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Updated: 5 hours 42 min ago

Pondering the Future

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:49am
Sunset at Rock Harbor, OrleansSometimes we are so caught up in what comes next that we miss out on what comes now. We look forward to those big events. Occasionally that future vacation is what gets you through a rough patch at work or at home. More often than not, I think we all fall victim to the perils of living for the next great thing. I have come to the realization that I probably missed a lot of wonderful moments in life waiting for the “big” happening  to come about. I am trying hard to train myself to be more present and aware of the small things unfolding all around me. 

Last night I was planning for the high tide hours over the weekend. Hunting for a tide chart, wondering if I needed to go food shopping had me scurrying around my house. My husband decided it was time for a drive, no destination planned—just getting in the car and heading out. As the sun was setting, we went to the harbor and caught the end of an incredible sunset. We sat there silently and watched the sky turn dark. It was one of the best experiences of my summer and almost missed entirely while planning out the weekend. So Latham blog readers, enjoy the small things in life. Your child’s delight in bugs, their giggling and silliness, the warmth of the sun, the smell of sunscreen lotion. It is all great stuff and totally worth paying attention to.

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Team Latham: 18 Victors in 2014 New Balance Falmouth Road Race

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 1:24pm

A big congratulations to all eighteen runners in this year’s Falmouth Road Race and to all twenty fundraisers! Amidst nearly 13,000 race participants, our 18 charity runners successfully ran through the finish line on a beautiful, mildly breezy day Sunday, August 17.
To date, Team Latham has raised more than $23,000 from almost 300 generous supporters towards vocational and educational programs at Latham Centers. Proceeds will help our students and adults to attend events such as Special Olympics and partake in physical enrichment activities and assistive educational technology. With Team Latham donors stepping up to the plate even today, some runners are going to continue fundraising throughout the week in an effort for some to still meet their individual $1,000 goals, and for others to exceed goal!
To make a general team donation click here, and all the runners will benefit from your kindness. To see a list of all 18 runners and help a specific runner meet or exceed his or her goal, please click here. We truly appreciate all the hard work of our runners, as well as the generosity of our runners’ sponsors who have supported the very dedicated Team Latham!
“If someone can make it from where I was to where I am now, anyone can do it.” –Latham Student and Runner Ryan M.
Thank you to the 2014 Team Latham Runners/Fundraisers:
LATHAM FAMILY & FRIENDS:Steve Bebrin  Andrew CramerJo-Ellen EricksonScott Esselman
LATHAM STUDENT: Ryan M.
CHILDREN’S STAFF: John BonanniMelinda BrennanKalyn MikaGerry PouliotMeghan PouliotTravis TebbettsMary WareNancy Warner
ADULT STAFF: Chris BonelliMagda MoranEvan Wilson
DEVELOPMENT & FINANCE STAFF:Katrina FryklundAnne HaglofGracie Stark

LATHAM PROFILES: Kara McDowell

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 8:33am
What do you enjoy most about your job?

The flexibility in the opportunities to implement personalized curriculum here that creates memorable experiences, cannot be found in many schools. Each teacher here at Latham is allowed to be creative in their approach which makes our school extremely complex and unique. I am a part of an amazing educational team that is supportive and dynamic. It makes this job enjoyable and exciting. 

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

As a classroom teacher I am responsible for creating engaging lesson plans, drafting Individualized Education Programs for each of my students, and creating an environment that is safe, social, and stimulating. I spend much of my time teaching my class basic school subjects, as well as providing support in social scenarios, implementing anti-bullying curriculum, and supporting each student’s individual needs. 


What skills are most important for professionals who work with individuals with PWS?

Flexibility, resiliency, and patience are all important for working with individuals with PWS. The ability to “think on your feet” and change your plans as necessary, is extremely important. Our students need people who will do anything they can to help them achieve their goals. 

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

The most important lesson I attempt to teach new staff is to listen. Listen to the students’ stories, comments, concerns, etc., and you will learn more about them as individuals. Listen to veteran staff’s advice, helpful hints, stories, etc., and you will learn more about how to be successful with our population. 

What do you love about working with individuals with PWS?

Their perseverance and ingenuity is incredible! All of the students at Latham are capable of surprising themselves, peers, and staff everyday! 

Has this job taught you anything about yourself?

As a recent college graduate embarking on my first teaching career, I did not realize that I was accepting a position that would teach me so much about myself. This job has taught me that I have incredible patience, tenacity to help others achieve, and an amazing sense of creativity and imagination.  

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

As a new resident of Cape Cod, I spend most of my time exploring all this area has to offer and enjoying the beach. I also enjoy relaxing in my apartment by reading and painting in my free time. 

