PWS TIP Compilation: Surviving and Thriving on Easter Sunday

Easter is a holiday in which kids (and adults) are focused on candy, Easter Egg hunting, and large family style meals. What happens when one can’t be eating unhealthy things because they gain weight twice as fast as a “typical” person? Those with PWS face quandaries like this daily, and over time we’ve built a Latham Centers TIPS archive addressing these difficult situations.
1. If going to church is important to you be sure to have a plan. If you know that your child cannot tolerate sitting still and being quiet for an hour then do not bring him or her. It is only going to make you and your child upset. If you need to, hire a sitter. If your church has a separate mass for children be sure to check to make certain that it does not involve food. It probably does!
2. If you are going to add candy to their Easter basket, keep it small. If you have other kids in your family and you feel the need to give them a candy-themed basket do so away from your child with PWS and have them lock the contents.
Try these alternates:

Jump Rope– a perfect tool for exercise and gaining balance skills.
Silly Putty Eggs– a great sensory item.
Bubbles– another great sensory item that also promotes good deep breathing skills.
Pinwheels or Whistles– more good deep breathing items ( wooden whistles have the same effect without the piercing sound ).
Flower Seeds for Spring Garden– I love this idea because it not only promotes planning and organizing but also gives you the opportunity to spend quality family time together when the snow finally melts!
Memory Games– these are an awesome way to improve your child’s memory and executive functioning skills.
Legos or Coloring Books Made for Older Kids and Adults– these are fun but also enhance your child’s fine motor skills.


Easter baskets can be fun and interesting without all of the candy. Traditions are important and your child can still participate without the added calories and anxiety that come from a food focused holiday.
3. Often times Easter comes with a big family dinner. Use your best judgement about attending. Sometimes a short visit is enough and helps you avoid the stress that comes with lots of food and family.
Holidays do not have to be stressful if you prepare ahead of time and know how much you and your child can tolerate. Have a great Easter from all of us here at Latham Centers!


Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about   PWS best practices. 

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