TIP of the Week: New PWS University podcast features holiday activity ideas

During the holiday season, those of us who have someone in our lives with Prader-Willi syndrome are considering a myriad of complications… We wonder how we’ll be able to foster a positive holiday experience despite the typical stressors this time of year such as food-related activities, high-stimulus environments, and changes in routine. In this week’s PWS University podcast, Latham Centers’ Katrina Fryklund, Director of National Outreach, and Dominic Monick, Residential Supervisor, lead up to the holiday week of festivities with a discussion of activity ideas.

Dominic has worked with students with PWS – ages eight to 22 – for seven years. During this podcast, he discusses with Katrina his favorite fitness, arts and crafts, and philanthropy-geared activities that work best for our students. He describes:

  • exercises that excite the kids at Latham (which could be augmented to your house or your family holiday party),

  • the importance of considering alternative non-food related activities during holiday parties, and

  • he explores the topic of crafts and how to manage long-term projects over multiple days and vacation periods.

Katrina and Dominic conclude the podcast with a discussion of the underlying themes of all activities: buy-in and an understanding of who you are serving, the time and capacity of the activity and environment, and creativity and imagination.

Dominic states, “Part of the wonderful thing about the kids we have here, and the kids all around, is that their hearts are so big […] where you really see them shine is in their capability of wanting to give back. […] When you nurture them, and help them through that, and bounce off the ideas that they have […] the generosity makes them feel so good.” He continues at the end, “Understand who you want this to work for: what are their limits, what are their capabilities? […] The things [our students] want to do mean a lot to me [because the activity] needs to mean something to them.”

We hope that this TIP and paralleling PWS University podcast serve as inspiration for fun, new activities to do around your household and during parties throughout the holiday season with the person in your life with PWS.


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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