TIP of the WEEK: Preparing for Adulthood

Latham-Centers3Preparing for adulthood should start very, very young.
1. Expect a lot. A child with PWS should have the same basic expectations that their siblings have. If chores, manners and speaking to adults with respect are household expectations in your home be sure that these rules apply to everyone. The details may need to be modified but the expectations need to be the same.
2. Don’t allow excuses. Allowing your child to say that they cannot do something or excuse their behavior because of their diagnoses is a set up for many difficult years to come. Unwanted behaviors should not be ignored or excused. It is important to understand why those behaviors occurred and be sure your child knows that you are not ok with them.
3. Make them work. If your child wants something it is important that they do something to earn whatever it is that they are trying to get. A new video game/toy/special clothes outside of holidays or birthdays should be earned. Whether it is helping with house or yard work or doing something special for a family member the act of working for what they want will have a lasting effect. A child who is used to getting what they want when they want it who also lacks impulse control is a recipe for, at best, difficult social situations and at worst legal issues.
You want your child to be a successful adult and all of the characteristics that make a person thrive in adulthood are learned at a very young age. This is no different for a child with PWS.

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Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices. 

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