Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crazy Hat Day A Big Hit!

Crazy Hat Day was held at Latham School on Tuesday January 26th and Wednesday January 27th. Sponsored by the Student Council to foster school spirit, students and staff wore “crazy hats”, many of their own making. Gift certificates were awarded to one winner with the “craziest hat” and two runner-ups. The winner was Kevin M, and the two runners up were Leona R and Jessica L.B. Staff also participated enthusiastically in the event.

The Student Council at Latham continues to develop skills in organizing meetings and following up on student concerns. The Student Council has sponsored dances and rallies to support our Special Olympics athletes. The Student Council also focuses on “giving back”. At Latham, learning to provide a needed service and volunteering are an important part of the program. Recently, the Student Council and the Race Point class sponsored a canned food drive to donate food to local food pantries. One group of students is working with a local baby center. These student knit baby items and make fleece blankets to donate.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Latham Profile for: Kelly McCarthy
Residential Counselor for PWS students
Kelly has worked with PWS students on campus for two years.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Kelly: "These amazing kids. They have such warm hearts. I love the moments when I can help them out of a crisis."

What skills are required to work with PWS kids?

Kelly: "Patience is number 1 and this is a skill that can be learned. I’ve grown so much in this area during my time at Latham. Power struggles have to be avoided and you can’t take behaviors personally."

What do you spend most of your time doing?

Kelly: "There is always something going on in the afternoon and evenings. Homework needs to be done, we go on outings in the community, do arts and crafts projects. It’s important to keep the kids busy. Every Wednesday evening we go swimming.

Activities that involve sensory integration are really helpful and they’re fun too. One thing we do is play with shaving cream. We spread it on a table and the kids make designs. It’s fun to touch and play with and one of the results is that the kids pick less. We also use bubble wrap and play tug of war, which gets aggression out and helps with relaxation."

What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers?

Kelly: "You don’t need to have experience with PWS to work here because lots of training is provided. It’s important to make connections with the kids and be able to work cooperatively with the team. It is demanding work and at the end of your shift you need to be able to leave work at work."

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing."
~Albert Schweitzer

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Take The Plunge...Support The Plungees

The Passion Plunge is a Special Olympics fundraiser that takes place annually. This year it is being held at Nantasket Beach in Hull and the Latham Hawks will be there. Your participation is vital in keeping our Special Olympics Program alive and well here at Latham.
You can help in one of three ways...
  • you can come and jump in the frigid waters of Massachusetts Bay with us
  • you can comfortably donate from the warmth of your own home
  • or you can send this message on to five of your closest friends or family.
The water in Hull is freezing in July so it will be absolutely unbearable in March. All Plungees are willing to go through this discomfort because the cause is so important. Please support this very worthy cause by clicking HERE and making a pledge.

See you there!

"Follow your passion, and success will follow you."
~Arthur Buddhold

Friday, January 22, 2010

PWS Worries

In our Social Skills Groups we have done some work on the emotion worry. Other words for worried are stressed, scared, nervous, anxious and upset. Signs we might be worried can be nail biting, fingers in mouth, looking away, picking, pulling our hair, frowning, having a tantrum or looking all over. Sometimes when we are worried we might seem mad, angry, depressed, sad or shy. Our group wants you to know some of the things we worry about:
  • We are going to miss something
  • Getting in trouble (consequences, reminded about boundaries, not earning incentives/privileges)
  • Others know more or know what’s going on and we don’t
  • Blood work
  • Something big is coming up (visits, cheat days, level 1 petitions)
  • Did I forget something?
  • Going somewhere new
  • Missing food/food is late/menu changes/cheat days
  • Meeting new people
  • Feel like someone’s not listening
  • Taking care of Scout/dog off leash
  • Someone else going first
  • Regular staff out
  • Schedule changes
  • Late/missing medication
  • Stealing--someone else steals something of ours and when we steal
  • Transitioning into adult services

"Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which will never happen."
~James Russel Lowell

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nursing Update

Latham will soon have RN coverage on campus Monday to Friday 7:30-9:00PM and Saturday and Sunday as well. The nurses provide assessment and treatment of the children’s medical needs.

"If love can't cure it, nurses can."
~Author Unknown

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Latham Decides On Accreditation Through COA

Latham Centers, Inc. has made the decision to pursue accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. The council was established in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service of America (now the Alliance for Children and Families). More than 1500 private and public organizations that serve over 7,000,000 children, individuals, and families are accredited or are in process.
The Council is deeply committed to promoting standards that insure outstanding care, and quality service to vulnerable children and individuals. Latham is proud to be participating in this process and is currently working closely with the council to develop its self study. This study involves Latham in reviewing all of its policies, procedures and practices. The self study involves our students, residents, staff, stakeholders, and board members. As you might imagine, becoming accredited is a commitment of time and resources; however, we see it as an opportunity to acknowledge what we do well and improve systems where we can. We are excited about the process and look forward to becoming a member of this elite group of human service providers.

"It is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is best from the top."
~Arnold Bennett

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Bringing You Down...Check Out Our Spring Photos!

Some of our student’s photographs are posted on Flickr. Check them out by clicking HERE. Considering how cold and snowy it has been, now may be a good time to admire some of these photos taken last spring and summer.
Latham was contacted by ICVolunteers to have students submit these photographs into an international Creative photography contest to be held later this year. Submissions are due by February 5th.

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."
~Doug Larson