Schreiber families celebrate milestones every day. Whether it’s a child enjoying the texture of a new food or gripping his mom’s hand for the first time, these milestones bring to life Schreiber’s mission to enrich lives and give hope for every person, every day. Each year, we identify several families to serve as Ambassadors for Schreiber allowing us to showcase their journey with our programs and services.
Please join us in welcoming the Schreiber Ambassador Class of 2023. Each of these children have benefitted from Schreiber’s services – therapy, recreation and/or educational programming.
Happy, Loving, Friendly
Graeme has come a long way since he started receiving services at Schreiber.
Diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, Graeme needed to work on his fine and gross
motor skills as well as speech and language. Graeme has done so well in physical,
speech-language and behavioral health therapies he has met his goals and graduated
from the programs. He continues to receive occupational therapy with Makenzie Skiles.
Because of Schreiber, Graeme has learned to interact with his family, which also
includes older brother, Connor, and his peers. He recognizes and is able to empathize
with emotions in himself and others. He can write the alphabet and his name. He is
excelling in school without the assistance of an aide, which people thought was not
“Schreiber has become family and I’m not sure where weGraeme’s mom, Alicia
would be without it. The knowing that other families are walking a similar road of
challenges and milestones. Our therapists (and I truly mean OUR) hands down love
Graeme and each child they work with, it’s visible and I’m so grateful for the way they
love our kiddos!”
Sweet, Determined, Loving
Malcolm is a young man who is a talented artist. His artwork has been featured in countless shows and received numerous awards, including most recently, Art of the State 2022 Purchase Award. He won the award for colored pencil piece, “Burke,” a portrait of one of Corley’s AP Art classmates at Hempfield High School in 2019. Malcolm, who has autism, graduated from Schreiber therapy services several years ago. During his time in therapy at Schreiber, Malcolm received occupational therapy from Emily Beddow, who taught him many life skills and Lisa Christoffel, who retired in June 2021 after over 40 years of service to Schreiber. Malcolm also received occupational therapy services.
Malcolm, who has an older sister, Kiana, currently participates in and looks forward to Schreiber’s Club 625 events, especially the dances. Club 625 is a social group for teenagers and alumni of Schreiber.
“Each therapist Malcolm worked with was excellent. Malcolm found love and respect from his therapists.”Malcolm’s mom, Maria
Intelligent, Caring, Silly
Lucas has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare genetic disorder that affects motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. To help improve posture, prevent joint stiffness and to slow muscle weakness and atrophy, Lucas receives regular services at Schreiber (when not traveling to visit family in Thailand). He works on sitting to standing, sideways walking with hands on a mirror or table, walking with moderate assistance, stepping up and down a one-inch height, stepping over a ½ inch height and strengthening activities for his trunk and leg with therapist Libby Crockart. He recently achieved a major milestone in physical therapy – he stood on his own for the first time. Lucas also receives occupational therapy from Bianca Angstadt, where he works on hand strength. As a result of OT, Lucas has been able to put on a t-shirt. He has also been working to grasp crayons and markers as he loves to color and complete crafts. Lucas also practiced improving his tactile sensory processing by getting his hands messy with shaving cream, paint, and glue. Lucas, who has 3 older siblings (Nicole, Ryan and Chloe), currently attends Schreiber’s preschool program.
“Fantastic, with wonderful people and a caring environment. Our favorite thing about Schreiber is the understanding and commitment to kids with special needs.”Lucas’s dad, Rick
Happy, Funny, Kind
Kalvin has been a Schreiber client since the age of 2, when he was diagnosed with autism. He has received all four therapy services, physical, occupational, speech- language and behavioral health during his time at the Center. Having recently graduated from speech-language therapy with Jeremy Ewell, he’s become more articulate (the ability to form clear and specific sounds in speech). In behavioral therapy with Missy Ressler, he is concentrating on managing his anxiety.
Along with his younger sister, Katelyn, Kalvin wore the Duckie costume at the Rubber Duckie Race in 2022, which was a huge accomplishment for him.
Sweet, Kind, Helpful
Katelyn, who has autism, has made great strides since she started coming to Schreiber.
Her older brother, Kalvin, was already coming to Schreiber, so when her parents
thought she needed services, they had her evaluated. While in preschool, it was
determined that Katelyn had selective mutism; she whispered to her teacher as she did
not want others to hear her. For this, Katelyn has worked with several speech-language
therapists including Karen Thomsen, Maddy Sova, and recently retired Barb Miller. She’s also worked with occupational therapist Bernie Hershey.
Currently, Katelyn receives speech-language therapy, working with Ashley Shirk on
articulation. She also works with behavioral health therapist, Missy Ressler on social
skills on continuing to overcome her anxiety.
“Schreiber is family. The information we are given helps Kalvin thrive at home. Kalvin
has achieved everything at Schreiber. He has learned to talk and be understood. He
can tie his shoes and ride a bike.”
“Schreiber helped her overcome the anxiety that she hadKalvin’s mom, Korrine
so she was able to join and participate in orchestra and student council in 4 th grade. This
year, in 5th grade, Katelyn joined chorus and is able to be on the stage with her peers.”
Inquisitive, Loving, Goofy
Right out of college, Harper’s mom, Kirsten, worked for the Circle of Friends Academy
at Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development. She saw firsthand how the therapists went
above and beyond to serve the families in their care.
When Harper was six months of age and needed Early Intervention Services, Kirsten knew just
who to call. She began working with Therapy Director Angie Rice, an occupational therapist, to
help Harper overcome extreme oral aversion due to prolonged use of a nasojejunal (NJ) tube – a thin, soft tube that is put in through the nose, goes through the stomach and ends in the small intestine.
Harper now age 3 has made tremendous progress. Due to her ongoing medical issues, Harper
would overcome one obstacle to be presented with a new set of challenges. As Kirsten shares,
‘Her therapists were always adjusting and pivoting to find new approaches to best address the
ever-changing challenges. In fact, Angie worked separately with Harper to address some
hyperactivity and sensory issues that were also a huge component of her feeding challenges.’
At age 2, Harper began working with Becca Lopez for speech therapy as she was only able to
say about 10 words, most of them being family member and pet names. Harper just adores
Becca, and the family is grateful for the combination of in-home and Center-based speech
therapy services provided. According to Kirsten, ‘Harper is now a little talking machine and the
most expressive little lady!’ She’s currently working on talking in longer sentences, three-
syllable words and overall intelligibility.
Harper also attends Schreiber’s, S.T.A.R.S Preschool program that focuses on reverse
mainstream learning – combining kids with special needs alongside those who are typically
developing in the educational space. Learning that Harper will undoubtedly use in her new role
of big sister.