Thursday, July 31, 2014

Last Chance to Support Team Latham at the 42nd FALMOUTH ROAD RACE

Latham Development Intern and Team Runner Gracie Stark of Los Angeles, CA (left) with fellow runner Katrina Fryklund, Latham Development Associate holding Shasta, Team Latham Mascot  

In just over two short weeks, Team Latham will be out in force Sunday, August 17th to run the infamous Falmouth Road Race.  With the date looming, time is short to pledge your support of a specific team runner or to make a general donation of support to the 19 members of Team Latham.  This is our largest team to date!

Thank you to the full roster below for running!  The overall team fundraising goal is $19,000 (or an average of $1,000 per runner).  We still have $4,000 to go to meet goal. All proceeds go directly back to support the Children’s and Adult programs including physical enrichment activities, Special Olympics, and teaching technology.  To donate to one, a few, or all of these runners, please CLICK HERE and click on “Show All Team Latham Runners.”

2014 Team Latham Runners are:

Steve Bebrin 
Andrew Cramer
Jo-Ellen Erickson
Scott Esselman

Ryan M.

John Bonanni
Melinda Brennan
Kalyn Mika
Gerry Pouliot
Meghan Pouliot
Travis Tebbetts
Mary Ware
Nancy Warner
Evan Wilson

Chris Bonelli
Magda Moran

Katrina Fryklund
Anne Haglof
Gracie Stark

To learn more about the Falmouth Road Race, click HERE.

Latham Centers’ 5th Annual Charity Golf Classic the heels of the Falmouth Road Race, the Development staff is busy recruiting players, sponsors and auction donors for the 5th Annual Latham Charity Golf Classic at Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club, Monday, October 20.  Registration and Sponsor/Donor details are HERE.

This is Latham’s largest fundraiser of the year. Over the next few years, 50% of the event proceeds will be earmarked for the new Latham Community Center Capital Campaign at the Fire Museum property.

As many of you heard on Wednesday, we need the support of all staff to help build the Latham Community Center.

You can be part of the success of our Golf Classic in one or more of the following ways:

1.  Share the Golf Tournament link with family and friends who play golf or register yourself to play.  Can’t afford to play but would like to?  You can PLAY FOR FREE by fundraising $250 or more.  Details HERE.

2.   Share the Golf Tournament Link with family and friends or other employers beyond Latham who may have the resources to Sponsor the Tournament, starting at $150 for a Tee or Green Sponsorship.

3.   Think about donating an item for auction or soliciting a business owner or artist you may know for an item or gift certificate.  Contact Katrina Fryklund in the Development Office at 774.353.9126 or for golf sponsor packets to help you help us and build the Latham Community Center.

4.   Refer a player or donor prospect for Latham Development staff to follow through on, on your behalf. We are happy to follow through on any leads or ideas.  


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just a Reminder...

The world out there can be a scary place. The news is full of plane crashes, bombings and people screaming at school buses filled with children. Consider it through the eyes of your children.  I caution parents to be fully aware of what is on your TV and computer screens and to realize what kids can and cannot process. I imagine scenes of downed airplanes can produce an anxiety response in children whose parent travels for work or as they prepare for a summer vacation flight. They may worry that angry grown-ups will confront their school buses when they go back to school. Be vigilant, be calm and most importantly,  listen.  Talk with your kids at their level of comprehension about any concerns they have on what they have heard or seen. Let them see that you care, that you are confident and in control. Protecting our kids is our job but so is preparing them for what’s ahead. Sometimes you are going to have to address the big world issues on your little home turf.

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Friday, July 25, 2014

TIP of the WEEK: During a Meltdown


Despite all of your efforts and planning there may come a time when an escalated situation becomes out of control. Here are some things to consider if a meltdown goes too far:

1. Don't try to reason with your child about why they shouldn't be upset. It may seem trivial and slight to you but whatever has gotten them upset is very important to them. Invalidating their feelings will only make the situation worse.

