Tip of the Week: Hoarding

Collecting and hoarding are common issues for people diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. The gathering of stuff can quickly become an issue for both physical space and emotional security. Individuals with PWS subscribe to the belief that more is better, and this can turn an organized space into a fire hazard in a short amount of time. Many people living with PWS also live with executive functioning disorder, and the accumulation of stuff can make the person anxious, agitated, and unfocused. Use pictures of what an acceptable space looks like and stick to that standard. Most children and adults like to help others—use this as an opportunity to have them donate items when the collection begins to grow. Allow for one bin in their room and put the rest away, then rotate weekly or monthly. Whichever way works best for you, as long as you maintain an organized space while still allowing for personal preferences and interests.


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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