Friday, May 27, 2011

The Value of Specialized PWS Placement

(This article appears in PWSA (USA) June newsletter The Gathered View)

Samantha sits at the lunch table with her friends, laughing, gossiping and talking about things that teenage girls talk about. She looks forward to after-school activities, visits home and shopping trips. Samantha is a regular girl, doing what girls do--going to school during the day and having fun with her friends after school and on the weekends. At her school Sam is a typical student; she is not an outsider, not the girl with the behaviors or mountains of challenges to overcome. She is popular and well-liked by her teachers and her friends.

Sam has PWS, but she is not “that student”, or one of the students in the separate classroom, because most of her peers also have a diagnosis of PWS. Samantha came to The Latham School in November 2009 from a special needs school in New York. That school had years of experience with special needs, but had no other children with PWS and, as frequently happens, expected Sam to fit into their program because their program was not suited to meet her needs. But as many of us who have worked with, loved and cared for people with PWS know that this diagnosis is unique, and without a deep understanding of PWS a child or adult can unintentionally be placed in a setting that can jeopardize their lives.

Sam’s anxiety continued to increase, and her feelings of helplessness were displayed as serious self-injury which, on at least one occasion, led to the need for emergency lifesaving surgery.
She came to Latham Centers 14 months ago with severe self-injurious behaviors. She wore a helmet, mitts on her hands and had 2:1 supervision 24/7. Upon admission Sam’s helmet and mitts were removed, and her new life began. Transitions are never easy and this was no exception, but nobody gave up on Sam. Instead of Sam being asked to fit into the program, the program molded itself to fit her needs. Soon her anxiety started to decrease, and the incidents of self-harm decreased as well.
Today Sam has best friends, crushes on boys in her class and recently made high honor roll at school. In other words, Sam has a full, meaningful life that she is proud of. From an angry, scared and withdrawn girl, she has flourished into a charming, outgoing, compassionate and brave young woman with the help of her family, teachers, staff and peers who understand her and help her to use her many strengths to overcome the challenges that are inherent with PWS. ■

~Patrice Carroll, Latham Center
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Help PWS New England to Raise Money and Awareness

On June 4th, the annual PWS walk/silent auction will take place at Borderlands Park in North Easton. There are a number of great prizes to win and to bid on. The attached article details the roots of the walk’s beginning.  Click HERE to read the article.

If you can't make the walk but would like to make a donation, please click HERE.

“Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”
~John Wesley

Latham Hawks Run, Jump and Throw to Win

"Team means Together Everyone Achieves More!" 
~Author Unknown

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Improvements to the Brewster Campus

If you were to walk on to the Brewster campus today, it would not look as pristine as it normally does. The center of our campus is a construction zone. Our maintenance team is hard at work creating a playing field that with a surrounding walking path. Once completed, this field will serve many useful functions and will be a great centerpiece for the campus.

"I have never had so many good ideas day after day 
as when I worked in the garden."
~John Erskine

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Please Help Spread the Word

As part of PWS Awareness Month, Prader Willi Syndrome Association (USA) is striving to reach 1000 "likes" on their Facebook page. If you are a member of Facebook please log on and “Like” their page by clicking HERE.

Still haven't visited Latham Center's on Facebook?  Check us out by clicking HERE and pressing "Like".  You will be updated with the latest Latham Center's news, photos and information.

This is a fun and easy way to help bring awareness to Prader Willi Syndrome.  Thanks for your support!

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” 
~H.E. Luccock

Monday, May 16, 2011

Latham Centers Stages Second Annual Latham Charity Golf Classic at Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club

 Registration Now Open with Early Bird Player Rate through September 1st

Brewster, MA- Player registration and tournament sponsor opportunities are both available for the Second Annual Latham Centers’ Charity Golf Classic at the private Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster, Massachusetts.  The Tournament takes place on Monday, October 17 with an 11:00 a.m. shotgun start on Cape Cod’s only Nicklaus design course.  Event proceeds benefit life-transforming programs for Latham Centers’ children and adults with emotional, cognitive and physical disabilities.

The $175 golf player registration fee ($199 after September1) includes player gift, box lunch, and 18 holes of golf with cart, followed by a cocktail hour, sumptuous dinner, raffle, awards ceremony and silent and live auctions in the Linx Pavilion at the Ocean Edge Golf Clubhouse.  Space is limited, and pre-registration is required.  Players and sponsors may register online by clicking HERE.  Several major sponsor opportunities remain, and include complimentary player registration.  Major 2011 sponsors already include Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club, Cape Cod Media Group, Foremost Footwear, Coastal Engineering, and Hyannis Honda.  Tournament sponsorship opportunities start at $150.

Raffle and auction donations are also being accepted at this time. For more information, contact Gerry Desautels at or call 774-353-9296.