2. Avoid eye contact and unless absolutely necessary, don't talk. The difference between a meltdown and a tantrum is that a tantrum is typically an attention seeking tool, a meltdown is a complete loss of control that has to run its course before it ends and will escalate further with additional external stimulis. No amount of talking or reasoning will stop a full blown meltdown and will almost always make it worse.

3. If you are in public then expect a scene. People will stop and stare and judge and there is nothing that you can do about it so as embarrassed as you may be, ignore the audience.They don't know your child and likely have no idea of the syndrome. Some parents have told me that they tell bystanders that their child is autistic because most people are aware of autism and that their presence is making the situation worse. Don't let an audience alter your actions. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is a bad situation that will have an end to it.

4. This is their meltdown, not yours. You need to stay calm and strong, joining in the heightened state of anxiety and frustration will most certainly add to your child's already upset state.

5. If your child is at imminent risk of hurting themselves or someone else you may have to hold them. Depending on many factors, including your own or their physical strength, this may not be possible and you may need to call 911. Their safety is your number one concern. There are a number of programs nationwide that teach physical holds. If you are interested or feel that this may be necessary for you I recommend contacting one of these programs and taking a course.

6. A bystander may call the police. It is always helpful to have the police involvement cards available through PWSAUSA handy as these explain PWS succinctly.

7. After your child calms down they will likely fall asleep. Let them. Their bodies and minds have gone through a lot and this is a necessary crash.

After the incident, refrain from judgement or punitive actions. It was a lack of skill that caused the problem, not a conscious decision to misbehave. Think through the events that led  to the incident and determine which skills were lacking and focus in teaching those rather than spending too much time rehashing the event with your child. They will probably not be able to verbalize what caused the dis regulation in their emotions and will already feel shamed by acting out. Most importantly try to remember that no matter how bad the situation gets it will end and it is not something that they would chose to do if they were thinking clearly. No one wants to see their child suffer but staying steady and in charge will help move the situation to an end and allow everyone to get back to the good stuff. And there's so much good stuff!

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager PWS Services

Related Posts:
Top Ten Strategies for Meltdowns in Public
Creating a Behavior Plan
Be There For Me

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Salute You

You know it’s tourist season when you call to get your dog groomed and the first appointment available is six weeks away. This gives new meaning to the term “dog days of summer”. I find my patience running out much quicker as I add on the extra time necessary to my commute, food shopping trips, appointments, and errands. I totally get why people are coming to Cape Cod for their precious time off but must you all be on the road at the same time? Deep breaths; take deep breaths. Six weeks left and I’m counting down to Labor Day.
But you know what? I know how fortunate I am. No small children to load, secure and entertain in the car. No sporting equipment taking up (and smelling up) the back. Hockey equipment is, by far, the worst stuff in the world to be carting around. I have no need to find handicapped spaces or have a grand plan around meal time. My complaints are nothing more than minor inconveniences in my life. MINOR!
So to the parents and caregivers out there battling the daily grind, I salute you. I want you to know how truly remarkable I think you are. You are schedule-maker royality, prepared for every potential curve ball thrown your way. You have back-up plans, know where all the rest rooms are enroute to your destination and carry wet wipes, band-aids and healthy snacks in your bag. You are the masters of distraction—you know your child’s musical likes and play it in your car over and over again. You count trucks, school buses, traffic lights and you do all this while driving your precious cargo to school, activities and medical appointments. It is no wonder that you are exhausted at the end of the day. In between this you have a job, a home and other responsibilities. Corporations, governments and the military would benefit from your efficiency and time management skills.

I plan on remembering that all this is a minor inconvenience the next time I have to sit in traffic, in my car, by myself. And when I get home tonight I recognize my day is done but yours is still going. That’s what parents do. And you are mighty, mighty parents.

