Thursday, April 29, 2010

SAIL Program News

The SAIL program at Latham was created to assist women with cognitive challenges to achieve a high living of independence – hence the name Supported Adult Independent Living. Currently SAIL supports 11 women: 7 individuals living in two staffed houses, 2 individuals in shared living homes, and 2 individuals living independently.
All SAIL ladies are encouraged to “be all that they can be.” Each of them has a skill and/or a passion that they express with the help of staff. One young woman is currently creating a unique jewelry line that she plans to offer for sale by summer. Two of the SAIL residents, who love to sing and perform, take music lessons at a private studio in Hyannis. One of our songstresses recently performed on stage to cheers and applause.
The photo above is of another SAIL woman who was honored at an achievement award breakfast sponsored by DDS this Spring. She was recognized for the great strides she has made in her life this year. This young person is in the process of moving from a staffed residence to living independently in her own apartment.

Courtney Voss, SAIL resident
Susan Norton, SAIL Supervisor
Ann McManus, Executive Director, Latham Centers
The great staff for the SAIL program seeks every opportunity to help our individuals deepen their learning and forward the action in their lives. SO far….the sky’s the limit.
Susan Norton
SAIL Supervisor

"We didn't all come over on the same ship, but we're all in the same boat."
~Bernard M. Baruch

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Latham Shows Its Red Sox Spirit

Although it is not mandatory for all students to join, an overwhelming majority of our student body showed its love for Red Sox Nation by participating in Red Sox Day. Students were encouraged to wear any Red Sox clothing they had and then later posed for a picture. We wish the Red Sox a successful season!

"Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first." ~Frederick B. Wilcox

Friday, April 23, 2010

Barn Raising in Sandwich

Volunteers from the community will be helping Latham Centers, Inc. on May 8th by participating in an old fashioned barn-raising to welcome our new, miniature donkeys to their new home in Sandwich. Yes, donkeys!
This therapeutic approach, called Asinotherapy, is modeled on a program currently in operation in Germany where adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome are interacting and caring for these gentle animals, learning care-giving skills and patience along the way.
For more information on the donkey project, or on Prader-Willi Syndrome contact: Executive Director Anne McManus, Program Director Mike Marchese or Director of Training Chris Gallant at Latham Centers, Inc., Brewster, Ma. 508-896-5776.

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms."
~George Eliot

Related Posts:
Pony Camp is a Big Hit!
Pets Make Great Adult Companions
Student Letters To The Cape Cod Times

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Adult Services Special Olympics News

It’s April! It’s finally spring! It’s time for the start of practices for the Latham Adult Services Special Olympics track and field, cycling and swim teams! April showers forced us to cancel our first practice last Saturday, but starting this week, 30 of our athletes will be out running, race walking, bicycling and throwing shotputs and softballs, in preparation for the Cape and Islands area games in May and the Boston summer games in June. All are looking forward to a great season and are ready to start training in hopes of bringing home a medal, and having a fantastic time.

Also this year we have started a small Special Olympics equestrian team. They meet on Wednesdays at a local stable, and will compete in a one day competition in October. Along with riding, they are also learning proper care of the horses, and the responsibilities involved in cleaning and maintaining the stables. The members of this team are very excited about this latest endeavor and are enjoying their time with the horses.

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
~T.S. Eliot

Related Posts:
L.A.S.A.R. Group News
Latham Players at it Again
Adult Services Fishing Trip a Success

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Top Ten Reasons Latham Excels In PWS Residential Placement

10. Cape Cod is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Our main campus, where our children’s program is housed, is in the historic town of Brewster while our adult houses are situated in various towns and villages of the Cape. Each town has its own character, appeal and unrivaled natural scenery.

9. We have been working with PWS for a long time. Experience is worth a lot and we have a lot of it. Since 1980 we have been working with individuals with PWS and have been honing our skills since then. Each day we learn more and each day our services improve.

8. There is strength in numbers. For many of our students and individuals, coming to Latham is like discovering a home they never knew they had. For the first time many of them now have peers that are also diagnosed with PWS. Having friends and relationships with people who really understand you builds bonds of belonging, as well as a sense of security.

