Tip of the Week: Impulse Control

Sometimes it can be surprising to us when a child with Prader-Willi syndrome breaks something that they love or hurts somebody that they are friends with – for no obvious reason. It’s important to remember that they are not being manipulative or trying to get extra attention for the most part; it is that they lack the necessary impulse control that the rest of us take for granted. At times they can act on an inappropriate thought, even when that act ends up hurting them – as in the case of breaking a favorite toy or game. The lack of impulse control means that sometimes they do not have that necessary “pause button“ to stop themselves from acting on a thought. Thankfully, this can be taught over time by encouraging your child to talk about how they feel so they do not feel the need to show you how they feel through their actions. Encourage your child to stop, express themselves verbally, and talk them through waiting before acting. Over time, you will see an improvement in their ability to access impulse control.


Patrice Carroll, Latham Centers’ Director of PWS Services, is world-renowned for her Prader-Willi syndrome expertise. She works with Latham students and residents, their families, and other experts, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices. If you have PWS-related questions, we invite you to email TipTopics@LathamCenters.org.

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