LATHAM PROFILES: Kelly McCarthy
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Kelly: “These amazing kids. They have such warm hearts. I love the moments when I can help them out of a crisis.”
What skills are required to work with PWS kids?
Kelly: “Patience is number 1 and this is a skill that can be learned. I’ve grown so much in this area during my time at Latham. Power struggles have to be avoided and you can’t take behaviors personally.”
What do you spend most of your time doing?
Kelly: “There is always something going on in the afternoon and evenings. Homework needs to be done, we go on outings in the community, do arts and crafts projects. It’s important to keep the kids busy. Every Wednesday evening we go swimming.
Activities that involve sensory integration are really helpful and they’re fun too. One thing we do is play with shaving cream. We spread it on a table and the kids make designs. It’s fun to touch and play with and one of the results is that the kids pick less. We also use bubble wrap and play tug of war, which gets aggression out and helps with relaxation.”
What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers?
Kelly: “You don’t need to have experience with PWS to work here because lots of training is provided. It’s important to make connections with the kids and be able to work cooperatively with the team. It is demanding work and at the end of your shift you need to be able to leave work at work.”