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

Learn about what we do here at Latham! Take a look at our website and blog to see what we do and what we are all about. Learning about the individuals we serve and their complex needs is also essential to any one’s success here at Latham. And if you want to be a part of a wonderful team.. apply! We are an amazing group of professionals and we work with an even more amazing group of young individuals!

TIP of the WEEK: Back to School PWS Style

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 7:44am
Preparing for back to school brings the hope for new beginnings, the chance for new opportunities, and for those who have children diagnosed with PWS, a lot of anxiety. Back to school doesn't have to be stressful. A little pre-planning can ease the stress for both you and your child.

1. Back to school clothes. There is no way around buying new fall clothes but due to sensory processing issues new clothes can be intolerable for kids with PWS. Tags and stiff material can cause such discomfort that learning and following the rules can become a near impossible task. Used clothing or hand me downs can take some of the discomfort away because the material is softer. If you need to buy new clothes,  send them through the washer with fabric softener many, many times before introducing them to your child. They are not being picky or difficult- new clothes can feel like needles on the skin to a child with sensory challenges. Some children with PWS can only tolerate sweat pants or running pants. Unfortunately many schools have dress codes banning sweat pants. If your school has a policy against clothing that your child needs to wear in order to feel comfortable be sure to include this in their IEP. Exceptions will almost always be made in the interest of academic achievement.

2. Settling into a new environment. Ask if you can take your child to their new classroom before school opens to give them a chance to become familiar with their new environment. Ask for pictures of their new teacher and if possible, of their classmates. Anything that you can do to avoid surprises will help your child to adjust more easily. Start waking them up at the time they will need to wake up when school begins at least 2 weeks prior to school starting. The same goes for bedtimes. When possible always ease your child in to a new routine rather than change it suddenly.

3. Paperwork. Ask to review the paperwork that your new teacher will be reading about your child. This will give you an opportunity to dispute any information that may have been written out of ignorance of the syndrome.

4. Training videos. Request that everyone working with your child watch one of the training videos for educators working with PWS. Supply them if necessary. The training videos that are available are thorough and extremely helpful and will give your new team more confidence when working with your child.

5. Communicate. Use communication journals or ask for a daily email regarding your child's day. Never solely rely on your child's account of how their day went. It will also ease your child's anxiety if he or she knows that everyone is on the same page and are communicating daily.

Although the start of a new year can be stressful it is also a time of promise and excitement because the truth is, we don't know just how far your child will go, what he or she will learn or accomplish and there is no greater feeling than that.


Patrice Carroll
Manager PWS Services


Related Posts:
Lunch Box Snack Ideas
Back to School

Back to School Tips for Older Students

CapeCodCAN!

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 2:42pm
Latham Centers was a participant in the Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network (CapeCodCAN!) organization this past spring. Students in Latham’s sensory art club made a variety of different artwork to be displayed and sold in the small art shanties near Hyannis harbor. The collaboration with CapeCodCAN was a success and Latham was recently approached by them again to participate in their Fall Art Program.

This organization promotes and allows the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to come together and share their artistic talents with others around the Cape. Their hard work is displayed for public viewing and they even have the opportunity to sell their work as well.

Today I met with a few representatives from other groups that will participate in the Fall Art Program. The group discussed the overall theme for the Fall Artwork, as each group will follow the same theme, “My Cape Cod”. Artwork will include what Cape Cod means to each student and items that represent Cape Cod. Art mediums were discussed which include painting, sculpture, and others. The students are encouraged to use their imagination and to use many different materials for their art pieces. Art groups will meet once a week from September until November. Once the artwork is collected, it will be displayed to the public beginning in November.

CapeCodCAN group representatives all believe in a common goal, the importance of integrating art programs for individuals with special needs, and finding a way to connect schools and groups alike on the Cape. Art allows individuals to express their thoughts and feelings which can be quite challenging for them at times. It can be used as therapy for these individuals and is a great way for them to express themselves, show off their talent, while also helping them to develop important skills for their future. 

Submitted by:
Amie Gould

Top Ten Reasons Why I Teach at Latham Centers

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 9:58am

10. My own schooling: In order to maintain my educators’ liscensure here at Latham, I went back to school to pursue an M. Ed., which has forced me to test my limits academically while working full-time. In doing so, I have honed my research skills while learning the tools to effectively initiate a robust learning environment. Furthering one’s education is one of the single best ways to experience success and teaching at Latham has pushed me to do it!