7. When the food is secure, you can concentrate on the rest of your life. All Latham buildings and residences are food secure. Obviously, this includes all cooking facilities, but it also extends to offices, events and staff belongings. By doing our part to make “food” a non-issue, our students and individuals find it easier to focus on other aspects of their lives. Unlike other environments our individuals have no hope in securing additional food sources here.

6. Delicious, nutritious meals. Our PWS menu provides high quality nutrition that is delicious and varied on a menu that is structured and predictable. Our students and individuals know well beforehand what the meal is and how much of it they are going to get. This consistency is crucial to what we do.

5. Our staff are leaders in the field. As said earlier, experience can be priceless. Latham staff are highly trained; specifically in working with individuals with PWS. Each staff member attends a week long orientation, monthly trainings, weekly staff meetings, exposure to outside experts on PWS and the support of other highly, trained and experienced colleagues. Our staff are the ones who make the program exceptional.

4. Lots and lots of vibrant opportunities. Both our adult and children’s programs offer numerous experiences, outings, activities and events specifically tailored for individuals with PWS. The lives of our students and adults are full of engagement, learning and enjoyment. Whether it is learning through vocational opportunities, enjoying a horseback riding class, creating a work of art or attending a dance with your friends- each day has a wonderful opportunity in it.

3. The Latham program treats the whole person. This is what sets Latham apart. Prader- Willi Syndrome is expressed differently in individuals and needs individual treatment. It is not just a “food disorder” or an issue of creating a solid behavior plan to address issues. It is far more than that and the treatment needs to be fully integrated and knowledgeable of the syndrome. Our entire program has been created specifically to support the students and individuals in our care.

2. The program is a lot of fun. Our students and individuals create wonderful lives while they are with us. As staff members, it is a rare privilege to witness how a new member of our Latham community can blossom in this environment.

1. Latham gets it. As a parent, teacher, referring agency or individual with PWS, if you have talked to the outside world about PWS, you understand what this statement means. Here at Latham we have been in this special field for thirty years and understand the many special challenges of the syndrome.

For more information on Latham Centers, Inc. please contact:

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome."
~Booker T. Washington

Friday, April 2, 2010

Exciting News from our friends at PWSA!

We have received word that ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” featuring the Starkweather family will air on May 2, 2010. Nine-year-old Ethan Starkweather has Prader-Willi syndrome.

The five member Starkweather family from Tulsa, OK consists of parents Amy and Toen, and three sons, Jared, 15, and Ryan, 13, and Ethan. Shortly after learning they were selected to receive the home, they were whisked away to a family vacation while their home was torn down and a new one built in its place.

The Starkweathers are investigating how to turn their good fortune into a way to help others with PWS by hosting a fundraiser benefitting PWSA (USA).

As a reminder, the Discovery Health Channel will air a “Mystery Diagnosis” episode featuring the Heybach family on March 22nd at 10:00pm Eastern Standard Time. John Heybach is co-chair of the PWSA (USA) Board of Directors. His son, Conor, who has PWS, sits on the Adults with PWS Advisory Board for PWSA (USA).
Please spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues as a way to help with PWS awareness. Lastly, please take note that PWSA (USA) has no control over airing dates. It is possible that the show times could change. PWSA (USA) cannot always know when and if this will happen. Please check your local listings as another way to verify and follow show times.
Thank you.
Jodi O’Sullivan
Director, Development and Communications
(image courtesy of Extreme Makeover Home Edition)

"No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another." Thank you.
~Author Unknown

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Latham Employee Helps Rescue Dolphins

During the day, Bill Graziadei is a member of Latham’s Adult Nursing team, but at night, and other non-working days he is a volunteer for IFAW Marine Mammal Rescue & Research group.
Lately there have been a number of dolphin strandings on Cape Cod and Bill has helped in these rescue efforts. He loves his work with this organization and says that “The rewards are like those received by working with our clients at Latham Centers.” Below is a link to video and photos of Bill trying to rescue a dolphin.

Click HERE to see a video and view article.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
~Dr. Seuss