Many individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome face emotional and behavioral challenges that present as outbursts. However, whether it’s caused by a change in routine or the presence (or absence) of food outbursts can be managed. For example, maintaining food security and adhering to a set schedule for snacks and meals will decrease food-related anxiety, and providing a consistent routine for your loved one will help manage expectations for everyone.
When faced with an outburst, it is important to remain calm. Remember that escalated emotions and behavioral outbursts are not intentional and in most cases the person with Prader-Willi syndrome is not in control. Tantrums, outbursts, and acts of aggression are not choices the person with PWS would make if they were able to think clearly in the moment.
Teaching coping skills and being supportive are the best ways to avoid these outbursts. If you know that a stressful event is coming up, don’t wait until the behavior occurs. Foreshadow with the individual, answer questions about the event, and provide reassurance as needed. Remember too that it is important to have helps available to manage adverse situations, e.g. a safe place for your child to retire to if they need a break.
Being prepared and working with the individual with PWS to understand the situation, and to cope with their anxiety, can make difficult situations much easier to handle.