By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—At the Kennedy Krieger Institute, 3,000 children are being treated for autism, along with thousands of others facing a variety of challenges.

To meet the growing demands, the Institute will break ground on a new 8-story, 130,000 square foot facility to treat children with developmental issues ranging from autism to learning disabilities.

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“One in six children have a developmental brain disorder. It’s enormous,” said Dr. Gary Goldstein, President of the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

“My son was having behavior problems and he was really angry and hyper and stuff like that,” said Norene Hammack, four years ago when she first brought her son to Kennedy Krieger.

Now she says they’re doing great.

“And it’s been the best, it’s really turned him around. He’s doing great. He’s more calm, more relaxed and he’s doing great in school,” said Hammack.

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While helping children is the focus, it’s not the only aid Kennedy Krieger provides.

“When you have a child with any type of special need or developmental disability, it impacts everybody in that family system. And we’re really focused on supporting not only the child, but everyone that’s also impacted,” said Melanie Pinkett-Davis, with the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

“It’s a place where you just feel at home and it’s a great place to come,” said Hammack.

And in two years, new doors will open to more in need of help.

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Last year, Kennedy Krieger helped 24,000 families with children with special needs.