Maintaining food security during the holidays is hard, plain and simple. Maintaining food security when your child is visiting for a home visit is even harder because it is out of your everyday routine which is why it is the most written about topic on The Tip. You are busy, stressed, worried about how your child will tolerate the change in routine and wanting to keep the peace. Here are some ways to make this week as enjoyable as possible for you and your family:
- Take time before your child comes home to "PWS proof"
your house. If your child only visits during the holidays then have
someone who is not as familiar with your home as you are to do a walk
through. You have locked the fridge and moved the extra canned foods to a
secure location but did you remember the can of loose change you keep
on the shelf? Have you removed the candy dish from the dining room table
and taken the younger siblings gummy vitamins from the top of the
- Do you have a plan for the holiday party if your son or
daughter cannot maintain safety? Don't go with a group that will all
have to leave if you do. If the party is 2 hours away, have a plan to
stay in a hotel if need be. A 2 hour drive with a child with PWS who is
escalated is trying at best and dangerous at worst. Staying over at
someone else's home even for one night is risky even if you have
explained the need for security. If you do not live this life, you don't
get it. Period.
- Schedule time with your other kids so you can be
alone with them. This is their holiday too and if you want to maintain
or develop a healthy relationship it cannot be all about their siblings
- Find some time for yourself. This is so important. If you live close to your residential provider ask if you can hire a staff person for a few hours to come to your home and watch your child while you take some time to be alone, run errands or attend a party that may be too stressful for your child.
The holidays can and should be fun and festive. I am trilled to announce that over Thanksgiving we had minimal weight gains for our students and adults who went home. Parents and extended family did a phenomenal job maintaining food security and with that we also saw very few behavioral issues during and after their visits.
We wish you all a very happy holiday and want the safest and most enjoyable time for you and your family. You deserve it!
Manager of PWS Services
Holiday Fun at Latham
Surviving the Holidays