Behavioral Health

Schreiber’s Commitment to Children’s Healthcare

World Children’s Day is a time to reflect on the challenges that children face and to highlight the initiatives that are making a positive impact on their lives. This year, we’d like to draw your attention to the critical issues surrounding children’s healthcare and the efforts we’re making here at the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development to address these challenges.

Access Disparities

One of the most pressing issues in children’s healthcare is the glaring disparities in access to medical services. Many children in underprivileged communities continue to lack proper healthcare due to financial, geographical, and cultural barriers. We recognize this inequality and have made great strides to help bridge this gap in central Pennsylvania.

We provide comprehensive pediatric care services and affordable healthcare options. As one of the only pediatric therapy centers in the area to accept Medicaid insurance as a payment option we service many children who otherwise would not receive the pediatric therapy services they need. Our ‘Kids’ Care Fund’ ensures that every child that comes to our center for therapy receives the care they need, regardless of their family’s financial situation.

Childhood Disabilities

Children with disabilities require specialized care and support to thrive and reach their full potential. One size does not fit all when it comes to healthcare for children. Which is why we offer a range of therapy services, including mental and behavioral health, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, each tailored to the unique needs of the individual child.

Through these programs, our Schreiber kids are provided with the tools they need to overcome the challenges they face, enabling them to flourish in their own way.

Pediatric Mental Health

The increasing mental health challenges in children are a mounting concern for parents, with far-reaching implications for the community. To help address this issue, we have integrated a new mental and behavioral health therapy department into our holistic approach to pediatric care that focuses on play-based and cognitive-behavioral therapies.

Our pediatric therapists specialize in diagnoses such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, depression, stress, anxiety, trauma related disorders, adoption, divorce, abuse, grief, and more. By providing counseling, emotional support, and resources, it is our goal to contribute to the emotional well-being of both children and their families and is an essential part of our commitment to the overall health and happiness of the children we serve.

Inclusive Education for Kids

The link between education and health is undeniable, yet many children face health issues that hinder their ability to access quality education, creating a cycle of disadvantage. Our S.T.A.R.S. Preschool is dedicated to reverse mainstreaming and has expanded our program that was once exclusively designed for children with special needs to include children of all abilities.

It is our hope that by playing together, our kiddos learn to not only understand and accept diversity, but to also value it. We also collaborate with the IU13 program to ensure that children with disabilities have equal access to quality education and are receiving any additional help they need. It is important to us that every child has the opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of their physical or mental challenges.

Support for Special Needs Children

We are proud to serve children with special needs and ensure that they receive the care and attention they require to thrive. We never hesitate to go the extra mile in providing resources and support for children with complex medical needs and chronic conditions. This includes assistance with obtaining medical equipment, specialized care, and respite services. We believe that by providing these services and support to our Schreiber families, children with special needs can lead fulfilling lives, and their families can find solace in knowing that their child’s unique requirements are met with compassion and expertise.

On World Children’s Day, we strive to be a beacon of hope and support, addressing the multifaceted challenges that children’s healthcare faces. Through our commitment to accessible, compassionate, and comprehensive care, we are working to improve the lives of children and their families, helping them overcome obstacles and reach their full potential. When every child receives the healthcare, support, and opportunities they deserve our purpose will be fulfilled.

To help us continue to provide necessary therapies to our Schreiber kids, consider donating to our Kids’ Care Fund to support our uncompensated care costs.

As a nationally recognized pediatric facility, the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development provides family-centered education and therapy programs for infants, children and adolescents with disabilities, developmental delays, and acquired injuries. Our goal-oriented approach maximizes each child’s ability to function independently within the community.

ExtraGive Funds Pediatric Therapy at Schreiber

Every child deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. At the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development, we are committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of their abilities or financial circumstances, has access to the quality care they need.

