Winter Olympics come to Schreiber

Pediatric therapists at Schreiber have created spaces inspired by the Winter Olympics to help liven up therapy sessions for the next few weeks. The competition areas and games include, from left, the Dressing Race, figure skating and curling.

The Winter Olympics begin Feb. 4 in China. On the other side of the world, right here in Lancaster County, we have our own version of the Games at Schreiber.

Over the next few weeks, while you’re here at the center, you might notice the unusual Olympic-inspired decorations. There’s the Speed Dressing arena outside of Occupational Therapy, where competitors will be testing themselves on Speed Donning, Speed Zipping and Speed Snapping. Next to that is the Curling hallway. There will be several areas for Olympic hockey, including table top Knock Hockey and air hockey along with a hockey net (or at least a drawing of one taped to a wall – video below) to shoot pucks at, and hand-held games for to compete in figure skating.

And the main event will almost certainly be in the Activities of Daily Living Room, home to the luge and Bobsled track.

These are mostly the work of OT Bernie Hershey, who regularly finds some of the more outside-the-box creative ways to add fun to therapy sessions. All of the activities incorporate therapy work into the game playing. And therapists in OT, physical therapy and speech-language pathology are using the games.

Occupational Therapist Bernie Hershey has organized a series of Olympic-style events for kids to include in their therapy for the next few weeks during the Winter Olympics. Here, a bobsledder finishes a run.

“Anything that breaks up the normal routine and adds a little fun helps,” Bernie said. “I like looking for ways to include what’s going on in the world with our therapy.”

Speed Dressing helps kiddos work on how quickly they are able to dress themselves, often a goal for many of the kids we see. Curling helps with gross motor skills. Knock Hockey and air hockey works on eye-hand coordination. The luge and bobsled races and some of the figure skating helps with pinching and grasping.