Thursday, November 20, 2014

Every Trip to Stop & Shop or Peapod purchase can earn money for Latham!

Sign up before you start your Holiday Shopping!

By signing up for the Stop & Shop A+ Rewards Program (two easy steps online), employees, friends and families can help Latham earn reward money every time they shop at Stop & Shop or Peapod! 

Stop & Shop rewards card holders simply register HERE
by entering their Rewards Card ID# and selecting Latham as the recipient.

Step 1: Enter your S&S Rewards card #
Step 2: Select Latham by searching Brewster / MA schools or using our School ID# 07054.

Your participation will ensure that Latham Centers continues its innovative treatment, such as:
  • Pet Care Programs that helps individuals who have suffered trauma build trust;
  • Sensory therapy to promote greater well-being and enhance overall learning and calmer focus;
  • Art and performing arts therapy and sports, recreational, and vocational programs designed to enhance the health, confidence and socialization of special needs individuals

This program does not affect your current Rewards offerings -- you will still receive your gas and other rewards points. For answers to other frequently asked questions about the A+ program, click on the FAQ link at

Community Outing News

Pictures taken by Alanna Murphy
Latham students attended another successful community outing to the Cape Museum of Fine Arts and the Natural History Museum. Students were able to explore the local museums to learn about Cape Cod’s wild life and culture. Everyone involved enjoyed interacting with the exhibits and asking questions about the displays.

Submitted by:
Meghan Pouliot

Friday, November 14, 2014

TIP of the WEEK: Transitions

Transitions are the single most challenging part of any day for the person with PWS. When a person with PWS is faced with a big transition, it can be that much more challenging.

Here are some ways to make transitions a little bit easier:

1. Practice with social stories, verbalizing what each step will look like, and doing dry runs. This will allow your child to mentally prepare for some of life's bigger transitions like changing schools or moving.

2. Validate and plan for anxiety. Transitioning from the familiar to the unfamiliar is extremely difficult for our kids. Plan to have extra supports around for both you and your child.

3. Allow for setbacks. In being patient with the process, it will allow for long-term success; and you will be teaching your child that the best things are worth fighting for.

4. Most importantly, be there for your child without doing the work for them. Allow for some of the bumps that inevitably come with a big transition and show him or her that they can do this even with increased anxiety.

Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

Related Posts:
A Transitonal POV
Living with Anxiety
Coping Strategies

Belonging at Latham

As the admissions assistant at Latham Centers I regularly give program tours to parents and families.  I was recently on a tour of Latham School in Brewster with a young man and his father. We were anticipating an admission, so the young man was scheduled for a classroom visit after the tour.

While on the tour, we paused to discuss one of the quadrants of our Circle of Courage™ tenants known as Belonging.  The father and I discussed recently passed bullying laws.  I commented that I was really glad that there were bullying laws that prevented children from being ostracized.  He quietly replied “Yes, but they don’t always work.”

His eyes fell on his son who had become preoccupied with a bee collecting pollen. He then shared with me that his son had felt bullied at times in public schools, and that for his entire educational experience, he never really had any true friends, and that he certainly didn’t feel that he belonged.

As we concluded the tour, I asked the young man if he was ready to join the classroom and meet his new friends. His eyes lit up as he looked at me with awe and asked, “Do I have friends here already?”  I replied “Of course you do, everybody is friends here. All of the students are friends with each other!” He happily skipped along as we made our way to the main schoolhouse eagerly anticipating the group of friends he was about to meet. 

When we got to his classroom, the students were in performing arts class; but his new teacher and aide were waiting for him. They showed him his desk, which was covered in cards that his classmates had made to welcome him. His jaw dropped when he saw all of the cards and his hands began to shake with excitement as he carefully read them. I walked over to him and asked him if he had seen the whiteboard behind him. 

When he turned around, he saw a huge welcome sign with his name on it in bright colorful letters.  He squealed with delight, “Dad, look at what my friends made for me!” showing his father the cards and pointing to the whiteboard. His teacher took him to meet his classmates and join the class in session while his father and I went to my office to fill out paperwork.

When we returned at the end of the school day to pick up the young man, we watched him saying goodbye to all his new friends/classmates.  When I asked him how his day went, he replied, “It was the best day of my life!” He said I was right that all of the kids here were his friends, even the kids that weren’t in his class. He said to his father, “This place is better than Disney!”  The father said he had never seen his son so happy. 

This is what Belonging is all about. This boy finally had a place where he felt like he was accepted and could and would belong.

Rachel Dewees
Latham Admissions Assistant

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Latham Works News

Horticulture is one of the most popular jobs on campus.  There is much to do, as we grow plants from seed, root cuttings, or purchase young ornamental plants to raise.  Also, through our relationships with local businesses, we receive donated cut flowers that students arrange and deliver around the Latham campus.  It is a truly amazing experience when you bring our students and flowers together. Flowers have such a positive effect on everyone’s mood.  Walking into the greenhouse changes people; some are stimulated by the colors, aromas, and textures while others are calmed; appearing less anxious or agitated. 