The ExtraGive event ( is a remarkable opportunity for us to come together as a community and make a significant impact on the lives of children who rely on our pediatric therapy programs. Your generous donations during the ExtraGive event will directly benefit our occupational, physical, speech, and mental and behavioral health therapy programs, as well as our “Kids’ Care Fund” designed to cover uncompensated care expenses.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy: Feeding Program

Pediatric occupational therapy is a crucial component of the services we provide at Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development. Many children face challenges related to feeding and nutrition, and our goal is to support them in developing the necessary skills for a healthy diet. Your donations will help us establish a new feeding program that will provide personalized support to children with various feeding difficulties.

Feeding issues can be a source of tremendous stress for families, and your contributions will make it possible for us to offer specialized therapy, equipment, and resources to help these children develop the skills they need to thrive.

Pediatric Physical Therapy: Medical Mobility Equipment

Children with mobility impairments often require specialized equipment to enhance their mobility and independence. The funds donated during the ExtraGive event will be instrumental in acquiring essential medical mobility equipment for our pediatric physical therapy program.

These devices can be life-changing for children, enabling them to participate in everyday activities and improving their overall quality of life. Your support will help us ensure that no child in central PA is left without the necessary equipment to navigate the world around them.

Pediatric Speech Therapy: Communication Devices

Communication is a fundamental aspect of a child’s development, and for some children, it can be particularly challenging. Our pediatric speech therapy program is dedicated to helping children develop their communication skills, and your donations will play a pivotal role in achieving this goal.

We aim to provide augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, speech-generating devices (SGDs), and other assistive communication tools to children who need them. These devices empower children to express themselves, connect with others, and engage with the world in meaningful ways.

Mental and Behavioral Health Therapy: After-School Social Programs

At Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development, we recognize the importance of mental and behavioral health in a child’s overall well-being. Your donations will support our after-school social programs, including the popular “After-School Lego Club,” designed specifically for children with autism.

These programs offer a safe and supportive environment where children can develop social skills, build friendships, and gain confidence. Your contributions will enable us to expand these programs, reaching even more children who can benefit from them.

The “Kids’ Care Fund”: Ensuring Access to Care for All

In addition to directly supporting our therapy programs, your generous donations during the ExtraGive event will be added to our “Kids’ Care Fund.” This fund serves as a safety net, ensuring that all disabled children receive the care they need, regardless of their families’ financial circumstances.

The “Kids’ Care Fund” is a savings account that bridges the gap between what private insurance and Medicaid supplements cover and the actual cost of care. At Schreiber Pediatric, we have always made the promise that no child will be turned away, and your contributions help us fulfill this commitment.

Your support during the ExtraGive event will have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of the children we serve through our pediatric therapy programs at Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development. Whether it’s helping a child improve their feeding skills, providing essential mobility equipment, enabling communication, or fostering social connections, your generosity makes it all possible.

Furthermore, your donations will contribute to the “Kids’ Care Fund,” ensuring that no child is denied the care they deserve due to financial constraints. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of Schreiber kids and their families, offering hope, support, and a brighter future. Join us in transforming lives and creating a more inclusive and compassionate community for all children in central PA. Donate during the ExtraGive event and be a part of something truly extraordinary.

Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy

What is Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy?

Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy is a group of muscular dystrophies which can be inherited in various ways. It equally effects males and females and symptoms begin between 8 and 15 years of age. About 2 to 10 out of 100,000 people are affected by this muscle disorder which leads to muscle weakness and muscle wasting of varying severity. Most commonly the shoulder and pelvis muscles are affected and as it progresses the hips, shoulders, arms, legs, and back muscles all weaken. The symptoms are known to progress slowly and while there is no cure the life expectancy of an individual with this diagnosis is generally within a normal range since the heart and breathing muscles are not affected.

How do I know if my child has Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy?

The signs and symptoms of people with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy can vary widely. Even among individuals within the same family there is a good chance that the signs and symptoms will not be the same. Since symptoms can begin at any age, it’s important to keep an eye out for these common signs throughout your child’s life:

  • Inability to rise from a squatting position without using the arms for leverage
  • Toe walking or walking on the balls of their feet
  • A waddling gait when walking
  • Difficulty running
  • Joint stiffness
  • Abnormal spine curvature (lordosis/scoliosis)

Because these signs and symptoms are common in other muscular dystrophies, it is critical to see a medical doctor and receive a formal diagnosis so that proper treatment can be obtained. The formal diagnosis is based on symptoms, symptom severity, age at which the symptoms began, and family medical history. Doctors will perform a series of tests including: electrodiagnostic tests, laboratory tests, muscle biopsies, imaging studies, electrocardiograms, and genetic testing to confirm their diagnosis.