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Saturday, July 19, 2014

100 Hours!

The Latham Works staff is proud to announce a milestone we reached today. For the first time our student employees surpassed 100 hours of clocked-in work time in a two-week pay period!  39 students contributed to this total – some worked a half-hour, some worked over ten hours, but everyone has pitched in beautifully to start a busy, busy Summer Tide Vocational schedule.

Submitted by:
Andy Needel
Vocational Teacher

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Dream Day on Cape Cod!

Students attended the Dream Day Games today at Nickerson State Park! The students participated in archery, fishing, craft projects and a delicious cookout!!!

TIP of the WEEK: In Home Caregivers

Although the idea of taking time away, running errands solo or just being able to finish a thought sounds wonderful, the idea of leaving your child with family members or paid help can be daunting at best and dangerous at worst. Here is what to plan for, look for and expect in people left in charge of your child.

  • If it is a family member that you have entrusted to watch your child be sure that it is a mature, considerate, and proven ally. Tempting as it may be, your 14 year old niece who texts more than she talks is probably not the right choice but siblings, parents, and grandparents can be a great support to you given the correct information and expectations.

  • If your child has challenging behavioral or medical complications plan for two or more caregivers at once. Multiple caregivers ensures that your child’s needs will be met and will also give you a more accurate picture of what happened while you were away.

  • If you are using an agency to schedule short term caregivers, insist that whoever they send watches one of the many PWS training videos. You are paying for this service and are well within your rights to ask for this to be done. You can also ask for the person who will be watching your child to come to your house to meet your son or daughter beforehand. This is a reasonable request that can ease a lot of anxiety on the part of you and your child.

  •  If you are not satisfied with a caregiver, either from an agency, the school or even your own family, offer feedback and support before switching to someone else. We are used to many of the common behaviors and idiosyncrasies of PWS but for someone new to the syndrome they can be confusing and baffling. Take time to teach and explain, support and foster before giving up. This is, of course, barring any egregious acts.

Whomever you decide to use take the time to train them to the needs of your child. Have them spend time with your child while you are home to get an idea of the dynamic between them and to offer help in the moment when any issues arise. Being present initially allows the caregiver to see how you would handle a difficult situation and allows your child to see that everyone is on the same page. Be sure to go over your expectations with your child before you go and hold them accountable for any undesired behaviors that occurred, this sends a clear message of your expectations for them regardless of who they are with. Most importantly, if you find a good caregiver that you trust- treat them well and hang on to them tightly! Good, trusted caregivers are hard to find and are so necessary to your overall well-being.

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager PWS Services

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Place Matters: A Latham Centers Reunion with Susan Lindquist

As one of the Lower Cape's largest employers, Latham Centers has many "alum employee" friends in the community.  One of those individuals is Susan Lindquist of Brewster. Latham Development staff Katrina Fryklund and Gerry Desautels met with Susan Lindquist at Lower Cape TV in Eastham to record for Cable TV and WOMR radio “This Place Matters.” Lindquist, former Program Director at Latham Centers in the early years, is the host of the show.  “This Place Matters” features interviews with Cape Cod Professionals about important matters in the community.  The show will air on television channels 99 and 22 on July 23rd at 12:30 as well as on WOMR, 92.1 FM and WFMR, 91.3 FM.  Please see the TV schedule HERE.

Susan, Gerry, and Katrina reminisced about Latham’s past and celebrated Latham’s future.  View the show online or in a compatible listening/viewing area to learn of the dramatic changes in Latham’s training processes and the progress Latham Centers’ residential clinicians and staff have made over its 44 year history, specifically in regards to PWS programming.

The show also touches upon Latham's newest vocational initiative--Latham Lifelong Pet Care. As individuals with complex special needs are highly underemployed, those with PWS can face even more severe obstacles in finding meaningful and safe employment environments. Latham Lifelong Pet Care sees individuals with PWS not only as hirable, but essential to the new program's success and vitality. Moreover, Latham Lifelong Pet Care meets the pet care needs of the Cape Community through dog walking and short and long-term care options.

