This can be a heart wrenching and confusing process. No one wants to have to make this decision but when your child is struggling at home or at school to the point where yours and their quality of life is suffering, it may be time to look at this option. No one knows or loves your child as much as you do but there are places that can nurture, teach and support your child to live to their full potential. There are things to consider when looking at a residential placement:
- How experienced are they working with PWS?
- Does the staff receive training to meet the needs of the students?
- Are they active with PWSAUSA?
Talk to parents who already have children there. Are they happy? Have their children made progress?
Will your child have a peer group? Because children with PWS have such unique needs, they are often singled out in school and made to feel different. We see children who were the outcasts in their previous school who are suddenly popular and sought out for friendship after moving in.
Here are some quotes from parents of children who live here:
" (My son) has friends, lots of friends. In my wildest dreams I never thought he would even have one friend. I was just happy when kids didn't pick on him. Now he has kids that want to be with him, really like him for him. Not because their mothers told them to be nice or to tolerate him".
" After ( my son ) moved I felt guilty, like I failed and had to give him to someone else to raise. Then he came home for his first home visit and I saw the boy I used to know. He wasn't only thinner but he was calmer, happier. It was then I realized that I made the best decision for him and for me."
" ( My daughter ) had taken our family hostage. My other kids were suffering, we walked on egg shells trying not to upset her. Making the decision to place her at Latham was still so hard but now she visits and we're more relaxed because she is. She calls and she sounds happy. She's working on skills to help her relax and it seems to be working because now when she visits my other kids want to spend time with her."
" The first night he was at Latham I slept. I mean really slept, like the whole night! Then I realized that I think it was the first time I'd slept in 16 years."
We know that the decision for residential placement is a difficult one but sometimes it is necessary for the quality of life of you and your family. We are here if you want to discuss options or even if you just want to drop by and visit. We understand that your child is unique and also understand the unique needs of PWS. Don't hesitate to give us a call, we are here for you.
Manager of PWS Services