Monday, June 30, 2014

What's Up Latham School?

After a very long winter, and an even longer spring, summer has finally arrived. The students of Latham have found many successes over the course of the year. Multiple students passed their states standardized test, both the Regents (New York) and the MCAS (Massachusetts). Thanks to the Latham Works Vocational Team (Andy and Fred) we have over 50 on-campus jobs and 6 off-campus employment opportunities. Even more amazing, all 47 students are employed in some capacity. 

The students of Latham participated in multiple art shows that stretched from Hyannis to Wellfleet. Teachers created lesson plans that included sensory integration to meet the needs of those with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Classrooms have sensory rooms, sensory boards, classroom pets, and more importantly the most dedicated educators in the world (of course I am biased). Latham has incorporated 21 iPads into the 7 classrooms that has led to more hands-on learning than in years past. The textbook is going the way of the dinosaur! Our transitional classrooms participated in over 130 community outings during the school day placing emphasis on social skills, transportation, human rights, and good old fashioned fun. Students participated in Lights, Camera, Action! a media class that was displayed on the Promethean Boards after the morning announcements. Everything from the joke of the day to the weather and even health tips were shown daily at 8:35 AM.

Shifting our focus to summer programming, the students will continue to attend school, following curriculum and maintaining previously established skills. Teachers have their creative juices flowing and will be providing the students with innovative lesson plans. Sensory Art will be taught and environmental science will be explored using Cape Cod as a natural resource. Our students will visit our world renown beaches for exercise and to build their swimming skills. For a peaceful mind we will be offering Yoga to our individuals with calming background music. There is nothing like a Cape Cod summer and we, at Latham, plan on using our extraordinary environment to our advantage! Other club opportunities include, Lights, Camara Action! (a student favorite), fishing at the local pond, Maintenance (to continue to build those vocational skills), and, of course, biking in the afternoon. We look forward to another wonderful summer filled with fun and learning and we want thank our staff for providing such awesome opportunities for our students.

Have a wonderful summer!


Submitted by:
Gerald Pouliot, M.Ed
Director or Education 

Related Posts:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pass it On!

We're spreading the word from our friends at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Cape Cod Branch in Brewster. If you are in the area tomorrow here is a great reason to stop by the ARL! Thanks go to our very own VLG for keeping us informed about what is going on in our community!

http://www.arlboston.org/brewster-shelter/
We're holding a low-cost rabies clinic here at the Brewster shelter on Saturday, June 28th. 

Cats and dogs are welcome! For your pets' safety, please ensure that all cats are in carriers and that dogs are kept on a leash.
• 

DATE: Saturday June 28th 2014 (Rain or shine) 
• TIME: 10a.m. - 12:00p.m. 
• LOCATION: ARL's Brewster Shelter 
• COST: $10.00 (cash or check) 
Questions? Please call: (508) 255-1030.

http://www.arlboston.org/brewster-shelter/

Summer Safety


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 bug spray, avoid bright colored clothing and cover arms and legs when walking through the woods or near standing water. If a bug bite does occur cover it with a band-aid and use anti-itch cream regularly. If necessary use reinforcers for not scratching. 


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. Be cautious of hyper hydration as well because too much water/fluids can be just as dangerous as not enough. 

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!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What Makes Latham So Special?


Photo: From left - Bob Fitzpatrick, John Charran, Paul Treible, Kevin Monteiro, Bob Steeves , and Day Supervisor Kristi Dolbec in front

What makes Latham Centers so special? We think it has spectacular employees! We couldn't have produced the End of Year Celebration last week without the help and dedication of our facilities staff. To be honest, they are to "go to" people on campus and probably the faves of the kids. How could they not be? They are patient, funny, kind and talented. You know in a snow storm who will be coming to plow you out and who makes sure all the AC's are in and working before the temps hit 90. They fix broken toys, teach kids maintenance skills and always stand ready to help. They do their jobs so that we can do ours.

Thanks guys!


Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bring On The Swimming Season!



Reasons to encourage our individuals to swim this summer include the following:

  • CALORIE BURN!: A pound of body fat equals 3500 calories. An hour of cardiovascular swimming for a 155lb person burns about 466 calories.
  • LOW IMPACT!: The buoyancy of water reduces your weight by approximately 90%. The result is that the stress on hips, knees, and back is significantly reduced by this form of exercise. For these reasons, swimming is a particularly great exercise for obese individuals. 
  • LEAN MUSCLE BUILDING!: Water provides 12-14% more resistance than air. Kicking and moving your arms to the resistance of water builds lean muscle and improves body composition. Lean muscle in turn causes the body to burn more calories even at rest.
  •  WATER WALKING!: Even non-swimmers can get great exercise by walking in water since the resistance means that more calories are burned than by walking on solid ground.
  •   GROUP FUN!: This is a great opportunity for our individuals to have a healthy, positive exercise experience which everyone can participate in and which will help them achieve their health goals.


Contributed by:
Isobel

Latham Centers Celebrates “Independence” at 2014 Year-End Celebration


Latham Centers held its 2014 Annual Meeting and Year-End celebration on the campus of Latham School Friday, June 20. The “Independence-themed” celebration featured special presentations by staff, board of directors and students under sunny 70-degree skies. Highlights included the announcement of an Outstanding Vocational Student Achievement Award, the Roy T. Morgan Community and Staff Awards and the McClennan Awards for Staff Excellence and Community Service to Latham.  

The President’s Award for Outstanding Vocational Achievement was awarded to Latham School student Geanina R.  Geanina earned the Vocational Award for her hard work, positive attitude, and passion for her two campus vocational positions delivering newspapers and dining room setup.  Director of Children’s Services Pam Nolan and Director of Education Gerry Pouliot, III both remarked on student successes and their unique and hard-earned achievements in leading more independent lives while at Latham this school year.

Roy T. Morgan Community Awards were announced acknowledging special individuals who made a significant contribution to the work of Latham Centers. Community recipients of the 2014 Morgan Awards were: State Representative Clean H. Turner; The Masonic Angel Foundation of Orleans (accepted by Dr. Robert Fellows); and The MSPCA Cape Cod accepted by Brittany Pickul.

The Morgan Staff Award for exceptional service in Latham Children’s program went to clinician Melissa Hyer while the Adult program recipient was long-time residential counselor Jayne Billings.

The 2014 Mr. McClennan Award, bestowed upon a support and administrative staff member, was presented to Dawn Dinnan, Coordinator of Latham  Information Technology and Assistant to our CFO.
In a new category of William McClennan Community Service Awards, Latham President and CEO Anne McManus recognized AmeriCorps Cape Cod members for their volunteer service, while Latham Development staff honored community partners Guapo's Tortilla Shack, Sunderland Printing, and Neiman Marcus Natick.  

Outgoing Board of Directors Chair Kathryn B. Earle and Treasurer/Assistant Clerk Keith W. Bradley were both thanked and praised by incoming Board Chair Amy Carroll for their distinguished years of volunteer board service to the agency. As usual, Latham students stole part two of the celebration with their heart-warming musical and dance performances of “Forever” and the smash Broadway hit “Let it Go.” A festive, summertime lunch capped off the picture perfect day sponsored and hosted by our friends at Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club

Submitted by:
Gerry Desautels
VP of Development & Community Outreach

Monday, June 23, 2014

Team Latham: Committed and Caring


Summer has arrived and it is again time to start training for the picturesque Falmouth Road Race. For the past three years, Team Latham has geared up with runners to raise funds for our programs at Latham Centers. The first year, in 2012, there were 10 runners, then 16 in 2013, and finally 18 in this year’s race! The team is comprised of dedicated staff, a Latham student, family and friends who have committed to raising $1,000 or more each for Latham Centers students and adults! View their runner pages and donate HERE.

