Tip of the Week: Staying Connected

It is fair to say that one of the hardest things about living in this new normal is being away from your children at a time when we all want to be closer to our loved ones. Knowing that they are well cared for and safe feels good, but not being able to see and hug them is so, so difficult. We understand. We know the sacrifice that you are making to keep your children healthy and we do not take that sacrifice for granted.

The outpouring of gifts from our Latham Centers ‘Wish List’ for campus and adult residences has been incredible. The support and appreciation that you, as parents, have shown our staff has gone so far to keep up morale during this challenging time. We have worked together as a team and the results are healthy students and adult residents.

Even with all of our planning, it is still hard to answer when your child asks when they can start their regular home visits again. We all wish that we had the answer to this, but we just don’t.  So here are some tips on how to approach the topic when asked:

Be honest. We don’t know the answer to this and making false promises will only lead to disappointment and increased anxiety.

Increase opportunities to see each other. Zoom, facetime, and skype are easy ways to see each other’s faces and stay connected. It is not the same as an in-person visit, but it is a way to see each other’s smiles.

Stick to your expectations. Don’t allow this change in their lives to be an excuse for lessened expectations. Be sure to let your child know that you continue to expect them to try their best, participate in school, and stay safe.

Stay upbeat on phone calls. Knowing that you are upset will likely cause your child to worry more. Staying positive and assuring them that once this is over you will go back to the old visit schedule is the best approach.

We will all get through this together!

Patrice Carroll, Latham Centers’ Director of PWS Services, is world-renowned for her Prader-Willi syndrome expertise. She works with Latham students and residents, their families, and other experts, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices. If you have PWS-related questions, we invite you to email TipTopics@LathamCenters.org.

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