Preparing flowers is an art form. Our students can explore their creativity in arranging and learning what works and doesn't work with much opportunity to improvise. Students may work individually or in groups, but when the work is done, it is time to deliver their bouquets or plants. The students have a chance to brighten someone else’s day.

Andy Needel
Vocational Teacher

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Celebrating Philanthropy on Cape Cod

Bob Newman of Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club Accepts the Business of the Year Award at Philanthropy Day 2012

On Wednesday, November 12th, ten Latham Centers Board Members, staff and affiliates will attend Philanthropy Day on Cape Cod in Hyannis, MA, hosted by Philanthropy Partners of the Cape and Islands. This is one of the largest nonprofit events of the year on Cape Cod with some 600 attendees. Offering a variety of educational speakers, workshops and networking opportunities, including a Luncheon Awards Celebration, Philanthropy Day is in its 18th year.
The sold-out conference celebrates philanthropy on Cape Cod and the Islands by bringing together a plethora of philanthropy professionals, philanthropists, volunteers, and community leaders under one roof. Latham has a had a close association with this high-profile day having nominated several past winners in the volunteer and business of the year award categories. And Latham's own Gerry Desautels, VP of Development and Community Outreach, has served as Event Co-Chair in 2013 and 2014, managing a committee comprised of some 20 volunteers. The committee meets year-round to plan the big day in November which is National Philanthropy Month. Latham is very grateful for the generosity of the community and enjoys giving back through its engagement with Philanthropy Day. To learn more, visit

Friday, November 7, 2014

Latham Employee John Bonanni Receives Notable CCYP Scholarship

He is Second Staffer to Win this Prestigious Scholarship in 2014  

Latham employee John Bonanni made everyone at Latham Centers proud when he accepted a $2,500 scholarship from the Career Connect initiative of Cape Cod Young Professionals at their 10th Annual Anniversary Celebration at Chatham Bars Inn on November 6th. Bonanni was awarded the monies after a competitive review process vetted by CCYP, a volunteer review Board, and the Cape Cod Foundation. Bonanni’s CCYP scholarship will go far in helping him to complete a Master's in Education program at Bridgewater State University with a special education concentration. (Latham employee Dawn Dinnan received a similar scholarship in CCYP's Spring 2014 scholarship award round.

Bonanni, an active writer and established teacher working in the Race Point Classroom at the Latham School campus, concentrates on arts in education, mindfulness, sensory activities, and community outings. Students and staff alike gravitate towards him as his outgoing, expressive, and humorous personality precedes him. Bonanni has been with Latham since 2008 and first worked on the Residential side of the house for both Children's and Adult Services. He most recently transferred back to Children's to teach at Latham School.
Outside of Latham, Bonanni spearheaded the Cape Cod Poetry Review where he currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief. Also receiving grant funding from the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod for the Cape Cod Poetry Review, Bonanni has set himself above his CCYP Scholarship competition as a consistently active member of his community.

CCYP’s 10th Anniversary Celebration also included information on the impressive increase in volunteers and membership over the course of the past year for the organization. Highlights included the results of the Shape the Cape Survey and a new Mentor Exchange Program.

The new projects and programs established by CCYP over the past year align with CCYP's goals to retain and recruit a diverse workforce for our region, build healthy and vibrant communities, and increase civic engagement for the betterment of the future of Cape Cod. To learn more about the CCYP Career Connect Scholarship Program visit here.

Development Associate

TIP of the WEEK: Bladder issues in PWS

Many of our kids and adults have issues with urinary incontinence. This is often seen as behavioral, but the truth is, although it can be, it seldom is something that they have control over. The typical person feels the need to urinate when the bladder is half full (about one cup) and has extreme urgency when the bladder is near full (about 2 cups). Individuals with PWS does not feel that initial "half full" urge to urinate, and by the time they do feel the need to go, the bladder is nearly full. This means that by the time they feel the urge, it is almost too late. You know this too well if you have ever been stuck in traffic with a person with PWS that once he or she has to go, you have minutes at most to get to a bathroom. So here is what you can do:

1. Plan bathroom breaks at least every hour whether your child has the urge to go or not.

2. The flow of a person with PWS is different as well and he or she should be encouraged to wait several seconds before stepping away from the toilet. It may take up to 30 seconds for the flow of urine to start.

3. Encourage your PWS individual to take in fluids during the daytime and less so in the evening. Overnight incontinence is extremely common. Restricting fluids after dinner will help with this.

4. Avoid shaming of any kind. This will only foster sneaking behavior around incontinence such as hiding wet underclothes and pants, unwanted behaviors due to embarrassment or guilt, etc...

Don't forget that people with PWS are more prone to hyperhydration than a non-PWS person. Hyperhydration can be just as or even more dangerous than dehydration. Always check with your child's doctor as to how much fluid your child should drink each day.

Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services