Pediatric Psychology Clinic and Consultation Service

Kennedy Krieger Institute • 707 North Broadway • Baltimore, MD 21205


Keith J. Slifer, Ph.D.


Keith J. Slifer, Ph.D.
Adrianna Amari, Ph.D.
Leanna J. Herman, Ph.D.
Cynthia Ward, Psy.D.
Melissa Hendricks, Ph.D.

About Our Program:

The Pediatric Psychology Clinic and Consultation Service (PPCS) applies behavioral science knowledge and methods to the assessment and treatment of learning, behavioral and psychosocial challenges associated with diagnosis, treatment and adaptation to pediatric medical problems. This approach helps to address the numerous behavioral, psychological, social and environmental influences on the ability of children and adolescents and their caregivers to cope with health problems and medical care. As a result, these individuals are better able to benefit from advanced diagnostic procedures and medical therapies.

Primary Program Goals:

The clinic's primary goal is to promote healthy child development, behavior and psychological adjustment despite the often extraordinary stress and demands placed on children and families by medical problems in today's health care environment. This goal is accomplished by applying principles of behavior, learning and psychosocial adaptation from the fields of behavioral and pediatric psychology. Behavior analysis and therapy are used to teach children skills for cooperating and participating at a developmentally appropriate level with medical care. Therapists in this specialized outpatient clinic also provide consultation to allied health professionals in a variety of inpatient and outpatient pediatric settings at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Children's Center and various schools and community health care facilities. Licensed psychologists and affiliated staff with special expertise in pediatric psychology and behavior analysis coordinate services with multidisciplinary health care, rehabilitation and educational teams. Direct clinical services are provided to children and adolescents with a wide range of medical problems, along with their families and caregivers. Services include:

  • Behaviorally-oriented individual child/adolescent psychotherapy with emphasis placed on teaching or strengthening skills for coping with stress, anxiety or pain, and on problem-solving skills for identifying and overcoming barriers to adherence with health care regimens and normative psychosocial adjustment.
  • Evaluation and treatment of child/adolescent difficulties with behavior, psychosocial adjustment or emotional regulation related to medical problems or health care procedures.
  • Behavioral rehabilitation to improve daily functioning in youth with pain-associated disabilities.
  • Parent-child interaction assessment and therapy to improve interpersonal relationships and facilitate adherence with daily health care regimens.
  • Training parents and health care professionals to implement behavioral interventions that strengthen child coping, cooperation and adjustment to their medical conditions.
  • Use of behavioral techniques to help avoid reliance on sedation or anesthesia for motion control or behavior management during medical procedures.
  • Use of behavioral techniques to supplement medical management of pain, anxiety and distress associated with medical disorders, tests and treatments.
  • Helping children and families adjust and adhere to prescribed medical treatments and self-care routines, including: taking medicine, repeated blood tests, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, transfusions, dialysis, bowel and bladder management, self-catheterization, tracheostomy care, restricted diet, stoma care, exercise programs, wearing glasses or hearing aids, wound care, dressing changes, intravenous catheter insertion, etc.

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


To make a referral or request an initial evaluation:
Contact our Care Management Office
Specify that you would like to be seen in the Pediatric Psychology Clinic
Toll-Free Referral: (888) 554-2080
Local Referral: (443) 923-9400

For follow-up appointments:
Shirley Sapp
Program Assistant
Phone: (443) 923-2900
Fax: (443) 923-2835

Related Materials and Information
Additional Diagnoses Served: 
Brain or spinal injury
Neuromuscular disorders
Developmental Disabilities
Accidental Physical injury
Craniofacial disorders
Skeletal displasias
Cerebral-vascular disorder
Sickle cell disease
Hemophilia and Blood disorders
Heart, kidney or liver disease
Pre/post-organ transplantation
Sleep problems
Eating problems
Asthma and breathing problems