TIP of the WEEK: Peer Support

April 17, 2015

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Peer support is a helpful and often underused strategy to pull out of your toolbox when your child needs some extra help. Like most kids, it can be easier for our children to accept help and advice from peers rather than parents or caregivers.

1. Connect with other families. So many of you are physically isolated from other families with children diagnosed with PWS but social media allows for virtual connections that can be invaluable. With some monitoring you can easily help your child connect with other children with the diagnosis. These connections allow them to not only feel less alone but open the door to peer support in times of need.

 
2. Go to conferences and bring your child. Meeting face to face and sharing experiences can give your child the opportunity to make life long friendships that otherwise would not have happened.

 
3. Ask your school for help. Let your child share their story with their classroom. When other students understand what your child is going through and have a better understanding of the syndrome, they are more likely to be sympathetic and helpful rather than isolating. Ask if your child can be a peer mentor to children with greater challenges. Peer mentoring is not only beneficial to other students, it will increase your child’s self esteem and self awareness.

Giving help when needed and accepting help are valuable life lessons and are often easier to learn when they are peer driven.

 

Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

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