Friday, June 28, 2013

TIP of the WEEK: Daily Schedules

One of the easiest and most effective ways of easing the anxiety of our kids with PWS is to be sure that they know what to expect each day. A daily schedule will not only diminish stress but will save you from the "what's next" set of questions that will start at sun up and not end until bedtime. Many of our kids have difficulty telling time and understanding time frames.  "At 10:30" or " in a half hour" doesn't always mean anything to the kids that have challenges with time. Our kids do very well with sequential schedules. Scheduling non preferred activities before preferred activities will help make transitions easier and less hectic. For example:
  • Wake up
  • Shower/bath/ brush teeth
  • Breakfast
  • Arts and crafts
  • Clean your room
  • Snack
  • Outside activity
  • Practice reading/math/ADL skills
  • Lunch
  • Tv time

Notice that the activities following the most preferred activities  (usually meals and snacks) are not the least preferred activities. Save those for right before meals and snacks. Time and time frames should be taught but the daily schedule should be more focused on sequence to be sure that your child understands it easily. A daily schedule will give our kids peace of mind and anything that can reduce stress is always a good thing!

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

Related Posts:
Surviving Summer Vacation 
Report from the Behavior Group
Executive Function Disorder 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Latham Playhouse In Chatham Fourth of July Parade

This Thursday head to the Chatham Fourth of July Parade where you can SEE our Cape Associates Captain Bangs’ House playhouse replica tour through historic Main Street! The floats will be festive and the entertainment endless as our Charity Playhouse makes its way to Chatham for what promises to be a great day! Buy tickets before, during, or after HERE or at Sherwin-Williams in Orleans, Seamen’s Bank in North Eastham, She Sells and JoMamas in Brewster and all Cape Associates branches in North Eastham, Chatham and Yarmouthport.

Read recent coverage of the Playhouse Project in the Cape Cod Times HERE

Submitted by:
Gerry Desautels
VP of Development and Community Outreach

Related Posts:

Community Outing: Fire Station

Today we had another successful community based instructional outing with the West Wing.  The students talked about the function of the local FD and we talked about some anxieties that may come due to lights, loud sirens and the ambulance.  The students completed a work/coloring sheet and took a visit to the Brewster FD for a guided tour and a chance to sit in the trucks and try on a fireman’s jacket! The students were engaging throughout and had many questions for fire personnel.  Thanks to all who assisted with this project…..I have included a few pictures from our trip.

Submitted by:
Travis Tebbetts
Residential Counselor

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lessons to Learn

Summer at Latham fills me with joy! Growing up in an urban/suburban environment had its perks but dropping by the beach on a sunny day wasn’t one of them. The trade-off we make is that for the next 10 weeks or so, a gazillion tourists will be trying to cash in on our happiness. More traffic, fewer parking spaces, long lines at the supermarkets and waiting times at restaurants. Yes, it would be so easy to growl at them and be less than welcoming. But you know what? We are all tourists somewhere at some point. There are life lessons here for our students. Being polite and helpful makes for good citizens and ambassadors of our town. Helping lost visitors, being patient in the van in traffic, getting books off of high shelves at the library are acts of kindness and patience and is an accurate description of a Latham student dealing with the unexpected. I could benefit from their example! So, welcome to Cape Cod, home to the greatest kids in the world, the Latham student! To quote Abe Lincoln in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure…."be excellent to each other” (Dude).

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

“Even a snail will eventually reach its destination.” 
 ~Gail Tsukiyama

Related Posts:

Friday, June 21, 2013

TIP of the WEEK: Summer Safety Tips

Summer can be a wonderful time for fun and adventure but it can also be a dangerous time for our kids. Following some basic safety tips can help to keep your summer time safe.

  • Exposure to sun and heat- heat stroke occurs when a person has prolonged exposure to heat coupled with dehydration. Our kids are particularly susceptible to heat injury because of difficulties regulating body temperature combined with a lack of sensation, pale skin and high pain tolerance. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. If possible avoid direct sunlight for more than a few minutes, always use sunscreen and hats and be sure you are close to shade. Stay hydrated and decrease outdoor exercise during peak sunlight hours.

  • Bug bites- bug bites present a unique set of issues for our kids. Skin picking sites often start with a bug bite and we all know how quickly those can get out of control. Prevention is key- use big spray, avoid bright colored clothing and cover arms and legs when walking through the woods or near standing water.

  • Drowning- I recently read an article that said that the number one cause of accidental death among children with special needs is drowning. Swimming is a great activity for kids with PWS and should be encouraged but safety must come first. Remember that low muscle tone prevents the body from being able to tolerate long periods of physical exertion. A child may be able to swim to the middle of the pond but not be able to swim back and due to sensory processing difficulties may not be able to identify feelings of fatigue in time to do anything about it. Encourage time in the water but provide constant supervision.

  • Hydration- staying hydrated is a critical part of summer safety. Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion, behavioral outbursts and GI issues. Find out from your pediatrician the best water intake goal for your child and stick to it. Sticker charts and goal wheels are a good way of involving your child and will teach them healthy practices in the process.

Summer should be a fun and exciting time for your family and following some basic safety tips will keep it that way. From everyone at Latham we wish you a fabulous summer!!

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” 
~L.M. Montgomery

Related Posts:
Exercise Wisely
On the Lighter Side
Summer Snack Ideas

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Save the Date and Register Today!

We hope to see many families, professionals and care providers at our next conference! Please come and join us. It will be a wonderful opportunity to meet the experts, hear from other families and enjoy each others company in a beautiful setting at Ocean Edge, on Cape Cod Bay in Brewster, MA. It's our little secret, Cape Cod's most spectacular month!

Register Online HERE!

The Latham Playhouse makes its way to Seamen’s Bank in North Eastham

Seamen’s Bank, located at the historic Brackett Farm in North Eastham, has been one of the many buildings that Cape Associates has replicated since 2001, when it began building Playhouses for Charity’s around Cape Cod.

The bank has been a critical player in providing visibility of the Playhouses, and this year Latham’s Captain Bangs’ replica will be on Seamen’s beautiful lawn until July 4th, when we head towards Chatham for the 4th of July Parade. Keep track of the Cape Associates’ replica of Captain Bangs’ home as it travels throughout Cape Cod this summer.  Stop by to appreciate the incredible craftsmanship and quaint charm of the Latham Captain’s House Replica.

Interested in winning this playhouse and calling it your own? Seamen’s Bank will be selling tickets: 1 for $10 and 3 for $20, on behalf of Latham Centers. Also, you can purchase raffle tickets online HERE, or at any Cape Associates Office

The winning ticket and runner up prizes will be drawn October 21st, 2013 at the 4th Annual Latham Charity Golf Classic at Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster. You need not be present to win. For more information, please contact Katrina Fryklund: 774.353.9126, or

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

4th Annual Latham Charity Golf Classic: Register for Early Bird Rate or Play for Free!

Registration Now Open with Early Bird Player Rate through
September 10th HERE

Player registration and tournament sponsor opportunities are now available for the Fourth Annual Latham Centers' Charity Golf Classic at the private Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster, Massachusetts. The bramble-format tournament takes place on Monday, October 21 with an 11:00 a.m. shotgun start on Cape Cod's one and only Nicklaus design course.  Event proceeds benefit life-transforming programs for Latham Centers' children and adults with complex special needs, including Prader-Willi Syndrome.

The $175 golf player registration fee ($199 after September 10th) includes player welcome package, box lunch, 18 holes of golf with cart, followed by a cocktail hour, sumptuous plated dinner, raffle, awards ceremony and silent and live auctions in the Linx Pavilion at the Ocean Edge Golf Clubhouse.  This year, the winner of the Cape Associates Playhouse Raffle to benefit Latham will also be drawn at the banquet reception. Players and sponsors
may register and donate online and buy Playhouse Raffle tickets HERE.  

Players can also "Play for Free" by fundraising $250 or more online for Latham.  
More details HERE.

 Space is limited, and pre-registration is required.  Several major sponsor opportunities remain, and include complimentary player registration. Tournament sponsorship opportunities start at $150. 
For Sponsors Benefits and Inclusions, CLICK HERE.

Raffle and auction donations are also being accepted at this time. 
For more information, contact Gerry Desautels at

or call 774-353-9296.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mini-House Goes to Mayo Beach in Wellfleet

This weekend the Mini-Replica of Captain Bangs’ Captain’s House, built by Cape Associates, traveled to Mayo Beach for Father’s Day Weekend with Baby Gus! After splashing around in the mini-waves, Gus warmed up in the sun with the Mini-Replica.

Keep track of where the Mini-Replica travels next via our Facebook and Blog! And don’t forget… purchase tickets online for the large playhouse (10’ long, 5’ wide, and 8’ tall, at a value of $6,000) to support Latham Programs by clicking HERE!

Submitted by:
Katrina Elizabeth Fryklund, MSC
Development Associate

Related Posts:
Latham Centers Debuts Playhouse Charity Raffle 
13th Annual Cape Associates Charity Playhouse Raffle
Raffle Tickets are on Sale Now

Monday, June 17, 2013

Exploring Our Community: Community Based Instruction

Well today was the first community based instruction outing and it was a great success.  Both West Wing and the Cabin had a brief lesson, including a work/coloring sheet followed by a trip to the Orleans Police Station.  The students were engaging and enthusiastic throughout both the tour and during a Q&A period at the end with Lt. Higgins.   

I would like to thank everyone who assisted in making the trip possible, especially those who rearranged their afternoon schedule for the kids…..thank you.

Attached are a few photos from the trip.

Submitted by:
Travis Tebbetts
Residential Counselor

Related Posts:

Friday, June 14, 2013

TIP of the WEEK: Traditions

Why are traditions so important? Traditions form our culture, they provide us with memories and rituals that tie us to a particular group. Latham has a number of traditions that the kids and staff look forward to and quite frankly, rely on to hold us together as a group and remind us that there is some semblance of normalcy in a very fast moving and hectic world. We celebrate all of the traditional holidays and over the years have created some of our own: the end of year ceremony, annual PWS walk, crafts fair and today we honor and revel at the talent of our kids at the annual art festival. This tradition is a personal favorite of mine because it is a chance for the students to express themselves through painting, dance, song, sculpting and a new medium, book making. Like many of our traditions the art festival is about having fun and being proud of who you are, what you have done and how far you have come.

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

"As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life." 
~John Lubbock

Related Posts:
Singing, Dancing and Creating at Arts Fest
Latham School Update
Lights, Camera, Action

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June Activities

We have quite a busy month. I just wanted to update you on all the goings on here on the Latham Campus:

Celebration of the Arts       June 12th       12:30-2:15           
All our clubs will be on display. The tour will end will a performance from all of our actors and singers!
Drew’s Graduation              June 14th       1:30                        
Drew will graduate from Latham. A job well done.

Best Buddies Prom                June 17th      10-1                       
The much anticipated prom finally arrives. The boys will be in their tuxes and the girls in their dresses. A trolley will transport our students to and from. What a wonderful community effort!

Field Day                              June 18th       12:30-2:30           
Our P.E. teacher, Mary W has worked diligently in preparing for Field Day. Come join us for our luau themed field day!

End of the Year Celebration   June 21st       10:00                     
Celebrate both students, staff and the community as we put the icing on the cake for the year.

Hope to see you there!

Gerald J. Pouliot
Assistant Principal

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Purchase Your Raffle Tickets Now!

1 Ticket for $10 or 3 Tickets for $20 
Purchase online HERE
Or, purchase at any of these Cape Associates offices: 
345 Massasoit Road 
North Eastham, MA 02642
782 Main Street 
Chatham, MA 02633
203 Willow Street, Suite B 
Yarmouthport, MA 02675 

This charming playhouse designed and built by Cape Associates craftsmen is a replica of the antique 1855 Sea Captain's House on the Latham School campus built by Brewster native Elisha Bangs. The Georgian-style wooden playhouse could easily double as a garden shed. From the 1930's to the 1960's, the Captain's House was the site of the popular Latham Restaurant and Inn.
Since 1970 LathamCenters has served more than a thousand children in need of life-changing residential services and support on Cape Cod. Thank you for your participation in the raffle!
Runner up Raffle Prizes
(1) Golf Foursome at private Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club Course, Brewster.
(2) One-Night stay with breakfast at historic Candleberry Inn, Brewster.
(3) Cape Cod Braided Rugs $100 gift certificate.
(4) Gift Basket of All-Natural Goat's Milk Soap made by Latham School children.
Tickets will be drawn October 21, 2013 at the 4th Annual Latham Charity Golf Classic at Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster. You need not be present to win.
Purchase tickets now. Click HERE
For more information, call 774-353-9126 or

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Playhouse Charity Raffle Tickets on Sale Now!

Wouldn't this charming replica of Captain Bangs' house on Latham's Campus look great on your property as a playhouse for your children or grandchildren, or maybe even as a garden shed?  Built by Cape Associates, this quaint playhouse measures 10' long, 8' tall & 5' wide, and is valued at $6,000! Raffle tickets are priced at $10 for 1 and $20 for 3. Buy tickets by CLICKING HERE and look for the Latham Playhouse at events throughout Cape Cod this summer, like the Latham Year End Celebration, Chatham 4th of July Parade, and the PWS Conference!

Submitted by:
Katrina Elizabeth Fryklund, MSC
Development Associate

Monday, June 10, 2013

Latham Community Class Commences in Cotuit with Playhouse Raffle Replica

In a recent exciting announcement, Pam Nolan, Director of Children's Services, and Gerry Pouliot, Vice Principal, launched Latham School's new classroom, Rock Harbor, its first ever classroom designed within the conceptual framework of community education. This class, as a whole, integrates its lessons with community-based outings that add experiential learning to Latham's transitional curriculum. This week, as part of the Art Appreciation component to the classroom, students visited Cotuit Center for the Arts, where students not only admired the center's By the Book exhibit, which ranged in scope from two dimensional pieces to book arts and sculpture, but also saw the inner workings of set design for Cotuit's upcoming play, "Monty Python's Spamalot."

As part of their community outreach, Rock Harbor will also bring a mini replica of the Cape Associates Sea Captain's Playhouse for Raffle out in the community as they did this week to Cotuit. Watch for postings throughout the summer on "Where the Playhouse is on the Cape Today."
For more information on the Raffle to benefit Latham programs Click HERE.

Submitted by:
John Bonanni,
Rock Harbor Teacher

"It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it 
maker and beholder meet." 
~Kojiro Tomita

Related Posts:

Friday, June 7, 2013

TIP of the WEEK: Appreciating Staff

"Choosing to work with and support people means that you are choosing to step outside of yourself, choosing to fill your day with meeting the needs of others, choosing to listen to voices that others prefer not to hear - choosing this means that you, willingly and knowingly, are opening up yourself, your inner'I', your you-ness, to the life and to the will and to the dreams of another. That is an extraordinary choice" -Dave Hingsburger

I am in awe by the work I see happening everyday by the staff working with the children and adults at Latham. Staff come on shift leaving their own worries at the door and give everything they have to ensure that the children and adults in their care get the best care possible. I have seen staff come to work in blizzards, hurricanes and in perfect beach weather because they know how much the people they support depend on them. It is not an easy job. It is not a lucrative job but the rewards are far reaching. There is nothing like seeing progress made and milestones met as a result of your efforts. I have seen staff call on their days off to check on a sick child. I've seen them memorize lyrics to music that they despise just to be able to better relate to an individual. But the day I saw a 25 year old man playing Barbies (high pitched voice and all) with a little girl to cheer her up was the day I knew that I was in the right place! Being a direct care staff is one of the hardest jobs around but knowing that you have made a difference in the life of another person is priceless.

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS services

"Dreams and dedication are a powerful combination."
~William Longgood

Related Posts:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bad Weather is Scary

Some things we can control. Some things we can’t. The weather falls into the second group. And things that we can’t control can be frightening. I complain a lot about the weather. It is too cold, snowy, rainy, and sometimes it is even too hot. That’s what we do, dream of summer in the midst of a January snow and dream of January when the thermometer tops 100° in July. But truly bad weather, the kind recently experienced by the citizens of Oklahoma falls into a different category.

I have never experienced a tornado. I can’t begin to imagine the fear felt by people when they hear the siren or get the report to GO FOR COVER, NOW! We who live on the coast are in the hurricane zone. Fierce storms of epic proportions with terrifying outcomes. But there is a difference. We can prepare. We know it is coming. We have time to board up our windows, stock the supplies, evacuate.

Exposure to disasters is traumatizing. Not everyone is affected in the same way or to the same degree. In the time following a disaster, people with training in disaster relief are deployed to the affected areas to offer help and support to victims. People trained in psychological first aid are there to offer the assistance you or your family need providing immediate and ongoing safety, both physical and emotional, by connecting you to needed supports and services. 

I believe responders in psychological first aid can reduce the incredible stress people exposed to catastrophic events experience. They can’t prevent the storm but maybe, just maybe then can help with the aftermath.

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

"Courage can't see around corners, but goes around them anyway." 
~Mignon McLaughlin