What Causes Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy?

Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy is a neuromuscular genetic disorder that occurs when a faulty gene results in abnormal muscle function. Many genes have been identified as contributing to this disorder so while it can be passed from parent to child, the child also could be the first in the family to have muscular dystrophy.

What are the complications of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy?

While it is rare for Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy to affect the heart, lungs, digestive system, or other body systems outside of the muscles, it is possible. Any time the heart or lungs are affected by muscular disorders there is a chance that life expectancy will be negatively affected.

What is the treatment of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy?

While there is no cure for Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy there are treatments for it. Treatments range from medications that are prescribed by medical professionals to help relieve symptoms relating to Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy to physical, respiratory, occupational, and behavioral therapies to help reduce the process of muscle weakness and wasting. Treatment is individualized for each patient and designed to enhance quality of life.

If you child has been diagnosed with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy and you are interested in learning more about how Schreiber’s Pediatric Therapies can help your child visit:

As a nationally recognized pediatric facility, the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development provides family-centered education and therapy programs for infants, children and adolescents with disabilities, developmental delays, and acquired injuries. Our goal-oriented approach maximizes each child’s ability to function independently within the community.

Anxiety in Kids

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a NORMAL worry or uneasy feeling that causes kids to feel nervous and afraid. It can generate real and uncomfortable physical responses. Anxiety is often triggered by new situations which makes it very common in children. For some children, anxiety affects their behavior and thoughts daily, which can interfere with their home life, school, and their social well-being. For these children, professional help is often the best answer.

Use these tips to help you spot anxiety in your child and help them to learn skills to cope with their anxiety now and in the future.

How Anxiety Feels to Kids

Anxiety can be a confusing and scary feeling for kids, especially if they have never experienced these emotions and physiological effects before and don’t have a name for the way they are feeling. Even once a child knows that they have anxiety and the signs and symptoms they may experience when they become anxious, they may feel embarrassed or ashamed. The physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety can present in a variety of different ways in your child. Look for these common signs.

How Anxiety Shows Up in Kids

If your child is experiencing anxiety, they may begin to act differently. For some kids this may mean that they are acting out and becoming more difficult and defiant, but for other children it might mean that they begin to withdraw from social situations or even their families. It is important to remember that when it comes to anxiety in kids it is not a one size fits all situation. You know your child’s normal behavior better than anyone else, and the best person to determine if their behavior has suddenly or drastically changed. These are a few common signs that are associated with anxiety in kids.

Common Anxiety Triggers for Kids

Since anxiety is often triggered by new situations your child may experience a bout of anxiety occasionally, when something in their life feels different or beyond their control. There are several common triggers for anxiety in kids which range from social factors, or pressure to perform well, to fear of change or the future, and even conflict or change at home. Your child may be experiencing anxiety due to a variety of different things. Below are just a few examples of common anxiety triggers for kids.

Teach Your Child What They Can & Cannot Control

It can be very helpful to remind your child which things they are feeling anxious about are within their control, and which are not. You may find that much of what your child is anxious about are things they can’t control. So it’s important to teach them the difference between what they can and cannot control, so that they have a better understanding of their own anxieties. It can be helpful for kids with anxiety to have a list that they can refer to that explains these different behaviors. You can use the list below as a starting point and tailor it to your child’s specific anxiety triggers for a helpful guide they can refer to as often as they may need.

Grounding Techniques for Kids

The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding technique is helpful both for adults and kids with anxiety as it helps connect the anxious party with the present by exploring the five senses and their immediate surroundings. This technique is especially helpful if the cause of their anxiety is something that already happened or may happen in the future. If the child is currently in the midst of their anxiety trigger the grounding technique may be a bit difficult for them to accomplish, but is still worth an attempt as long as it can be practiced safely. When your child is feeling anxious encourage them to complete the following grounding exercise and see if it helps bring them back to a point of relative calmness. The convenience of being able to perform this technique in almost any location is just one of the many reasons it is so beneficial to learn and remember.

