Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Student Newspaper Article: Flower of summer with Friends

Flower of summer with Friends
Poem By: Alexandra M.

Toes in the sand and water
Warm weather breezes the land and sky.
Love being with friends
Leaving cares is in the air
Shells all around the ground.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Time To Go Shopping

We’re in the midst of summer clothing shopping! Clothing shopping is a time for more community utilization. The students shop for stylish, age and weather appropriate clothing. This is also another way of putting learned math and social skills to work. It’s a fun experience for both student and staff.
The students are very excited about spending more 1:1 time with staff. Clothing shopping is an opportunity to learn how to comparison shop for the best sales; getting the “best bang for their bucks”.

"I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch."
~Gilda Radner

Friday, June 25, 2010

Arts Festival Highlights Student’s Talents

We have had quite a year here at Latham. The kids have worked especially hard this year putting together the 4th Annual Arts Festival which took place Friday June 18th. Students worked all year exploring different forms of art; including dance, pottery, painting, sculpting, writing, and knitting. All of their hard work was on display for the Festival as well as numerous musical performances by each class. Everyone had a wonderful time celebrating each other’s talents. The newspaper class put out their first edition. Community Service displayed the adorable baby blankets and booties that they have made for local charities. Tap class put on a wonderful routine which had everyone clapping. And the art class and pottery class displayed all of their amazing work that they created over the past year. Each student took pride in what they achieved and can’t wait to start preparing for next year.

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open."
~John Barrymore

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nursing News

Latham School continues to look for ways to improve the care we provide. The nursing department now has the capability to do on site hearing screening as we purchased an Audiometer. This will allow us to identify Hearing limitations early on and provide early intervention.

Incredibly, our first screening identified a student who came to us identified as hearing impaired.

Our testing showed she has perfect hearing but has a problem processing information. She will be receiving the appropriate therapy going forward.”

Jane Blum, R.N.
Director of Nursing

"He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything."
~Arabic Proverb

Monday, June 21, 2010

Student Newspaper Article: Community Service at Latham

(Pictured: From left to right: Stephanie, HyeJin, Angela, Jeanne, Alex, Brittany, and Kaitlin. Not in picture: Stephie)

Written By: Leona

The Latham Centers Community Service Club was started in September of 2009. Angela Cloutier and Stephie Zuckerman are the leaders of this generous and crafty club. The club has consisted of the following student members: Cairre, Angel, Tasia, HyeJin, Kaitlyn, Brittany, Stephanie, Alex and Jeanne.
As a group, the Community Service Club has used their skills in knitting and crocheting to make multiple items such as baby hats, mittens, booties, scarves, blankets, and sweaters. These items are then taken to the Baby Center in Hyannis, Massachusetts where they are given to mothers in need. Angela, one of the club leaders, wanted to offer her thoughts.
“It is a great feeling to know that I am making something for someone who needs it and I think all the ladies in this club feel the same way as I do."
The Community Service club is looking towards the future. The club is in desperate need of new members for the next school year. If you are at all interested in joining this wonderful cause, please see Stephie or Angela in the Bass River Classroom.

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do."
~Edward Everett Hale

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nurse Barbara Baur Creates Water Program

At June’s community meeting, Children’s nurse Barbara Baur was recognized for a project she developed. Over the last six months, Barb has been working to get our students to drink more water since many of our students have difficulty staying hydrated. Hydration is especially a concern for students diagnosed with PWS.

Through Barb’s efforts, this problem has been greatly minimized and students are regularly getting their needed liquids. Thank you Barb for going above and beyond in service to the kids.

"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."
~Oscar Wilde

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Every Month A Community Celebration

Latham is a strong, tight knit community. Part of the reason we stay that way is because we regularly get together and celebrate everything that is going right. Once a month, students, administrators, school staff, clinicians, nurses and residential staff meet in the dining area to check in with each other.

Although the meeting is only 45 minutes long, a lot of discussion is packed into that time. Typically a clinician opens the meeting with a “Mindfulness” activity that helps every to center themselves and re-focus after the transition from school. Campus news and events are then passed along to the community. This month there was some discussion about our parking area being paved and when that would be completed. New members of our community, both student and staff, are then introduced and welcomed.

After that the floor is opened up to student validations. At this point students can raise their hands and give a validation. The rules of this are they must say something nice that an individual has done for them over the past month and something they are proud of themselves for. This can be a really nice event to watch the kids participate in.

The end of the meeting is left to monthly recognition. There are a number of students that get certificates every month for being good students, suitemates or keeping their rooms clean. Latham’s community meeting is a wonderful time to come together and celebrate everything we are.

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men."
~Herman Melville

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

West Wing Kite Flying

The West Wing kicked off the warm, spring weather with a kite flying trip to the beach. Five students and two staff made a stop at the local Christmas tree Shop where each student was able to pick out and purchase their own kite. From colorful patterns, to movie themed pictures, each kite was carefully chosen.
After a short ride to Satucket beach everyone was eager to get their kites in the air. The breeze was perfect and all kites made it in flight. Some students sat on the sand watching as their kite floated high in the sky, while others took the approach of running back and forth, only releasing a short amount of kite string. It was the first time two of the students had ever flown a kite before.
All of the kites were carefully pulled back from the sky and packed away for another day of flying fun.