To learn more about “This Place Matters” please click HERE.

To learn more about this program please visit

Submitted by: 
Katrina Fryklund

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Rainy Day at the Beach

If I had planned a vacation on Cape Cod, this would have been the week. Why? Basically the weather has been, how shall I say this…awful. Yes, truth be told, we occasionally have nasty weather and with my luck, this would have been my week. So, as a parent and an employee of an agency specializing in complex special needs, the question becomes….what does one do during spells of bad weather?

First, always consider the safety factor and don’t underestimate Mother Nature. If thunder & lightning are forecast, get inside! If you live with other weather related hazards (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc...), follow recommended safety protocols. However, I have found the beach to be a particularly great place to go on a drizzly day. Less worry about the sun, fewer people, and no ice cream truck! The kids are going to go in the water and get wet anyway so, why not? That beach umbrella can double as a rain cover too. You can still find shells, explore jetties for periwinkles and crabs and build sand castles. In fact, the sand becomes perfect for sand castles. It is easier to watch your kids and with more beach available you can have the space you need that your child is comfortable with. Also, more parking spaces mean less distance to cover with toys, equipment and mobility issues.

Many beaches have adaptive wheelchairs that not only go on the sand but can take your child right into the water.  Check with the visitor center in your town to see where these are available. Always go to life-guarded beaches. As the mom of former lifeguards I can tell you that they still work on those days (they might not be happy, but they are working). And if they aren’t available, that’s probably a good indicator that you shouldn’t be there either. Inform the lifeguard of any special concerns that you are comfortable sharing. It has been my experience that these heroes of the beach can make a positive lasting impression on kids and offer parents an extra pair of eyes scanning the water. And never assume anyone else is watching your kids more closely than you.

Bring back shells, driftwood, beach glass, pebbles (leave the live things there please) and make a memento of your time on vacation. Nature trail walks, bike rides, outdoor exploring can all happen on days the sun doesn’t come out. It doesn’t have to mean sitting in front of the TV all day. Especially when there are adventures to be had!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Brewster Ladies’ Library receives the “Big” Check! 

On Saturday May 3rd, The Latham School of Brewster welcomed the public to join staff and volunteers on guided tours through the exquisite campus. On the tour, the community was given an opportunity to view a variety of buildings. The tour ended with Latham President & CEO, Anne McManus speaking on the history of the Captain Elijah Bangs Main House.

One spot in particular that seemed to be of interest was the student craft fair table located right outside of the Main House. Students sold a variety of goods ranging from jewelry to students paintings. Members of the community were given an assortment of soaps as a token of thanks. All proceeds from the student led craft fair were donated to our friends at the Brewster Ladies Library. The students are forever grateful for the opportunities that the Brewster Ladies’ Library provides us. In response to the money being donated to the Brewster Ladies’ Library, Latham student Gordon K. stated; “I’m so happy the money went to them, because they always do so much for us!” 

Latham Student Brendan P. had the honor of distributing the “big” check on Tuesday July 8th, 2014.  Brendan happily presented the check in the amount of $554.40 to Nori Morganstein; Assistant Director; Youth Services Librarian from the Brewster Ladies Library. Nori is a familiar face to all of the students at Latham. When spotted on campus Tuesday, she received a wholehearted welcome!

I think it is safe to say that the Latham School campus tour was a huge success!

Submitted by:
Brittni Taylor
Assistant Principal

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Ten Reasons to Work at Latham Centers

1. You will not find a better group of adults and children to help. Staff who work at Latham always point to the relationships they have with the adults and children they serve as one of the best things they love about their job. Over time, staff develop a sense of connection and care with our individuals that makes their work truly meaningful and important. At Latham your work is directly changing the world for the better, one person at a time.

2. Latham is an international leader. Latham is one of the few programs in the world that works with both children and adults with Prader Willi Syndrome. Each day our blog, website, Facebook Page, and Twitter feed are viewed from individuals from around the world looking for help. Although we are located on tiny Cape Cod, the work we do is recognized as progressive and innovative.

