & Studies

Our scientists dedicate their careers to improving patient care through research, professional training, and education. As leaders in preventing and treating disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system, they share their knowledge with the entire community of educators, researchers, therapists, physicians, and other professionals committed to patients with developmental disabilities both at Kennedy Krieger and beyond.

Research & Professional Training Highlights

Special Education:

Schools & Programs

A nationally recognized “Blue Ribbon School of Excellence”, Kennedy Krieger School is a leader in innovative education for children, adolescents and young adults with a wide range of learning, emotional, physical, neurological, and developmental disabilities. We offer a number of school- based, hospital-based, and recreational programs designed to unlock the potential inside each and every student.

Special Education Program Highlights

Community:

Programs & Resources

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute is committed to increasing awareness and breaking down barriers in society, allowing all individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their potential in work, school, and community life. This is accomplished through a wide range of community-oriented programs, projects, and services.

Community Initiatives Highlights