"Imagination is the highest kite one can fly"
~Lauren Bacall

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Latham Hawks Awarded Chiquita Champion Honor

The Latham Hawks Special Olympics program was named as a Chiquita Champion this week. This award is given by Chiquita Bananas and honors coaches, athletes and teams that excel in their given area. Latham was recognized as the winner for the New England region. Way to go Hawks!!!

CLICK HERE to see the summary and a picture of one of our teams.

"Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success."
~Author Unknown

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Message From Executive Director Anne McManus About Summertide

Please help us make this summer extra special for our students. As kids, we all loved SUMMER VACATION! We remember it as a time of infinite possibilities for fun and adventure. The desire to make summer special and meaningful for our students is foremost on our minds.

Since we work with special needs children 365 days a year providing intensive treatment and special education services, our job is especially challenging. So in 2002, we created Summertide, an eight-week summer enrichment program designed to give our students a variety of vibrant and highly stimulating experiences that are both educational and fun.

Summertide’s structure helps us meet our students’ academic requirements at the same time giving them unique and exciting opportunities to interact and enjoy their summer environment. Community outings, for instance, take place on a much more frequent basis than is possible during the regular school year. Offered throughout the summer are:

Clubs: arts and crafts, pottery, drama and dance, computer, reading, video and photography, hiking and sports.

Activities: yoga, swimming, ball games, whale watches, biking and bowling.

Field Trips: Museum of Natural History, National Seashore, Heritage Village, Barnstable County Fair, Cape Cod Museum of Arts, Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, Boston Museum of Science, New England Aquarium and the Newport Mansions.

Summertide also helps instill in our students:
  • The importance of caring for the environment
  • Understanding the history of the area and its cultural resources
  • The possibilities for part-time employment in the community with area businesses
  • The opportunities for volunteerism

Summertide has provided our students with another lens through which to view and interact with their community, and also for the community to view and interact with our students.

At the end of the summer we celebrate! The students share their experiences with fellow students, teachers and staff. The children love Summertide , as evidenced by the decline in behavioral issues overall throughout the summer.

The additional staffing and activities has helped make Summertide a positive experience for our students and is so important to their growth and development. Our budget this year is $35,000. We ask you to partner with us by making a donation specifically toward Summertide’s enrichment activities and field trips.

We hope you will help us to continue offering this exceptional program to our students; and help them have a summer full of fun and adventure!

To donate, please CLICK HERE.

"Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something."
~Henry David Thoreau

Related Posts:
Summertide News 2009
End of Summer Celebration!
From The Children's Program, An Outing to Krista Kay's!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Trails On Cape Cod

A group of Latham students have been trail riding since the early spring at Nancy Sheridan's farm Emerald Hollow. They go out for an hour long ride through forests, meadows and beside kettle ponds. They are honing their equestrian skills as well as having a lot of fun. This is a great source of exercise and gives the students a lesson in balance, as well as learning how to relate to the horse. Students must keep a horse length away from the horse in front of them and this teaches them to focus and observe the world around them. Nancy and her daughter Niki are very patient, as well as terrific, enthusiastic teachers.

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle."
~Winston Churchill

Friday, June 4, 2010

Latham’s Asinotherapy Program Gallops (slowly) Off To A Great Start

The Asinotherapy program has begun! The residents and staff of Great Hill are learning how to be safe around the donkeys, and how to care for them. Angus and Moonbeam are happy to get lots of attention at their new home, and are frequently observed playing ball, running around, or laying in the shade.

Asinotherapy is a therapy where a donkey is the principal support. People can learn a tremendous amount by leading and caring for donkeys. People also learn wonderful lessons observing the tender, patient and quiet demeanor of the donkey. Asinotherapy, or “donkey therapy”, is considered especially helpful for individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome. A gentle, but at times stubborn, personality is commonly recognized between them and this mirroring provides many opportunities for learning. In order to lead a donkey you need to know where you are going and to be focused on the goal.

This type of therapy was recognized at last years PWS international conference held in Germany as a best practice for treatment of Prader Willi Syndrome. We have replicated the program they created in Germany and look forward to seeing the results.

"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra."
~Jimmy Johnson

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

African Drumming Is Good Medicine

The Children’s Program is in the midst of developing a African drumming curriculum. Six drums, a pair of mariachis and a set of shakers have been purchased for materials. African drums are designed to sit between the players legs while they are played.

African drumming has been shown to be enjoyable and therapeutic for special needs children, especially those with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Having the drum between your legs while it is played sends vibrations through the drummers entire body. This provides valuable sensory stimulation. The rhythmic drumming is also a tremendous amount of fun for our kids with PWS.

The drums were played for the first time by our boys from Simpkins. Although most had no previous drumming experience, everyone soon got the hang of it and the group had a lot of fun. We expect that the drums will be getting much more use in the future. There was even talk about putting together a demonstration at our annual End of the Year Celebration.

"Music is what feelings sound like."
~Author Unknown