3. We are a Mission driven team. As an Agency, we are bound together through our focus on achieving a single Mission: Latham Centers compassionately and creatively helps children and adults with complex special needs, including Prader-Willi Syndrome, to lead meaningful, abundant lives. In order to be successful, we must work collaboratively with each other. Working with others who “get it” is comforting and enjoyable.

4. No experience is necessary. Many of our best employees came to Latham as a first step. If you have no formal experience that is alright; in fact, fresh eyes and ears can sometimes be very beneficial to our overall team. All you need is a genuine interest in our adults/children and a true willingness to learn. We provide ample amounts of training for all staff to ensure that they have the tools they need.

5. There is room for advancement if you develop your skills. Our jobs allow for advancement and provide career development in-house. Many of our supervisors, administrators, clinicians and nurses, -started as direct care staff in entry level positions. If you are looking for a job with potential, Latham has opportunities.

6. There are a variety of schedules to fit any lifestyle. We offer full time, part time and substitute positions. For some staff this is their full time profession while others work only one weekend a month. If you have an interest in the work, we can figure out a way to have you join our team.

7. We will help pay for you to go to school. Latham has tuition reimbursement for staff obtaining their undergraduate or graduate degrees. Many of our staff work and attend school at the same time.

8. Dress code is casual. We prefer that you be comfortable. That’s something you don’t hear at most jobs.

Paid time off, full benefits and occasionally free donuts. Latham provides reliable and consistent employment. We provide excellent benefits that rival any employer on the Cape. The doughnuts regularly show up at trainings and meetings. Who doesn’t love an occasional free doughnut?

10. You would be doing really, really important work. Latham has a very stable team of employees. The average length of service is six years. One-third of our staff has been here over five years. Employees stay with us that long because they believe the work they are doing is important.

If you feel the need to impact the world around you, then please consider joining our team.

Circle of Courage News

Today is a good day! I just had the nicest interaction with a student who is working on his vocational skills and I am the beneficiary of his talent and work product. I want to thank the team that supports him in his quest for meaningful employment. They managed to discover his interests and guide his vocational resistance to vocational excitement. Fred explained to me how this occurred and I can only hope this gentle guidance & teaching model is utilized often. I see the Circle of Courage all through this experience:
  • Belonging: Knowing you are cared for, respected and part of a community.
  • Mastery: Skill based learning and a product that you can be proud of.
  • Independence: Growing and nurturing your abilities allowing you more  personal decision making.
  • Generosity: Helping others, mentoring those coming along behind you, demonstrating service to others.
Gordon included a letter thanking me for giving him the opportunity to do this copy job. I want to thank Gordon for his responsiveness to my request, the quality of his work, and the personal delivery of my material. Thanks to Fred, Andy, Brittani and Genna for creating an environment for Gordon to shine!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Related Posts:
Circle of Courage
Making Change
Circle of Courage Training

Monday, July 14, 2014

Latham Profiles: Amie Gould

What do you enjoy most about your job?

"I love when a student comes running up to me saying, “Amie, Amie, you’re going to be so proud of me, I used the skill you taught me and it really worked!!!!” I enjoy when the students are proud of themselves for using a coping skill that we have practiced over and over again in the classroom. When they are able to use it in a situation that may have been challenging for them in the past, successfully, I know the hard work was worth it!" 

Describe a few of your responsibilities and how you spend much of your time.

    "I am a classroom teacher at Latham Centers. A few of my responsibilities include creating interesting and meaningful lesson plans, and managing the classroom. I also help create individualized education plans, and give input on behavior support plans. When I’m with the students, I am responsible for teaching them and practicing important social skills, supporting them in times of need, and creating an environment that is safe and conducive to individual growth."

What skills are most important for professionals who work with individuals with PWS?
    "I believe the most important skills one must have when working with individuals with PWS are patience, humility, creativity, and flexibility."

