Living and Thriving with PWS: Surviving the Holidays


The holidays are always a big topic of conversation when it comes to individuals with PWS.  There’s the time spent with family, but then of course comes the thought of food!! It’s important for families to understand the necessary steps to ensure individuals have a safe and enjoyable holiday.  When I was younger I always struggled during the holidays. But, today I’d like to share with you my experience during the holiday season.
Upon entering Latham Centers about 3 1/2 years ago, I began a journey that would change my life forever.  Being part of the adult program here at Latham has broadened my knowledge of how to handle temptations during the holiday season.  The Adult Residential PWS program at Latham follows a 5-week rotation menu ranging in individual daily calories from 1000-2000.  Being on the menu has given me a better idea as to what types of food are easier on my digestive health and the appropriate size that should be eaten.  Portions were always my challenge, especially during the holidays.
I go home routinely for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter seasons.  My cabinets and refrigerator get locked at home when my parents aren’t around, whether they’re upstairs or out running errands.  During the main meals the food is set out Buffet style, and I’m able to have the opportunity to serve myself.  The way I handle these big celebrations is choosing what I won’t be guilty of not having later.  You may be thinking what about dessert? Well, I choose either what I like the best about the choices given or I have a little bit of my top 2-3 choices.  Occasionally my family will give candy and or holiday themed treats which are planned to eat evenly throughout the time I’m home.  I always enjoy the holidays but have a safe and satisfying experience while doing so!

Living and Thriving with PWS is a monthly blog column by Derek M., a 25 year-old Latham adult resident with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), who has resided on Cape Cod for over three years in a home managed by Latham Adult Services with fellow residents also diagnosed with PWS.

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