9. The Nursing Staff: Coordinating with the nurses in a Special Education School is essential, and these coworkers have given me a great deal of knowledge surrounding medical issues related to the many diagnoses we deal with here at Latham. Aside from offering their own health advice for staff, they constantly support my own work when medications have to be packed, a scrape needs to be tended to, or I need my own health checked out.

8. The Clinical Staff: Since working at Latham, I often utilize our Clinical staff for my own debriefing. This team has worked wonders with my students, most of whom attend therapy twice weekly. Their perspectives often add a great deal of insight as to what’s happening in the classroom, and help assess the entire ecology of each student. They tend to be a gentle, creative bunch, and their attitudes are contagious!

7. The trainings and professional development: Since working at Latham, I’ve had opportunities to educate myself on complex issues such as working effectively with Youth-At-Risk, Bullying Prevention, Suicide Prevention, PTSD, and Borderline Personality Disorder, to name a few. The ability to educate myself continually here has helped me enhance my scope of knowledge surrounding the students I work with while growing professionally because of it.

6. The location: The Brewster campus where I work is constantly beautified by the Maintenance department here. My own classroom sits in a historic captain’s house, which for many, embodies the quintessential Cape Cod home. Did I mention I work on Cape Cod? The setting here lends itself to a plethora of educational field trips and recreation for our students while offering easy access to the single best healer in the world: the ocean.

5. My administrators: My administrators have provided me with great support and understanding. I’ve heard of administrative battles in other schools that simply don’t exist here. Most of the people that supervise me have once taken on the responsibilities that I currently hold. Because of this, they show great empathy for problems that arise and have also become great cheerleaders for their staff.

4. Education Staff: My coworkers on the education team have provided me with great role models who have mentored me into teaching today. They not only know how to express themselves professionally in everyday interactions and meeting, but they also make time to meet outside of work, debrief, and connect.

3. Freedom within the Frameworks: As a great deal of our students complete the Alternative Assessment, and as others come from different states, Latham, like many other private schools, offers much flexibility within the MA frameworks. Because of this, I’m not subjected to the judgments and anxieties involved in high-stakes testing that many other school systems are prone to. I can tailor my classroom to theme-based units around respect and diversity, while still allowing students access to the general curriculum provided by the state.

2. The curriculum: The curriculum within my classroom centers on fostering independence needed for effective transition into adulthood, including necessary life skills and community integration. It offers me the flexibility to be creative in my planning while holding students to a higher level of expectations and trust. The transitional curriculum at Latham gives me an opportunity to not only teach but also be a resource for our students during these often anxious times of impending transition.

1. The students: While the obvious answer, the truth is this: These guys have more courage than most people realize. Some come from broken homes; others are dealing with a lifelong genetic disability that affects their ability to self-regulate. Watching them exercise their “mind muscles” in the classroom and within the community brings me the most joy working here because they are able to overcome these intense issues, press on every day, and do it with a smile. They’re the real heroes!


Submitted by:
John Bonanni, teacher

Friday's Woodworking Extravaganza

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 7:52am











We had a really productive day today.  The kids were following directions and totally into it.  Thanks to the delivery team too.

Andy NeedelVocational Teacher

Latham Centers Introduces the Fantastic Floor Team!

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 8:02am
Here’s a great clip of a vocational activity that you might be surprised to learn fills many needs for our students. Consults with the OT and PT specialists, and of course our very own educational staff-- Andy, Fred & Mike, lead to the development of…The Fantastic Floor Team! Promoting vocational, social, movement, and creative skill sets is part of the learning process and helps to build and enhance life skills. Watch this fantastic  team at work!


TIP of the WEEK: Enuresis

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:48am


Enuresis is the inability to control urination and a common problem in children and adults diagnosed with PWS. More often than not enuresis is the result of a delay in the signal that a typical person feels letting us know that our bladder is full. This signal is not functioning properly in the person with PWS therefore when they feel the need to go, it is often too late. This is seen very often in nighttime enuresis, they simply don’t feel the signal strong enough to wake. Here are some things that can help:

  • Determine if the issue is medical or behavioral. You can easily get this information if you use reinforcers for staying dry. If they are able to stay dry with the promise of a reward then you know that it is within their control.
  • Talk to your child’s doctor about medication that may help to decrease the amount of urine that their kidneys make. There are a number of options that you can discuss with your child’s pediatrician.
  • Limit fluid intake in the evening.
  • Document when your child drinks and when he/she has accidents and be sure your child’s school is doing the same. This will give you vital information regarding how long your child can wait after ingesting fluids.
  • It is possible that you will need to wake your child overnight to urinate.
  • Refrain from using negative consequences after an accident. If it is medical then it is out of their control. If it is behavioral then they are attempting to communicate something to you. Either way showing that you are upset will only add to the problem.