What are the most important lessons you attempt to teach new staff?

    "The most important lesson I attempt to teach new staff at Latham is to follow the students’ plans. The plans are put in place for a reason, and it is very important to know the plans of the individuals you are working with. I also stress that you must take student concerns seriously and attempt to make a plan with them on how they should handle it. The student needs to know that their voice is being heard. I also think it is important for new staff to ask lots of questions and feel comfortable enough to do so in the moment."

What do you love about working with individuals with PWS?

    "I love my students’ sense of humor, which can arise in just about any situation. When the day has been tough, one sly joke or comment can make your heart melt. I love their determination and will to succeed in everything they do. I love their caring and compassionate nature for others. I love seeing them smile and hearing them laugh, and hoping that I was just a small part of making their day a little less difficult, and little more enjoyable."

Has this job taught you anything about yourself?
    "Working at Latham Centers has taught me so much about myself. It has honestly been a life changing experience. I was young and did not know what I wanted to do with my career. Through working with the students and staff at Latham, I have realized many skills that I never knew I had. My patience and kindness with others has helped me to form meaningful relationships, and positive experiences with my students. Latham has also given me confidence in myself that I did not have before. The staff and the students have guided me in overcoming many personal fears with their gentle and caring support that I will always be grateful for."

How do you spend your time when you’re not working at Latham?

    "When I’m not at Latham, I’m usually thinking about Latham, but……. I try to relax and enjoy Cape Cod. I was born and raised on the Cape and still have many family members and friends that live here.  I try to unwind by taking long walks, going to the beach, and I also take a Pilate’s class once a week. I enjoy spending time with my family and also spend time on my fianc├ęs family farm in Truro."

What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers?

    "If I could give advice to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers, I would encourage them to learn about our population and educate themselves first. I would also encourage them to look into the many career opportunities Latham has to offer. If someone was seriously looking into a career at Latham I would definitely support them. I think very highly of this organization and believe that the individuals that live here deserve the best."

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Runner’s Story: How Latham Changes Lives and How Your Support Matters!

Annually Latham Centers selects runners from the Latham Family to participate in the picturesque Falmouth Road Race. This year the race will be on Sunday, August 17th! A group of 18 vivacious participants-- ranging from a Latham student to Latham residents' family members to a plethora of talented staff --are telling their stories and collecting donations from supporters. Please click HERE and click on “Show all Team Latham Runners” to sponsor one or many of these deserving candidates.
Take for instance the story of Steve B., the father of one Latham resident who is running the Road Race out of extreme gratitude and hope for a bright future for his child and his fellow Latham residents. When his son Michael moved to the Cape in September of 2009, things were not going well for the young man or his caring family. Michael was in crisis. His weight was too high, his outbursts explosive, and his behavior erratic. Following  difficulties at his previous placement, Michael’s family visited Latham Centers and immediately knew this was the place for him based on Latham’s expert care. Five years after making an incredibly difficult decision to place Michael at Latham' residential school in Brewster, his family members cannot imagine what their lives would be like had it not been for the consistency and supervision provided by the staff 365/24/7. Since graduating from Latham School, Michael transitioned to a Latham Adult Group Home and is doing better than ever expected. He has participated in Special Olympics, delivers Meals on Wheels, and continues to participate in community activities. All in all, Michael is doing fantastically. Without Latham Centers’ program none of these feats would be possible.

