The Meaning of Valentine’s Day – a PWS Perspective

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day? Depending on your perspective, you may be thinking of the positive or negative sides of being in a romantic relationship. Latham’s Director of PWS Services, Patrice Carroll, LICSW, suggests that we change the narrative around Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and relationships. Many individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome struggle with finding success in relationships and long for the partnerships that they see in their families and in society in general. In our social groups and families, we must begin to alter the way in which we celebrate and bring attention to these cultural milestones. Be sure that within your family you are celebrating every accomplishment and not just the major milestones because doing so will inherently leave out the person with PWS. We need to send the message that a different life is equally as joyous and worthy as a traditional life. I encourage you to use Valentine’s Day as a day to find out what your loved one wishes; do they want a boyfriend or girlfriend and if they do, what they want in a partner, and how can we help them achieve this personal goal. I challenge you to help them make connections this year and be there to guide and coach them through this journey. People with PWS have so much love to give – and we have a duty of care to ensure that they can live a life of their design and to be there for them along the way.

In our next blog from the series of Valentine’s Day – a PWS Perspective, we will delve into relationships and Media.

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