Having a safe Thanksgiving

Family get-togethers can be a wonderful holiday tradition, but for families of children with Prader-Willi syndrome, they can also be times of anxiety and isolation. If other family members don’t understand the importance of food security or adhering to your rules, then you may have to make the decision to not go to large family gatherings. Perhaps plan a smaller event at your house before or after the holidays.

If your family understands and is open to making concessions, please remember that a point person (or persons) should be assigned to watch your child during the event. If everyone is watching then it is easy for mistakes to happen because everyone assumes that someone else is responsible. Extra treats are perfectly fine on occasion. Anxiety will be lessened if your child knows ahead of time exactly what the special treat should be.

Reach out to other families during this time to be sure that you have a support group. Holidays are difficult and that is especially true for families of children with PWS. Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!


Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi syndrome specialist. She works with Latham’s residents with PWS, their families, and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices. Do you have questions for our PWS specialist? Submit your “tip” topics or general questions to TipTopics@LathamCenters.org.

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