Please support our Latham Family in the Falmouth Road Race so residents like Michael, and all other children and adults at Latham, can more greatly prosper through our programs. If you have any questions about how to support these runners please call Katrina Fryklund in the Development office at 774.353.9126 or

Submitted by:
Katrina Fryklund
Development Associate

TIP of the WEEK: Limiting Distractions

Children and adults with PWS are often easily distracted as well as slow to refocus. Keeping distractions to a minimum is essential in allowing the person with PWS to successfully complete a task whether it is in the classroom or at a job.
  • In a classroom setting, avoid grouping students together at a table, instead seat them in rows with the most distractible students in the front.
  • Avoid talking only from the front of the room, instead circulate  your movements throughout the classroom.
  • Use decorations in the classroom but keep only what you want the student focused on at eye level, for example the white board.
  • Promote the use of sensory soothing items such as noise canceling headphones, tactile tools and weighted items.
  • Stop every 15-20 minutes for brain breaks that allow the students to get out of their seats and stretch, move or do something off topic. These breaks only need to be a few minutes long but they go a long way in keeping the mind focused and fresh for learning.
  • In the job setting, schedule frequent, short breaks.
  • Encourage socialization with co workers but only at certain, prearranged times during the day. We may be able to have a co worker pop in and have a short conversation then easily get back on task. This same scenario with a person with PWS is extremely difficult. Refocusing once distracted can take far longer than that of a typical worker. It is best to avoid the distraction when possible because getting back to the job at hand can take a very long time.
  • Shorter work days are ideal as this allows for the higher quality output.
Regardless of the setting that you are in it is essential to modify the environment to allow for safe and productive learning. Limiting distractions and creating an atmosphere that allows for optimal concentration will ensure quality education and/or vocational training.

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manger PWS Services

Related Posts:
Strategies for the Classroom
Sensory Integration Activities
Reasons Behind the Behavior

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Community Meeting News

Jessica Hopkins received recognition today at the Children’s community meeting for her exceptional work in the residential program. Jess is a residential counselor who has shown great commitment to her students, a high degree of therapeutic teamwork and has maintained a positive attitude through some challenging events. Great work Jess!

Submitted by:
Tim Vaughan, MAT
Director of Leadership and Growth

Fishing Club News

Congrats to Liam for catching the first fish of the summer! Way to go!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

TIP of the WEEK: A Fun Tip on Physical Therapy

Many folks with PWS have difficulty with gross motor skills. A physical therapist can help people with PWS improve their motor skills, strength, endurance, body and limb control and coordination, and balance.

One activity that can be very enjoyable and helps with each these areas of need is cycling. Some folks are able to ride a bicycle, and others prefer a three-wheeled bike. Three-wheeled bikes come in a variety of sizes, suitable for children and adults.

A physical therapist can help coach an individual in the correct posture and coordination skills needed to make the bike go. He or she can also measure to determine the correct seat and handlebar position for the individual. These are important details because an incorrect fit of the seat can result in strain on the lower back and neck. An improper handlebar position affects hand, shoulder, neck, and back comfort.

Physical Therapists can also teach proper stretching, balance, and flexibility exercises that help with coordination of cycling-related skills. Learning to cycle builds confidence and independence, while having fun outdoors! It’s also a great form of exercise!

Always be sure to wear protective headgear!

Related Posts:
The Importance of Speech-Language Therapy
Sensory Art Class
Vestibular Deficits

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What If It Rains?

We are getting ready for the 4th of July here at Latham. Plans are underway for cookouts, beach trips and parades. Apparently we are also keeping a close eye on the weather so alternative activities are a must in case Mother Nature has other ideas in store for Cape Cod.

When you are thrown a curve ball you need to adapt and staff at Latham are prepared for whatever comes our way. That is an important aspect of great preparation. It is all well and good that you planned a fabulous day of fun in the sun, but…what if? What if it rains? What if there are transportation issues? What if the lead person is sick? It’s the “what if’s” in programming that can ruin a great day for terrific kids who deserve a fun time.

So, this is where talented and creative staff take center stage. They are like the scouts-- always prepared. They have considered all of the possibilities and they not only have back-up plans, they have reassured and shared their plan with the kids. Activities, games, performing; you name it, staff have planned it. The students may be disappointed, may need some time to handle the switch, but we can be patient, and with practice they become more able to handle a change in plans. As the week progresses, we’ll see if the traditional holiday activities get underway or if those backup plans get called out. Either way, it’s going to be a fun week!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant