The appearance and spread of COVID-19 has affected everyone in profound and unexpected ways. In accordance with guidelines offered by the CDC and public health officials, Latham Centers has implemented changes in our protocols which are communicated directly to our staff and Latham families. As the situation evolves, we will continue to post any new information here on our “Updates for Families” page.
All of us here at Latham Centers are focused on ensuring the well-being of our students, residents, staff, as well as our Latham families. We have compiled many helpful “Resources for Families” below, and we hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.
Resources for Families
We've collected some helpful resources to help children, parents, and caregivers cope with the challenges presented by the coronavirus. The virus and its effects require changes to our behaviors and routines, but we hope that the innovative ideas and resources presented below will help you and your families navigate through this difficult time.
If you're caring for children during this time, this list from the CDC (with additional suggestions below from Latham Centers) might offer some guidance:
- Many schools are offering lessons online (virtual learning). Review assignments from the school, and help your child establish a reasonable pace for completing the work. You may need to assist your child with turning on devices, reading instructions, and typing answers.
- Communicate challenges to your school. If you face technology or connectivity issues, or if your child is having a hard time completing assignments, let the school know.
- Create a schedule and routine for learning at home but remain flexible.
- Have consistent bedtimes and get up at the same time, Monday through Friday.
- Structure the day for learning, free time, healthy meals and snacks, and physical activity.
- Consider the needs and adjustment required for your child’s age group.
- The transition to being at home will be different for preschoolers, K-5, middle school students, and high school students. Talk to your child about expectations and how they are adjusting to being at home versus at school.
- Consider ways your child can stay connected with their friends without spending time in person.
Look for ways to make learning fun:
- Have hands-on activities, like puzzles, painting, drawing, and making things.
- Independent play can also be used in place of structured learning.
- Practice handwriting and grammar by writing letters to family members. This is a great way to connect and limit face-to-face contact.
- Start a journal with your child to document this time and discuss the shared experience.
- Use audiobooks or see if your local library is hosting virtual or live-streamed reading events.
To help families with children at home during this trying time, Latham Centers has compiled a list of resources in hopes of equipping families with strategies and tools. The following resources focus on creating programming specific to someone with Prader-Willi syndrome. We’ve included five sections:
PBS gives a perspective of a parent learning how to talk to her children about COVID-19.
Describing the practice of Social Distancing can be difficult. This image can help to simplify:
- How to Homeschool for Free lists virtual field trips such as outer space, national parks, museums, and historic landmarks
- Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden offers the Home Safari series, highlighting different animals in the zoo in their Facebook Livestream at 3:00pm EDT
- NASA gives full access to their Media Library, including videos and photographs, in this ‘out of this world’ opportunity
- The New England Aquarium also invites you to watch their Facebook Livestream, with videos with educators and animals. All the videos can be found here, and their Facebook page can be found here.
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers ten different live webcams showing animals like birds, jelly fish, sharks, sea otters, and penguins
- Missing musical theater? Playbill.com gives helpful links and information about where to watch musicals on TV at home
- Preschool Inspirations provides fantastic yoga tutorials for children. Some videos highlight “Yoga Adventures.” These adventures require minimal to no equipment and can be done as a family. For someone with PWS, yoga is a great way to work on one’s vestibular sense and core body strength
- Fluency and Fitness offers 21 Free Days of education
- Fitness Apps for your phone can be a great option. MyFitnessPal encourages you to “Track calories, breakdown ingredients, and log activities.” The website also enables you to search for Calorie Counts for foods
- Youtube TV hosts The Body Coach TV, where recently, the instructor has posted a daily ~30 minute video entitled P.E. with Joe
- General: each of the websites below varies and updates their offerings, which may include free subscriptions, fun quizzes, educational videos, and activity ideas.
- Learn about different bird species around the world with AAA State of Play. This website lists 50 different birds with the sounds they make and can be an interactive learning experience for everyone in your household.
- Every Monday and Thursday at 11am PDT, Ocean Initiatives offers Virtual Marine Biology Field Classes through a live Facebook feed and videos. Learn more about their initiative on http://oceansinitiative.org/blog/, and visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OceansInitiative/.
- Cool Math focuses on grade-specific lesson plans and fun games: https://www.coolmath.com/
- The iReady digital learning platform is currently available at no cost. They offer math classes up to grade eight: https://www.curriculumassociates.com/supporting-students-away-from-school
- TIME for Kids has posted their publication, Your $, which focuses on financial management for children of many ages. Learn more here: https://www.timeforkids.com/
- Language Arts:
- Fun Fonix allows people to customize worksheets and select age-appropriate learning for your child: https://www.funfonix.com/
- Denver Public Library offers a virtual storytime that can be accessed 24/7: “Phone-a-story offers a wide range of stories for different age groups and you can listen to them as many times as you want. Dial 720-865-8500 and just follow the directions.” https://kids.denverlibrary.org/activities/phone-story-720-865-8500
- The iReady digital learning platform is now available at no cost. They offer English/Language Arts classes up to grade eight: https://www.curriculumassociates.com/supporting-students-away-from-school
- BBC’s website offers, “Enter ancient worlds, meet famous people and discover fascinating facts by exploring a wide selection of historical games and activities.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/forkids/
- Vanderbilt University’s Facebook Page, Prader-Willi Syndrome Research – Vanderbilt University, offers a unique opportunity for Social Hour Zoom sessions. Beginning on March 25th, they offer:
- PWS Social Time for those Under 18 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 1pm CT and Tuesday, Thursday at 4pm CT.
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 2pm CT they will offer PWS Social Hour for those over 18.
- They offer PWS Caregiver Self Care Monday through Friday at 8pm CT.
- PWSA (USA) Family and Medical Support counselors are available to assist families affected by PWS throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Reach out to them at 800-926-4797 (available 10AM-5PM Eastern) or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Online PWS Specific Facebook forums can also be very helpful to parents and guardians, such as the Prader-Willi Syndrome Open Forum.
- National Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA)
- Prader-Willi Syndrome State Chapters and Affiliated Organizations
- Prader-Willi Syndrome Association of New England
- Foundation for Prader-Willi Research
- International Prader-Willi Syndrome Organisation
This website connects people to online support groups that are free— everything from rare diseases, addiction, anxiety… you name it.