Tip of the Week: Ways to make Halloween fun for children with PWS

For families of individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome, Halloween can give us nightmares – but not for the same reason as the rest of the world. To celebrate the holiday, there are some things that we can do to allow our kids a chance to enjoy it, without all of the candy that goes along with it – including dressing up, playing games, and being part of the fun. Below are some ways to allow your child to participate without asking him or her to be surrounded by candy and food that they cannot have:

  • Plan your own party so you have control over the food. There are great recipes online for Halloween-themed veggies and fruit trays as well as sugar-free punches.

  • If your child’s school will not agree to have a candy-free classroom celebration, then you may have to plan to keep your child home that day. The stress from attending the party may not be worth it.

  • Older kids may want to participate in handing out treats to the neighborhood kids that come to the house. We have had great results with handing out small bags of Halloween pencils, erasers, plastic rings, and other small non-food themed items.

At Latham Centers, we have a tradition of a Halloween day parade and costume contest. Students ‘trick or treat’ throughout the campus, receiving small toys and individualized treats, then gather for a staff costume contest judged by the students. We’re all looking forward to this annual tradition on October 31st!


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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