Above all else expect that accidents will happen at the most inopportune times and plan accordingly. Have a change of clothes everywhere!


Patrice Carroll
Manager PWS Services

Staff Recognition

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 7:47am


This month Laura Haskew was recognized for her exceptional work in the Children’s program. As a substitute staff, Laura is comfortable working in all situations and in all locations. Laura was specifically recognized for her positive attitude, adaptability, and consistent willingness to help out the staff around her. 
Thanks Laura for everything you do here for both the students and the Agency.
Tim Vaughan, MATDirector of Leadership and Growth

Latham Centers and Latham Lifelong Pet Care Featured on Latest “Profile” Segment of Cape Cod Community Media Center

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:48pm
Paula Hersey with Mr. Dog and Gerry Desautels with Shasta on the Cape Cod Community Media Center set

Monday, August 4th, Latham Development staff Gerry Desautels and Katrina Fryklund were on set with Paula Hersey from the Cape Cod Community Media Center to informcable subscribers of the mid-Cape region about Latham Centers and Latham Lifelong Pet Care on Cable Access Channel 99.
The 22-minute chat flew by resulting in the latest “Profile” show produced by the media center.  Viewers are also treated to two four-legged guests: Latham Mascot Shasta and Cape Cod Community Media Center Set Dog, Mr. Dog along with Hersey, host of “ Profile” along with Gerry and Katrina.
While the canines couldn’t get a word in edge wise, we managed to cover a broad range of topics including:  the specialized care at Latham Centers and the vocational and education/treatment needs of our individuals, Team Latham Falmouth Road Race runners fundraising for Latham, our burgeoning Donkey Therapy program and Latham Lifelong Pet Care program offerings.
Watch the Profile show with Ms. Hersey as hoston YouTube HERE.To learn more about Lifelong Pet Care please visit www.lathamlifelongpetcare.org.

In case you missed it!

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:17pm

Latham Development staff Katrina Fryklund and Gerry Desautels met with Susan Lindquist at Lower Cape TV to record for Cable TV and WOMR radio “This Place Matters" which aired July 23rd on WOMR and WFMR.Susan, Gerry, and Katrina reminisced about Latham’s past and celebrated Latham’s future and 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 CareLatham 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 listen to this podcast click HERE and to learn more about this program please visit www.lathamlifelongpetcare.org

TIP of the WEEK: Tips for Deescalation

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 9:51am

The first few minutes of agitation or frustration are crucial in determining how or if an incident is going to play out. Your response in those few minutes can prevent or fuel a potential incident.

  • Use anything positive that you can think of and praise, praise, praise. If historically he or she has hit or broken objects then praise them for not using their hands and refraining from violence. If they tell you why they are upset then tell them what a great job they did expressing their feelings. Use any positive feedback that you can think of. 

  • Distract. I have seen a situation deescalated when a staff started singing the students favorite song. It was brilliant and changed the mood from angry to happy in seconds. Bring up good things that are coming up but bring them up as a reminder of good things to come not as a threat.

  • Ignore. Be cautious with this technique. There are kids who will stop once they see that they are not getting attention but others may raise the stakes until you attend to them. Try this but pay close attention to their response and be prepared to act accordingly.

  • Stay calm. Use soft voice tones and calm facial expressions regardless of how escalated your child gets.

Most importantly, allow your child a face saving way out. Avoid an audience when possible and once the situation is over- it's over. Reliving the episode will only add anxiety and can lead to further unwanted behaviors.


Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll

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

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 5:00pm
 Gracie and Katrina with ShastaLatham 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:
LATHAM FAMILY & FRIENDSSteve Bebrin  Andrew CramerJo-Ellen EricksonScott Esselman
LATHAM STUDENT:Ryan M.
CHILDREN’S STAFF: John BonanniMelinda BrennanKalyn MikaGerry PouliotMeghan PouliotTravis Tebbetts
Mary WareNancy WarnerEvan Wilson
ADULT STAFF: Chris BonelliMagda Moran
DEVELOPMENT & FINANCE STAFF:Katrina FryklundAnne Haglof
Gracie Stark
To learn more about the Falmouth Road Race, click HERE.
Latham Centers’ 5th Annual Charity Golf Classic
On 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 kfryklund@lathamcenters.org 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.  
THANK YOU!

Just a Reminder...

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 8:38am

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

TIP of the WEEK: During a Meltdown

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 8:58am
 
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

I Salute You

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 3:13pm
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

100 Hours!

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 9:25am



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

It's Dream Day on Cape Cod!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 2:30pm

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

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 8:49am

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

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