 I’d like to thank this year’s courageous runners who have donated their time, eagerness, vivacity and network of personal donors:

Staffers:
  • Chris Bonelli 
  • John Bonnani 
  • Melinda Brennan 
  • Anne Haglof 
  • Kalyn Mika 
  •  Magda Moran 
  • Gerry Pouliot
  •  Meghan Pouliot 
  • Gracie Stark 
  • Travis Tebbetts
  •  Mary Ware 
  • Nancy Warner 
  • Evan Wilson 

Clients:
  • Ryan M. 

Family and Friends:
  • Stephen Bebrin 
  • Andrew Cramer 
  • Jo-Ellen Erickson 
  • Scott Esselman 
In September Latham Centers will have raised over $45,000 through the Falmouth Road Race. This is an astounding number. Thank you so much to everyone who has run and raised funds, as well as to those who have donated to our runners. If you are interested in sponsoring one or more of our Latham runners please visit http://lathamcenters.donorpages.com/FalmouthRoadRace2014/. To make a general donation to benefit all the runners, please click here.

Thank you, again, for all that you do at Latham Centers.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Let it Go", Please...

Excitement fills the campus for today is the end of year celebration, the end of school and the beginning of summer all rolled into one. Even if this was my day off I would come to Latham School today to enjoy the fete. I have had my windows open this June and for much of the month the students have been practicing…you guessed it…Let It Go. I now have the song literally in my head. It’s amazing how this song resonates with kids everywhere. You can’t go onto Facebook or YouTube without an adorable toddler to teen belting out the lyrics, and who can blame them? A feisty heroine in a Disney movie (with Idina Menzel’s voice no less) has an irresistible hold on the world right now.

I love seeing the students so excited and joyful. They will perform their hearts out and no one will be able to resist their enthusiasm and talent. It is their time to take the stage and frankly, to Let It Go! I will be in the audience with staff, family, honored guests and friends humming it right along with them. And humming it at home, in my car, food shopping, at the beach……..

Submitted by:

Chris Gallant

Friday, June 20, 2014

TIP of the WEEK: Avoiding Outbursts

Although it is not always possible to avoid outbursts, with a little planning and appreciation for the thought process of a person with PWS many incidents can be thwarted.


1. Try to understand where the stress is coming from. It may appear as though there was no antecedent, that the behavior came out of nowhere. This is rarely the case. Even switching a non- preferred activity for a preferred one can cause anxiety. For example, a trip to the dentist may be low on their list of fun things to do but if historically that appointment ends with a prize or reward then missing it will cause disappointment and stress. It is not always easy to determine what causes upset; by putting yourself in their shoes and trying to see the world through their eyes will usually give you the answer.

2. Teach coping skills every day. The best way to learn to manage feelings of frustration is to practice often while at baseline. Over time these skills will sink in well enough to be used during times of escalation. Some effective skills are: deep breathing, taking space away from others, asking for stress relief objects like sensory balls or music, and the most effective skill- the ability to communicate your feelings. It will likely take some time to be able to use these skills when distressed however with enough practice they will be able to use them.

3. Strategize. If you know that a stressful event is coming up, don't wait until the behavior occurs. Have a back-up available to help you contain the situation; a safe place to go to spare your child from being the center of a scene (the embarrassment of exploding in front of a group can have an adverse effect on self esteem).

4. If an incident is unavoidable try to remain empathetic. Shame, judgement, and guilt will only add to the negative feelings. Threats and bribery don't work and will just exasperate the situation. Remain calm and offer kind and caring words when the person starts to decompress.

Always remember that escalated emotions and behavioral outbursts are not intentional and in most cases the person is not in control. What the person needs more than anything is a face saving way out and support to get back to baseline. Tantrums, outbursts, and acts of aggression are not choices that the person with PWS would make if they were able to think clearly in the moment. Teaching skills and being supportive are the best ways to avoid these behaviors over time.

Submitted by: Patrice Carroll Manager PWS Services

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Latham Employee Receives Distinguished CCYP Scholarship at CCYP Annual Breakfast


Latham employee Dawn Dinnan made us all proud when she accepted a $3,000 scholarship from the Career Connect initiative of Cape Cod Young Professionals at their annual breakfast in Hyannis on Wednesday, June 18th at the Cape Codder Resort. Dinnan was awarded the monies after a competitive review process vetted by CCYP and the Cape Cod Foundation. Dinnan's CCYP scholarship will go far in helping her to complete a Suffolk University MBA with non-profit concentration.

Dinnan, assistant to the CFO of Latham Centers and the agency's IT coordinator, has proven to be a highly energetic and invaluable employee of Latham Centers going on four years of service to the agency. She is exceptionally motivated, undertaking a second Master's Degree while working full time, raising two young children, and volunteering her time to help other Cape non-profits with fundraising projects. Dinnan has also recently volunteered to serve on Latham's Employee Capital Campaign Committee committed to transforming Brewster's former New England Fire and History Museum property for use by Latham students, residents and the greater community.

CCYP's third annual breakfast also included a presentation by Barry Bluestone, Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, unveiling the Shape the Cape data and analysis on why the Cape is experiencing an alarmingly high rate of talented, bright residents aged 25-44 moving off Cape. CCYP also delivered a hard-hitting presentation of strategies to address the findings of the study. Click here to review the study findings: http://capecodyoungprofessionals.org/images/uploads/ShapeTheCapeSummaryReport.pdf

This important project aligns with CCYP's goals to retain and recruit a diverse workforce for our region, build healthy and vibrant communities, and increase civic engagement for the betterment of the future of Cape Cod. Latham Centers employs some 260 full- and part-time individuals year round at multiple Cape locations.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cape Cod, Baseball and Latham


I love my community--the place where I live and the place where I work. Fortunately for me, it is the very same town. This brings me to my love affair with baseball. I can tell you the exact moment I fell in love with the sport. The NY Mets were playing in a game against the Cincinnati Reds and I starting watching it on TV. It was 1969 and the miracle Mets were destined to win it all; Tom Terrific (Seaver, not Brady), Nolan Ryan, Tug McGraw and Bud Harrelson. I skipped school to watch the games and I was the only girl who could talk baseball in the cafeteria. This brings me to Summer, 2014.

The Cape Cod Summer Baseball league is a tradition here on our peninsula. College kids from across the nation make their way to play ball in Orleans, Brewster, Chatham, Harwich, Yarmouth-Dennis, Hyannis, Cotuit, Falmouth, Bourne, and Wareham. We at Latham are fortunate to host several players each year to work with our facilities staff during their stay. Many CCBL players are later drafted by major league teams and become house-hold names. After all, Thurman, Nomar, Youk, and Jacoby all played on Cape Cod. It is a pleasure to see these young athletes out and about the campus and then to go to the games to cheer them on.  It is baseball in its truest form; played all summer long in this most magical place. You can spend your days at the beach and go to a game in the late afternoon or early evening almost every night.

This year, our own Nick L will be singing the National Anthem at the Brewster Whitecaps game on June 20th.  We will be there to cheer our Latham student on as he sings his heart out. We will take advantage of this wonderful resource in our own backyard and support our players as they demonstrate their skill and talent. So welcome to Latham, Evan Hill, and Joe Curtis!  Who knows, one day you, too may be wearing a MLB jersey—hopefully a Red Sox one!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Friday, June 13, 2014

TIP of the WEEK: Summer Savings


With summer upon us here are some ideas for free or discounted summer activities for children and adults with disabilities.

1. The federal government offers free lifetime admission to every park, facility, federally sponsored event or activity requiring payment. This includes but is not limited to: all national parks, all wildlife refuges that are owned by the government, access to Fish and Wildlife facilities, this also includes free fishing and hunting licenses. Apply for an Access Pass online, it is good for your child's lifetime.

2. Most states also offer free admission to state run parks, attractions, and buildings.

3. Sea World and Universal Studios offer up to 25% off admission for anyone with a disability.

4. Amtrack offers deeply discounted tickets for people with disabilities providing you buy the tickets
   in person.

5. The majority of amusement and water parks offer discounted tickets as well as passes to skip the   lines for rides.

6. If the person with a disability requires supervision from a caretaker, Lego Land offers free admission for that caretaker regardless of their relationship to the person.

7. If you're reading from across the pond- the UK offers a CEA Card for anyone accompanying a person to the movies, their admission is free for every movie they attend.

Many companies offer discounts without publishing them so when in doubt, ask. You may be pleasantly surprised by the answer.

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Visiting the Herd

I visited the herd down at our Sandwich home this week. There is something quite engaging about donkeys. I’ve never been a horse fan. I prefer to fall off things closer to the ground. But the donkeys, they make me smile. The four of them are petite in size and loudly greeted me when I stopped by the house. I can see why our individuals have bonded so closely with these adorable animals. I noticed their grooming, the clean paddock, the fresh water. Clearly, caring for these animals is a high priority for their team of handlers. Most importantly, the relationship between individual and animal offers those we support the opportunity to be the care-givers in this role. Looks to me like they are doing a fantastic job.



Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Latham Lifelong Pet Care in the News

Latham Lifelong Pet Care, the newest vocational opportunity for our residents at Latham Centers made the headlines recently. Rich Eldred, Brewster reporter, outlines the different parts of the program ranging from dog walking, to a brief explanation of Lifelong Pet Care and the Pet Therapy Charitable Gift Annuity option. Aptly titled, “Pet partnership benefits Latham clients,” he describes how this opportunity is beneficial to both the community AND our residents with complex special needs as it provides services to the community and paid employment to our individuals! To read this article, please click here.

Adult Resident Warren with his charge, Caleb.

Dog Walking: Students and Adult Residents are paid to walk community dogs for $15/walk. Walks last upwards of 30 minutes and Latham Centers residents travel to the pet owner’s home with a staff.

Long-Term Pet Care: If someone is going into surgery or has to leave town for a bit, this option allows a Latham resident to care for cats or dogs either in the comfort of the animal’s home, or one of the Latham Adult Residential Homes (which has been cleared for animal care). Guidance as to how to care for the animal is provided by its owner.

Lifelong Pet Care: This option allows an individual who is afraid of his or her pet outliving him or her to set up a Pet Trust and a Pet Therapy Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) guaranteeing proper care for a pet despite the pet owner’s passing. Guidance as to how to care for the animal is provided when setting of the CGA with Latham Centers.

Pet Therapy Charitable Gift Annuity: Our Pet Therapy Charity Gift Annuity allows for a monthly income to you, as well as annual charitable tax deductions while helping to fund our innovative Pet Therapy programs for children and adults with complex special needs. Specifically, a Pet Therapy Annuity with Latham provides funding for our Asinotherapy and Latham Lifelong Pet Care Programs to ensure the longevity of therapeutic and vocational Pet Programs.  This new investment option is a
Win-Win-Win for Investors, Animal Lovers, and Latham’s Special Individuals.  

or contact Katrina Fryklund in the Development Office  
774.353.9126 or 

Brewster Falls Classroom Learns About Butterflies


Butterfly Unit
Brewster Falls Classroom

Objective:

The objective’s behind the butterfly lessons were to teach the students the meaning of the word metamorphosis, to learn the different stages in a butterfly’s life cycle, and to gain a better understanding of what a life cycle is. The students would also be able to name other animals that go through a similar process.

Before receiving the actual caterpillar butterflies, the students read about the butterfly life cycle as a group. They discussed important terms and drew pictures of each part of the life cycle to show their understanding of the material. Once the caterpillar’s arrived, the students were able to observe the entire process!! They were mesmerized when the caterpillars grew bigger, started making their chrysalis (cocoon), and were then transferred to their butterfly habitat to eventually turn into butterflies. The students created butterfly poems during ELA class and made informational packets and stands in Science class for our many visitors that had questions about the butterflies. The students also used media technology (ipads) to demonstrate understanding. They used the ipad App “Book Creator” to make a personalized book of the butterfly life cycle and stated their favorite part of this experience.

Our class was able to release the butterflies today at the local Drummer Boy Park. They were so excited to be able to hold them in their hands and watch them take off and spread their wings for the first time! The students enjoyed the process so much, they asked if we could order more butterflies in the near future. This was an extremely positive and successful experience for the students in the Brewster Falls classroom. It was a great motivation for the students to come to school each day as they enjoyed checking on the butterflies and it was a great way to actively learn about the life cycle.

Submitted by:
Amie Gould

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Staff Arrive at Latham

June brings to Latham much joy and excitement. The Summertide program is just weeks away. The End of Year Celebration is coming up. Kids are going to the beach, playing outside after dinner, and enjoying the community we so joyfully live in. Adults are socializing after school or work, enjoying time in their yards, going to community functions, and being active participants here on the Cape. June also brings to the Cape a group of summer hires. Students home from college, interns seeking experience, new graduates embarking on their first job, or people changing their career course. Generally, our June Orientation class is one of the largest of the year and this one happens to be the largest class we have ever hosted. That always makes for lively discussion as we learn about them and they learn about Latham.

I have been fortunate to see our orientation program develop into a professional program that is a two week introduction to Latham and her mission. We are here during this time to educate new staff and help them understand the importance of their role and the impact they can have in their interactions with those we care for and support. We want well prepared staff walking into our community equipped with the knowledge and resources they need to do their job well. So, I am always interested to find out what brought them to us and where they see themselves in a few years as they begin to build or change their careers paths.

It is difficult to sum all up the comments I heard yesterday from this diverse group. Several are new to this field, several are new to the Cape. There were those with experience working in human services or non-profits, those with experience in education and performing arts, or experience in nursing. Some were returning after years away, some were friends of other employees. Many were college students seeking more knowledge in their field of study. What they each bring to Latham is important. Fresh eyes, curiosity, compassion, involvement, and enthusiasm all help make us a better, more vibrant organization. And if you wonder at all about the effect social media can have, know that quite a few in the room heard of Latham on-line or had someone recommend Latham to them on Facebook. So, share our posts, like us, follow us, and link to us!

Welcome to Latham Centers: Kim, Lyndsay, Cynthia, Allison, Alan, Shaun, Lynn, Michael, Elizabeth, Gracie, Jeanne, Evan, Christine, Cornelius, Lee, Katelyn, Krystal, Genna, Jacob, Todd, Bob & Kristen!

We are so happy to meet you!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Friday, June 6, 2014

TIP of the WEEK: 'Tis the Season


Here we are in June, the season of proms, graduations, and weddings--at least for typical families. For those among us who have children with different needs it can be a season of grief, guilt, and resentment. Many are watching kids grow and leave home to start their lives and get ready for everything that we have hopefully prepared them for. This is not the case for parents of children with PWS. Your kids are not taking that pivotal step into adulthood, they are not leaving home to move into dorms or to start a family.

Our kids will likely always require supervision. We are also facing the fact that full independence is not a probability. This realization is never as daunting as it is when you see kids in their age group meeting these milestones as they embark on the cusp of adulthood. Every milestone before this time has been delayed. It did happen; just not at the typical age. These particular milestones however, may never be met and that realization hits so hard. As with everything your child has experienced, it is all in how you look at it. Maybe your child won't go away to college--but they will have the opportunity to take college courses. They will have their first job, their first paycheck, boyfriends and girlfriends, and certainly increased independence and adult worthy experiences. It may be "different" but different is still worth celebrating, still important, still joyous and paramount to their growth.

And if you must compare your child to their typical peers then compare the really good stuff. The never ending optimism your kids have, the patience and tolerance for every single person on earth, the unconditional and all encompassing love they have and will always have for you, their parents. You can't say that for a typical young adult! This can be a time of turmoil and if those feelings come up, let them in, acknowledge them and then let them go. Your child is exactly where they are supposed to be- be proud.

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager PWS Services

Related Posts:
What I Know
What is my Child's Future
What Independent Living Means to Me

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Leadership Group News


I do a fair bit of training here at Latham. Today, I watched and listened as the evolution of staff development was presented at the Board of Directors June meeting. Sitting on the sidelines, I was inspired by the work being done by the Leadership Group under the supervision of Tim Vaughan, our Director of Leadership & Growth. Members of the group from across the organization came to the meeting to describe their mission -- We are motiviated and committed to professionally develop our skills by working on initiatives that will result in happier, more fulfilled, and higher skilled staff people -- and to give a brief overview of the current initiatives. These included: mentoring new staff, role-modeling and team building.

The Leadership Group members’ employment with Latham spanned months to decades. It was clear to me that the agency is in very good hands as we continue to change and grow, meeting the needs of the people we support. It isn’t an easy job on any level. It is however, meaningful and empowering work. Thanks go to our speakers: Aki-Tia, Danielle, Chrissy, and Melinda. Thanks to our guests from the group: Brant, Chris, Matt, Michelle, Melissa, and Tara. You are what makes Latham, LATHAM!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Best Buddies Prom a Success!


Prom Day is here! Latham Centers attended the 2014 prom on June 2nd. The prom was hosted at Harwich Community Center by Best Buddies. The students were up early in anticipation for the big day and the morning started with the arrival of Neiman Marcus make-up artists and a group of hair stylists from a number of salons on Cape Cod. The girls were styled, pampered and looking beautiful!

Just after breakfast Puritan of Cape Cod arrived with the tuxes for our handsome gentlemen. Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod was gracious enough to donate the tux rentals to the Latham students for the second year. As soon as everyone was looking divine, each student gathered on the field where they took glamour shots --and boy, were they glamorous! The students then took off to the prom. While there, the students took turns riding in a limousine around beautiful Cape Cod. One student, Matty, stated, “I liked going in the limousines so much! It was my favorite make and model car.”

The students danced, sang, and enjoyed lunch with other schools from across the Cape. Another prom attendee, Diane, stated, “The prom was arranged, the music and dancing was nice, but mostly, everyone was so polite.” When asking some of the students what they enjoyed most, they stated that they could not pick just one thing because it was all so much fun. Frank, an energetic prom-goer, explained with excitement, “I loved the prom! I got so excited when the song ‘Call Me Maybe’ came on. You know what I really liked, all the girls!”

Overall, Prom 2014 was a great success!

Submitted by:
Kristi Dolbec,
Day Supervisor

Monday, June 2, 2014

O Canada


After being eliminated by the Montreal Canadiens and then swept by the Toronto Blue Jays last week, the idea of going up to the FPWR Conference was met with some amount of poor sportsmanship on my part. Once I got over the total smack down by Canada’s sport teams however, I managed to have a very enjoyable time in the city of Toronto.

FPWR (Foundation for Prader Willi Research) Canada hosted a wonderful learning and networking national conference last week. It was a time for us to meet families and professionals committed to research and support. Many new families were present and they were surrounded by their peers, mentors and elders in the united effort to help those with PWS and the families that care for them. Chatting with parents, comparing notes with care-givers, meeting professionals filled the weekend with dynamic dialog. Our own Patrice Carroll participated in the panel discussion on Sunday and helped to allay the fears of families just embarking on this shared journey we call Prader-Willi Syndrome. The mission of the organization is to eliminate the challenge of PWS through the advancement of research. Since 2003, FPWR has already raised 2.5 million dollars toward meeting that goal. The conference concluded with a very successful One Small Step Walk in Brampton.  It was a beautiful day to be walking with our beautiful new friends.

Great job, FPWR Canada!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant