Schreiber Pediatric Center - One mom's deep ties to Schreiber

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November 13, 2017

One mom's deep ties to Schreiber

Posted by Dan  Permalink 

Alicia Fleming has known about Schreiber for a long time. She had crossed paths as a high school student, in college, at her first job. But it wasn't until she was pregant with her first child that she knew she would need our services.

As a student at Penn Manor, she spent time here job shadowing. During her college years as a special education major at Kutztown University, she came for observation. Her first job after college was with Vision Corp., and some of the kids she worked with were Schreiber kiddos.

So when her son Jack was diagnosed with bilateral talipes -- club foot involving both feet -- Alicia had a pretty good idea where to turn when she started looking for child care: Schreiber's Circle of Friends Academy.

She's a special education teacher now -- back in Penn Manor -- and she has been in a lot of day cares and seen how many of them handle infants with special needs.

Jack's treatment included serial casting to gradually reposition his feet from the inward curl caused by the condition. When his feet weren't in casts, he had to wear what's called a Ponseti brace and Mitchell boots to continue providing the necessary positioning and support.

"I was concerned about day care," she said. "Club feet has a high percentage of relapse if treatment isn't followed. He doesn't like having the (brace) on, and he might cry about it sometimes. Some day cares might see him cry and want to take the brace off. But it needs to stay on."

Before Jack was born, a friend from work mentioned Schreiber would be opening an infant room. Over the summer, she called and talked to Christina Kalyan, Schreiber's day care director. When she returned to teaching in September, Jack started here. She felt comfortable with Christina's leadership, and she valued the reverse mainstreaming in our classrooms, where typically developing kids have the opportunity to learn next to the kids with special needs.

"I had been in Christina's classroom (in college)," Alicia said. "Knowing her and having seen her, I could say she would give Jack the kind of care he needed. You guys do a fantastic job with kids with disabilities. And you also look at the whole family unit, and I think that's really important."

Like his dad, Joshua, who was born with one club foot (it's a genetic condition), Jack should have no long-term effects as he grows up. He wears the brace at Schreiber when he naps and at home when he sleeps at night.

At 6 months old, Jack's feet are mostly corrected now, and he's otherwise a healthy, happy little guy. One more kiddo who got a good start to life at Schreiber.

Watch Alicia talk about her experience with Schreiber and why she will be supporting Schreiber during the Extraordinary Give on Nov. 17.

And if you want to support Schreiber, please come to this page anytime on Friday during the Extra Give to make your contribution.

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