Stories of Potential

Life With Autism: A Sibling's Perspective

December 8, 2015

Paige Talhelm and her brother SammyWhen my brother Sammy was born, my life was transformed, and not just because he was my first sibling.


September 8, 2015
Ambassador Program connects inpatients and families with mentors who have been in their shoes

Kennedy Krieger Institute Ambassadors ProgramMy son, Josh, was injured in a bicycling accident in July of 2013 at age 15. Josh hit a boulder, which snapped his bike frame in half and launched him over the handlebars. His shoulders took most of the force, causing his spine to compress.


December 2, 2014
Conquering complex medical conditions together: One family's journey with Kennedy Krieger

Willie BursonTwelve-year-old Willie Burson loves reading, drawing, and playing golf. He’s bright, too, having recently been accepted to a talented youth program. Seeing him today, you’d never guess this was the same boy whom doctors once said might never walk or talk.

Christian Thomas: Zen & The Art of Healing

December 2, 2014
One patient’s journey from diagnosis to top of the dojo

Christian Thomas

Journey to Safety

August 1, 2014
A mother’s emotional journey to find help for her son with autism leads her to Kennedy Krieger Schools.

JacobThe year my son was in the third grade, I didn’t eat. I never left my phone, even to take a shower. Jake, who has autism, was scared to go to school and totally unhinged once he got there—running in circles, biting his hand, melting down. Desks would fly if one thing went wrong.


November 12, 2013
Special education teacher Katie Cascio is inspired by a student who comes into his own at Kennedy Krieger High School.

DeVant Capers with his teacher, Katie CascioI was lucky enough to meet DeVante—a shy, reserved student with autism spectrum disorder—during my first year as an assistant teacher at Kennedy Krieger High School.

Getting Her Voice... Again

by Suzanne
Prestwich, MD
November 2, 2012

Many of the children admitted to the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Kennedy Krieger have experienced a trauma or illness that resulted in needing a procedure called a tracheostomy. The procedure involves placing a tube in a patient’s neck to help with breathing, but the downside is that it robs the patient of the ability to speak.

Alexandra's Story

June 19, 2012
For Alexandra Carter, the Brightside Down Syndrome Mentoring Program is an opportunity to make friends and have fun.

Alexandra CarterAlexandra Carter doesn't lack for social skills. In fact, unlike many teenagers with Down syndrome who may struggle to find their places among social groups and peers, Alexandra is outgoing and vivacious.

Ben's Story

July 8, 2011
What happened next would change Ben’s life forever, and no one could possibly have seen it coming.

Ben's StoryIt was a perfect day at the beach. The sun was shining, and the water was just right. Ben and his friends splashed in the waves and built sand castles, while his mom Joanne and the other parents chatted under the umbrellas, keeping a watchful eye on the children. But as the day came to a close, everyone headed back to the house, just a few blocks away.

Khai's Story

Tapping into Khai's learning style

"Come here, I want to show you something," Khai Walker calls upstairs to his father. His fingers flash across a video game controller as he maneuvers a pixilated basketball player down the court. His father, Kenith, sticks his head into the room and Khai, with a few precise key strokes, guides the player through an aerial spin and perfect slam dunk.

"Nobody can beat him at his games," says his mom, Jacqueline.

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