Frederick C. Schreiber, 57, executive director of the National Association of the Deaf, died Wednesday at New York University Hospital. He had a heart ailment.

In 1966 Dr. Schreiber became the first executive secretary of the association, an advocacy organization which represents about 2 million deaf persons in this country.

As executive secretary, it was his responsibility to make the association self-supporting and under his leadership its membership grew from about 4,000 to 5,000 members to its present membership of 17,000. He was named executive director in 1978.

Dr. Schreiber was born in New York City and earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Gallaudet College in Washington. In 1977, he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by the college.

He was a printer in New York City before returning to Washington in 1952, where he worked as a printer for the Government Printing Office, The Washington Star and The Washington Post before joining NAD.

Dr. Schreiber, who lived in Kensington was an officer or member of a number of city, state, national, federal and international associations for the deaf and wrote extensively on the subject.

Survivors include his wife, Kathleen (Kit) B., of the home; two daughters, Beverly S. Perrell of Kensington, and Elizabeth J. of Los Angeles; two sons, Louis G., of Takoma Park, and Stephen R., of Cincinnati; his mother Helen Schreiber of Kensington; a brother Harry, of New York City; a sister, Eleanor Miller of Pittsburgh, and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Halex House, National Association of the Deaf, 814 Thayer Ave., Silver Springs, Md., 20910.