While all children are likely to experience some anxiety in their life on occasion, it is important to recognize if your child’s anxiety has become severe enough to impact their daily lives. If this is the case seeing a pediatric behavioral health therapist may be in your child’s best interest as they can provide more individualistic approaches to help mitigate the causes and symptoms that your child is experiencing. They will also be able to help you and your child understand where the anxiety is coming from and tips, tricks, and tools to help reduce the anxiety your child feels.

If you are interested in learning more about how Schreiber’s Pediatric Behavioral Health Services can help your child visit

As a nationally recognized pediatric facility, the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development provides family-centered education and therapy programs for infants, children and adolescents with disabilities, developmental delays, and acquired injuries. Our goal-oriented approach maximizes each child’s ability to function independently within the community.

How to Support the Behavioral Health of Deaf Children

Deaf children, like all children, deserve every opportunity to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. However, they often encounter unique challenges that can impact their behavioral health and overall well-being. From social isolation to academic struggles, the mental health journey for Deaf children can be complex. This post will explore the various behavioral health concerns Deaf children may face and look at different strategies to provide the support they need.

Understanding the Challenges

Social Isolation and Peer Exclusion: Communication barriers can lead Deaf children to feel isolated and make it difficult for them to form connections with their peers. They may find themselves on the outskirts of social interactions, leading to feelings of loneliness and exclusion.

Coping with Stigmas and Misconceptions: Deafness is often misunderstood, leading to stigmatization and misconceptions. These misunderstandings can impact a Deaf child’s self-esteem and self-worth.

Anxiety and Depression: The frustration of miscommunication and the pressure to fit in can contribute to anxiety and depression among Deaf children.

Academic Struggles: Inaccessible educational environments and inadequate support for children who are deaf, can lead to their academic struggles. These struggles can cause additional stress and have a negative impact on mental health.

Miscommunication within Families: Communication barriers between Deaf children and their hearing family members can lead to misunderstandings and strained relationships. Without a support system at home, their mental health can quickly decline.

Struggles with Self-Identity and Self-Esteem: Deaf children may grapple with their identity, especially when they feel caught between the Deaf and hearing worlds.

Lack of Access to Mental Health Services: Limited access to mental health services that cater to the unique needs and communication preferences of Deaf children can further exacerbate these challenges.

Strategies for Support

Identify & Encourage: Early intervention is key. By addressing potential issues early on and teaching children who are deaf coping skills and emotional regulation techniques, we can encourage Deaf children to embrace their identity and build self-confidence.

Effective Communication: We strive to ensure that Deaf children have access to communication methods that suit them. You can help by educating yourself and others about Deaf culture and communication strategies to foster understanding.

Inclusive Education: Advocating for inclusive education that allows Deaf children to learn alongside their hearing peers helps minimize social isolation. By implementing anti-bullying programs you can also help prevent and address bullying of children who are deaf.

Peer Support & Role Models: It’s important to create opportunities for Deaf children to connect with peers who share similar experiences. In introducing them to successful Deaf role models you can also help spark their inspiration and guide them to success.

Mental Health Services: Ensuring access to mental health services is one of the best things you can do to support the behavioral health of Deaf children. Specifically those that cater to Deaf children’s communication preferences. Be sure to provide information about these services in accessible formats.

Creating an Inclusive Environment

Supporting the behavioral health of Deaf children requires a community effort. By approaching their challenges with empathy and understanding, we can create environments where they can thrive. Let’s work together to build a world where Deaf children are empowered to achieve their full potential and lead emotionally healthy lives.

If you child is Deaf and you are interested in learning more about how Schreiber’s Pediatric Therapies can help your child visit:

As a nationally recognized pediatric facility, the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development provides family-centered education and therapy programs for infants, children and adolescents with disabilities, developmental delays, and acquired injuries. Our goal-oriented approach maximizes each child’s ability to function independently within the community.