Inspiring Stories

A Child's Work Is to Play, But Not All Children Know How. Several Programs at Kennedy Krieger Teach Them -- For the Sake of More Than Just Amusement.
Corey Opher, Jr.

The playroom of Kennedy Krieger Institute's Achievements program doesn't look like a typical child's playroom. There are no blocks, books, dolls or trucks lining the shelves or scattered about the floor. In fact, the room seems practically devoid of toys, those things that inspire the imaginations of children but it's not. They're here, stored neatly in clear plastic bins, one to a container, each labeled with a picture and a word describing its contents.

Kennedy Krieger Researcher Uses Innovations in MRI Technology to Study the Brain's Structure and Function in Search of the Cause of ADHD
Erin Blitz with Dr. Stewart Mostofsky

Laurie Blitz began to suspect that something was not quite right with her daughter as early as when she was a toddler. Erin seemed overly hyperactive, moving so much that even simple tasks like changing her diaper became lessons in patience and control. When she was old enough to walk, she would constantly run away, placing herself in danger. 

Kennedy Krieger's Pediatric Psychology Program Helps Calm Children's Fears of Medical Procedures by Teaching Them What to Expect, What to Do, and How to Relax
Sam Spring

Last year, 5-year-old Samuel Spring came to Kennedy Krieger Institute for evaluation of autism. The genetic and metabolic tests he was to undergo required giving a blood sample. When the nurse tried to tie the tourniquet around his arm in preparation for the needle stick, Sam began to cry and break away. 

Kennedy Krieger's Center for Development and Learning Helps Children with ADHD Lead Fuller Lives
Kerrel Williams with Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Each year, Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Development and Learning evaluates and treats several thousand children with ADHD. The evaluation includes a detailed medical, developmental and behavioral history of the child. "We verify concerns with a behavioral checklist completed by parents and the child's school," explains Paul Lipkin, M.D., director of the Center for Development and Learning. 

Kennedy Krieger Researcher Helps Implement Substance Abuse Prevention Programs Targeting Preschoolers in Baltimore
Peggy McNally at Dayspring Early Head Start Center

Every morning, 3-year-old La'Nell Alewine and her 4-year-old sister, Ja'Nell, get dressed and make their way to preschool at the Dayspring Head Start Center in East Baltimore. There, the girls eat a healthy breakfast, play with their classmates and learn about the alphabet, colors and numbers. 

An in utero stroke left Allie without the use of her right arm, but early, targeted therapy is helping her get it back.
An in utero stroke left Allie without the use of her right arm, but early, targeted therapy is helping her get it back.
Animal assisted therapy helped motivate and lift the spirits of animal lover Destiny Fallas during her rehabilitation from transverse myelitis.
When Destiny Fallas came down with a cold last fall, her parents didn’t think much of it at first. But within 24 hours, Destiny lost the ability to talk, swallow, or eat. After being admitted to the hospital, she continued to worsen and became completely paralyzed.
For the Heck family, who have raised over $1 million for Sturge-Weber syndrome research, a medical breakthrough by Kennedy Krieger offers hope for new treatments and possibly a cure in daughter Jenna’s lifetime.
Ida Heck has been waiting for a medical breakthrough in Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) ever since her daughter Jenna was diagnosed with the disorder as an infant nine years ago. But she soon discovered that because the disorder was so rare—only one person in 20,000 has SWS—there was very little research being conducte
For Sarah and Jason Edwards’ two daughters, Kennedy Krieger exhausted every option to give a definitive diagnosis for one, and help allay concerns about the other.
Sarah Edwards knew something was not right with her daughter Madison when she was only an infant. Madison was a beautiful child, but she was not engaging or babbling, or hitting developmental milestones. “I had a gut feeling something was not right,” recalls Sarah. “When you get that feeling, that maternal instinct…I just knew.”
When Lily was three, her entire family was in a car accident that left her paralyzed and her family shattered. Kennedy Krieger’s Camp SOAR helped them heal again.
A moment of screeching tires and crumpling metal, and Lily Wilkinson’s new life appeared to be etched in stone before she had even entered kindergarten. Her neck broken, Lily was left paralyzed below the waist at the age of three.


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