Latham families inspire others in new video “And they said my child would never…”
December 12, 2018
When some of our staff members viewed Latham Centers’ new video, “And they said my child would never…”, they were moved to tears. The 3-minute video tells a story of hope for families of children diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a life-threatening genetic disorder with no known cure. For anyone who has ever wondered “What’s behind the privet hedge” at the Latham School campus on Main Street in Brewster, this peek of life at Latham is perhaps the most informative and awe-inspiring answer possible.
“When you first receive the diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome, you may be told that there are things your child will never do,” begins Patrice Carroll, LCSW, Director of PWS Services at Latham. Patrice works with children and adults with PWS, and she is internationally known for her PWS expertise. “Don’t accept the limits that other people place on your child,” Patrice says.
In the video, parents and students share their experiences, knowing they might help others. We are introduced to several Latham students, including Annika, whose mom said she never thought her daughter would be in such a place of calm and confidence; Christopher, whose mom is amazed by his weight loss and says he is happy, thriving, and enjoying life; and Patrick, who works at Brewster Ladies’ Library and proudly talks of his progress toward his MCAS portfolio and high school diploma.
Several family members reflect on the remarkable progress their children have made at Latham. “When we first got the Prader-Willi diagnosis, it was pretty scary. The person who told us about the disease gave us some very horrifying news about how he was going to be very cognitively impaired and wasn’t going to be able to function very well,” one mom shares. The video features moments in the classroom, on campus, and in the community in which her son is happy, achieving, and enjoying time with his peers.
Patrice’s message to PWS families is uplifting: “Your child will succeed. Your child with thrive, and love, and they will make you happy and proud. They will defy all expectations, and they will show you that perseverance and patience always pays off.”
We are grateful to Shoreline Media Productions for helping Latham Centers produce this video.