"It's easy to make a buck.  It's a lot tougher to make a difference." 
~Tom Brokaw

Friday, May 13, 2011

Latham Dedicates Bill’s Barn and Celebrates Angus the Donkey’s Birthday

Under sunny, spring skies, Latham Centers’ adult residents of Sandwich House welcomed scores of friends and family to the dedication of “Bill’s Barn” and the fifth birthday celebration of Angus the resident donkey.  The May 6th celebration was just two days shy to the year of the completion of the Sandwich House Donkey Barn constructed for Latham’s new Asinotherapy Program.  Guests were treated to donkey demonstrations by trainers Kris and Bob Thompson and “Donkey 101” resident graduates followed by celebrations on the beautiful grounds.

Thanks to the generous support and commitment of the late William “Bill” McClennan, Barbara Swaebe, the Yawkey Foundation II and Friends of the Donkeys, Latham piloted this cutting edge “Donkey Therapy” program with the arrival of Angus and his sidekick Moonbeam in 2010.  As a way to honor the late Mr. McClennan’s enormous and longtime volunteer legacy with Latham, we saw it fitting to dedicate the Donkey Barn in his name while celebrating Angus, the Vermont-born tan gelding he purchased for Latham.  Mr. McClennan’s daughter Ki kindly obliged in unveiling the Bill’s Barn sign along with Latham Executive Director Anne McManus as some 50 guests of all ages looked on.

To date, Latham has trained six adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) and five staff in the Asinotherapy program designed to build trust, self-esteem, and social skills with our individuals while fostering learning and nurturing in the process.  Toward that end, the second class of PWS adults and Latham staff just began Asinotherapy training.  Latham’s ultimate goal is to have Latham adults train and mentor Latham children in this cutting-edge and innovative life-changing program as they form intergenerational bonds with one another.

Moonbeam the donkey turns five on September 3, 2011.  Stay tuned to learn how we will mark this loveable creature’s birthday with the Latham family.

To donate to the Latham Centers Asinotherapy Program, visit: and click on Make a Donation.

"The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all." 
~Leo Rosten

Related Posts:
Barn Raising in Sandwich
Congratulations Donkey Training Graduates!
Long time Latham Center's Volunteer William A. McClennan Honored

Cape Cod is a Great Community

Just wanted to share this wonderful note that was dropped off today. On Saturday the Latham Hawks are going to participate in the Special Olympics. All of the employees at North Falmouth Pharmacy took it upon themselves to create this poster cheering our kids on. This action meant much to our students and even more to our staff who were touched by the support offered.

Our kids thrive because of the many, many people around them that care for their well being on and off the Latham campus. Go Hawks! You have many people cheering for you!

"Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent." 
~Langston Coleman

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring Special Olympics Practices Begin

It’s finally feeling like spring on Cape Cod, which means that it’s time for the start of practices for the Latham Adult Services Special Olympics track and field team! Last Saturday, our athletes were out running, race walking, and throwing shotputs, tennis balls 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 in training in hopes of bringing home a medal, and some great memories.

The assessment rounds for our individuals on the Cape Cod Special Olympics swim teams were held at Bridgewater State College last Sunday. All swam their best to qualify for the summer games in Boston. They will be holding a swim-a-thon this coming weekend to raise money for their teams. Any support would be appreciated.

"Runners just do it - 
they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first."  
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Latham Centers Earns Expedited Accreditation from Council on Accreditation

Latham is First Human Service Organization Headquartered on Cape to
Achieve Distinction Following Extensive 16-month Process

Latham Centers, Inc., a leading residential treatment center for children and adults with behavioral, developmental and physical disabilities, today announced its fast-track accreditation by the international Council on Accreditation (COA).  Latham is the first human service organization headquartered on the Cape to receive the COA’s expedited seal of approval.  Founded in 1970, Latham Centers serves approximately 90-100 children and adults annually at its residential campus in Brewster, eight adult group homes across the Cape, and supported community and independent living residences.  It is the only treatment center on the East Coast specializing in Prader-Willi Syndrome—a rare genetic disorder with no known cure.

Latham Centers first entered the accreditation process in January of 2010, culminating with a site visit in March 2011 by COA.  Latham voluntarily pursued the intricate 16-month accreditation process toward independent recognition of its achievement of the highest standards of professional practice.  According to COA, Latham’s accreditation was expedited “as a result of not receiving any out of compliance ratings in any of the fundamental practice standards.”

COA partners with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting comprehensive accreditation standards.  Organizations are evaluated against best-practice standards, which are developed using a consensus model with input from a wide range of service providers, funders, experts, policymakers and consumers. COA reviews and reaccredits the entire organization, not just specific programs, to ensure the credibility, integrity, and achievement of the organization as a whole.

“With this accreditation, Latham continues to move forward as one of the state’s premiere not for profit organizations for some of our most vulnerable citizens,” stated Anne McManus, Executive Director of Latham Centers.  McManus, who has over three decades of social work experience in child welfare and human services, added, “Members of the board and staff have each proven their steadfast dedication to our mission, always putting the individuals we serve and their families first.  It’s heartening to receive this resounding, independent recognition.”

"The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; 
it is essentially a part of it." 
~Charles DeLint