EMPLOYEEPROFILES

Describe a few of your responsibilities and how you spend much of your time.
I am a classroom teacher at Latham Centers. A few of my responsibilities include creating interesting and meaningful lesson plans, and managing the classroom. I also help create individualized education plans, and give input on behavior support plans. When I’m with the students, I am responsible for teaching them and practicing important social skills, supporting them in times of need, and creating an environment that is safe and conducive to individual growth.
 
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love when a student comes running up to me saying, “Amie, Amie, you’re going to be so proud of me, I used the skill you taught me and it really worked!!!!” I enjoy when the students are proud of themselves for using a coping skill that we have practiced over and over again in the classroom. When they are able to use it in a situation that may have been challenging for them in the past, successfully, I know the hard work was worth it!  

What skills are most important for professionals who work with individuals with PWS?
I believe the most important skills one must have when working with individuals with PWS are patience, humility, creativity, and flexibility.
    
What are the most important lessons you attempt to teach new staff?
The most important lesson I attempt to teach new staff at Latham is to follow the students’ plans. The plans are put in place for a reason, and it is very important to know the plans of the individuals you are working with. I also stress that you must take student concerns seriously and attempt to make a plan with them on how they should handle it. The student needs to know that their voice is being heard. I also think it is important for new staff to ask lots of questions and feel comfortable enough to do so in the moment.

What do you love about working with individuals with PWS?
I love my students’ sense of humor, which can arise in just about any situation. When the day has been tough, one sly joke or comment can make your heart melt. I love their determination and will to succeed in everything they do. I love their caring and compassionate nature for others. I love seeing them smile and hearing them laugh, and hoping that I was just a small part of making their day a little less difficult, and a little more enjoyable.
    
Has this job taught you anything about yourself?
Working at Latham Centers has taught me so much about myself. It has honestly been a life changing experience. I was young and did not know what I wanted to do with my career. Through working with the students and staff at Latham, I have realized many skills that I never knew I had. My patience and kindness with others has helped me to form meaningful relationships, and positive experiences with my students. Latham has also given me confidence in myself that I did not have before. The staff and the students have guided me in overcoming many personal fears with their gentle and caring support that I will always be grateful for.
    
What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers?
If I could give advice to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers, I would encourage them to learn about our population and educate themselves first. I would also encourage them to look into the many career opportunities Latham has to offer. If someone was seriously looking into a career at Latham I would definitely support them. I think very highly of this organization and believe that the individuals that live here deserve the best.
 
-Amie, Classroom Teacher, 3 years
 


 
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best part of my job is when I see the students working together. It makes my day when I see one of my students help another student during a difficult time. All they may offer them are coping skills or just an open ear, and you will see the other student instantly feel better. It’s the best.

What skills are most important for professionals who work with individuals with PWS or other complex special needs?
It is a toss-up between a good sense of humor and patience. When a student is going through a challenging time, it is important to be patient and listen to their needs or concerns. I also find that humor works well in assisting a student back to baseline.    

What are the most important lessons you attempt to teach new staff?
Take in everyone’s perspective. This goes for both my colleagues and students. When working with anyone, it is important to understand the reasoning behind their actions and not to just jump to conclusions.  

What do you love about working with individuals with PWS or other complex special needs?
The compassion and dedication they have is amazing. I am constantly in awe of my students. When I think I have seen the height of their compassion, they do something that leaves me speechless.

Has this job taught you anything about yourself?
I have a voice. Prior to Latham, I mostly kept to myself and was somewhat shy. Latham has forced me to come out of my shell both personally and professionally. While working at Latham you can’t help but to advocate for your students’ needs. Not only have my students brought me out of my shell, but my colleagues are the best support system I could ask for.

What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers?
Do it! You will not meet a more dedicated and helpful staff. When I first started at Latham, I was petrified with starting my career. That quickly ended when I realized how united the staff are. They made me feel at home, and when I had a question, they were supportive and ready to help. Not only are the staff great, but the students are out of this world. They are creative, funny, and eager to learn. I could not ask for a better working environment. I’m lucky!
 
-Meghan, Classroom Teacher, 2.5 years 
 


What do you love about working with individuals with PWS?
I love that what’s therapeutic for them is often therapeutic for me. I love sharing in their experiences, like the first time they see a Monet up close or hiking a monument to watch a Cape Cod sunset. I love seeing them help and comfort each other. And I love that the kids I work with have a profound ability to constantly surprise me with the progress they make–whether that means learning to do a load of laundry on their own or exercise deep breathing as a new coping skill. I love the freedom involved in activity-planning and I love that the team I work with offers their support in every way possible.
 
-John, Classroom School Teacher, 6.5 years


 

Describe a few of your responsibilities and how you spend much of your time.
Some of the responsibilities that I have here at Latham are that I help to teach the students’ proper hygiene, eating etiquette, and social skills that they can use and apply when they leave Latham. I plan activities that bring the students into the community. I also help the students to identify something that is a challenge for them and figure out ways to handle this challenge appropriately.  
 
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The things I enjoy most about my job is that I am able to go to work knowing that I will be amazed every day and that I’m making a difference in the lives of the residents here at Latham Centers. I also have an amazing group of co-workers who offer great support to help keep the students and Latham at its best.

What are the most important lessons you attempt to teach new staff?
The students each have their own history and therefore come to Latham for various reasons. Get to know each student by what the student says and also by their individual behavior plan. These students come here for consistency and support so it is our job as a whole Latham community to provide that consistency.  

What do you love about working with individuals with PWS?
I admire their courage in dealing with this syndrome. To have the constant effects of this illness and yet be able to laugh, smile, form friendships, and have fun is amazing.  

-Meaghan, Residential Counselor (School Campus), 2 years

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“I love seeing them smile and hearing them laugh, and hoping that I was just a small part of making their day a little less difficult, and little more enjoyable.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Walking into the house I manage every morning and getting warm, smiley greetings from the clients. If they’re happy, I’m happy!

Describe a few of your responsibilities and how you spend much of your time.
A lot of my day is spent scheduling and making sure the clients get where they need to be. They are my main concern, and I want them to lead the most meaningful lives possible, and keep them engaged in activities.

What skills are most important for professionals who work with individuals with PWS or other complex special needs?
Patience, calmness, and flexibility.

What are the most important lessons you attempt to teach new staff?
A lot of our clients have led some really challenging lives before coming to Latham. Always, always, always take the time to build a relationship with a client, even if it means finding that one connection to start a conversation.   

What do you love about working with individuals with PWS or other complex special needs?
I enjoy laughing just as much as my clients enjoy laughing. Every day we find new ways to be silly and help bring cheer to our Latham community!  

Has this job taught you anything about yourself?
Absolutely! This job taught me to be selfless and increasingly patient. I realized I wanted to make Latham my career. I started at Latham Centers almost 6 years ago as a residential counselor in the children’s program and currently manage a house in the adult program.  

What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers?
You will never know unless you try. You have to be willing to give 100% every day.
 
-Chrissy, Adult Residential House Manager, 5 years
 


Describe a few of your responsibilities and how you spend much of your time.
In my current position at Latham, I am responsible for med administration, meal prep and ensuring the general safety of the individuals that I help support. I encourage them to be the best they can be and role model appropriate behavior.
 
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy all of the experience and skills that working for this company has given me. I have been able to apply my trainings to real life situations and continue to build on my expertise in this field. Latham has allowed me to be very flexible with my work schedule, and you never live the same day twice in this work environment, every day is different.

What skills are most important for professionals who work with individuals with PWS or other complex special needs?
Patience and humor are two very important things that can really be helpful in this line of work. Being confident in your decision making and following Latham’s general rules and guidelines can also help you excel in your position. Communication is always a great trait in the workplace. Working with the individuals that Latham supports also requires a lot of improvising and creative thinking, you have a lot of freedom to try new ideas and have a lot of fun with the people you work with.

What are the most important lessons you attempt to teach new staff?
The best thing you can do is continue to ask questions. Everyone here is very helpful and so many people working for this company can be great mentors to help you along the way.

What do you love about working with individuals with PWS or other complex special needs?
I love experiencing the big things that happen in their lives with them; from graduations to Birthdays and holidays, to new jobs and responsibilities. It’s really special to see the joy and pride in their eyes when something important and exciting happens to them, especially when you see how hard they’ve worked for it and encouraged them along the way.

-Gina, Adult Residential Counselor, 3 years
 


 
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. Much of my time is spent problem solving with students. These students 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 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.

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 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.
 
-Ron, Activities for Daily Living Teacher, 14 years