LATHAM PROFILES: Ron Sume
February 3, 2015
Activities for Daily Living Teacher
Ron has worked at Latham Centers in the Children’s Program since July 8th, 2001. Throughout this interview Ron was smiling from ear to ear. This emphasizes how much he loves the work and being a part of our students’ lives.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The work is enjoyable. Everybody is different. There is a lot of fun to have. To witness the changes in the students and to think I might have had something to do with it. Appreciate the small changes. Assisting students with how to act in the community and increasing their manners in the community.
Describe a few of your responsibilities and how you spend much of your time.
Planning for everyday activities. Planning and running community trips. Food shopping and meal prep. Running activities. The big ones are always a lot of fun. In the house, keeping everyone respecting each other. Much of my time is spent problem solving with students. These guys have individual problems and behaviors they are working on every day. For me the most important part of the work is to: talk and laugh with them, share ideas, get through tough times and have fun.
What skills are most important for professionals who work with individuals with PWS or other complex special needs?
Patience and understanding with what they are going through. Teaching takes time to help them get to where they need to be with life. Understand where they are coming from. Care for them.
What are the most important lessons you attempt to teach new staff?
Patience, understanding, don’t jump to conclusions, take time for you and students to get to know each other, learn–do not act like you know more than they do, have a thick skin–it is not always a good day, sometimes there will be hurt moments. This job is not for everyone.
What do you love about working with individuals with PWS or other complex special needs?
Through daily routine they can be successful. This routine can alleviate anxiety. They love to have fun! Talking with my students before and at the end of the day. Making sure to spend time with them before leaving shift. I love the conversations with the students. Sometimes there are tear jerking moments. I love when they are really thinking something through and ask: “What should I do?” You talk with them and get from them what they think and feel. I also love being able to use humor throughout the work!
Has this job taught you anything about yourself?
It has increased my patience. Now that I have a family of my own I want to carry on with this patience.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working at Latham?
Fishing, time with family, friends, and my boy.
What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers?
Wow–come and check it out! Get to know these students. Give it a chance, even if your career is in something else. When something is new to us we need to try and take our time.
Come join our team! Latham Centers offers a dynamic and supportive work community where your skills, experience, and passion are valued and put to great use. Check our job listings HERE
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