Relationships and Media – PWS Perspective

Today’s installment of our Valentine’s Day/PWS Perspective series, “Relationships and Media,” is by Patrice Carroll, LICSW, Director of PWS Services. (If you missed the first blog in our series, Valentine’s Day – A PWS Perspective, we discussed changing how we communicate and embrace the holiday in consideration of our Prader-Willi syndrome population.

Patrice shares this wisdom about media and relationships with our PWS community:

Media tells us that being in a relationship, getting married, and having children is the meaning of success. We, as family and caregivers, need to change that narrative. Images on television and in movies depict men and women in a stereotypical way that does not match what the person with PWS looks like, feels, and experiences in day-to-day life. Individuals with PWS typically do not meet the expectations of social norms because society does not embrace any variance from the norm.

People with PWS have interpersonal strengths and skills that often go unnoticed because the opportunities for relationships are sparse. Lack of opportunity does not equal lack of interest or need. Quality of life includes having meaningful relationships, and we have an obligation to ensure that opportunities are available for the person with PWS to experience those relationships.

In our next installment in this series, we will dive into how our residential and educational teams on campus celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday with 35 students with PWS between the ages of 10 and 22.


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