PWS Tip of the Week: Schedules
Having a predictable schedule decreases anxiety, promotes focus and attention, and allows for the person with Prader-Willi syndrome to navigate easily through their day. A daily routine and schedule does not mean that every day needs to be exactly the same, it simply means that the day’s events need to be reviewed ahead of time so the person knows what to expect. Holidays, vacation days, and school closures can be extremely stressful for the person with PWS. Knowing what to expect on those days allows them to remain calm even when their schedule is different. This is especially true about the menu for their day. Write it down, go over it ahead of time, and allow for questions regarding portion size and time. People with PWS often live with Executive Functioning Disorder. Coupled with OCD-like tendencies, this can make for a lot of confusion and stress. A written schedule including meals will alleviate the anxiety and allow for success.
Pictured: At Latham, a fun and helpful Residential Activities Calendar is shared at the beginning of the month (pictured here for November and December).
Patrice Carroll, LICSW, is world-renowned for her Prader-Willi syndrome expertise. As Director of PWS Services at Latham Centers, she works with Latham students and residents and their families, as well as experts in the field, teaching and learning PWS best practices. Patrice also serves on the IPWSO (International Prader-Willi Syndrome Organisation) Caregivers Board, and she co-chairs the PWSA | USA Professional Providers Advisory Board. If you have PWS-related questions, we invite you to email TipTopics@LathamCenters.org.