Tip of the Week: Interrupting obsessive tendencies

Many kids with PWS latch on to favorite objects and/or themes, such as a particular animated character or celebrity. There is nothing wrong with this and in many cases, it is developmentally appropriate. Be aware that if you notice your child only being able to complete a task when it involves something connected to their favorite character, it may be time to interrupt that habit. For example, if your child will only sleep if he has his spiderman pajamas on, you may run into issues later on when they no longer make pajamas in his size. One mother contacted me because her son only drank out of a particular cup that had since been discontinued. The battle lasted months and could have been avoided had she not allowed that routine to become an absolute must early on. We all want our kids to have security blankets in whatever form they take, but don’t let those wants become needs — it will only set them up for failure in the long run.


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.

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