Latham’s PWS University 3: Maintaining Optimism

Latham Centers’ newest outreach endeavor, the PWS University podcast, continues the positivity theme of our team’s work in the area of Prader-Willi syndrome. On October 25th, our PWS “Tip of the Week” focused on the importance of positivity in the world of PWS. The discussion was based on an inspirational message from POSITIVE EXPOSURE, one of the 2019 PWSA (USA) conference highlights. Patrice Carroll and Katrina Fryklund expand upon this message in Latham’s most recent PWS University Podcast entitled “PWS University Episode 3: Maintaining Optimism.”.

In this episode, Patrice and Katrina discuss the significance of Positive Behavioral Supports when working with someone diagnosed with PWS, using examples from Latham programs. They relay a story about a student who loves bugs as an example of how to approach interests positively. For many, an interest as outside the box and consuming as his could be considered perseverative. Because our staff focused on the positives, including ways he could educate other students and staff, his interest became an asset and he became a leader amongst his peers. Patrice also gives an example of something more tactile: Latham Centers utilizes essential oils in programming (a class about blending therapeutic scents); sensory integration (sensory learning has proven successful across multiple platforms in the world of special needs); and generosity (students donating their essential oil goods to serve others around them).  

In the newly posted audio podcast, Patrice reminds all of us who support individuals with PWS that “it’s important that we understand that there are things that we cannot change about the brain of the person with PWS; rather, we need to change the environment to meet their needs. Then we’ll start to see this list of all of the amazing things about them grow longer and longer, and the list of challenges get even shorter.”

We welcome suggestions for future Podcast topics, including your positive experiences with PWS! Please contact us at

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results” -Wade Boggs

More about POSITIVE EXPOSURE:  POSITIVE EXPOSURE is an organization focused on creating a positive environment in the special needs community through photography. “POSITIVE EXPOSURE, founded in 1998, utilizes the arts, film and narratives to present the humanity and dignity of individuals living with genetic, physical, behavioral and intellectual differences. POSITIVE EXPOSURE celebrates the beauty of human diversity, inclusive of ethnicity, religion, age, ability, learning style, gender expression and sexual orientation” ( 

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