Tip of the Week: Managing back-to-school stress

Stress and anxiety can be debilitating for people with Prader-Willi syndrome, and a new school year can often be a catalyst for these feelings. Helping them to reduce feelings of fear and stress will allow for greater success in all areas of their life. Here are some tips for helping your child reduce and manage that anxiety:

  • Teach coping skills.  Deep breathing, visualizations, and muscle relaxation are all excellent tools to decrease anxiety.

  • Praise bravery.  Every time your child does something that previously made them anxious or scared, provide positive reinforcement.

  • Point out their triggers.  The more your child understands what causes their anxiety, the more successful they will be in managing their feelings and actions.

  • Stick to a routine.  The more predictable, the better. Unknowns are very difficult for our kids, so limit them as much as possible.

  • Check yourself.  If you are stressed or anxious, your child will sense that and respond accordingly.


Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi syndrome specialist. She works with Latham’s residents with PWS, their families, and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices. Do you have questions for our PWS specialist? Submit your “tip” topics or general questions to TipTopics@LathamCenters.org.

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