Children and adults with PWS are often easily distracted as well as slow to refocus. Keeping distractions to a minimum is essential in allowing the person with PWS to successfully complete a task whether it is in the classroom or at a job.
- In a classroom setting, avoid grouping students together at a table, instead seat them in rows with the most distractible students in the front.
- Avoid talking only from the front of the room, instead circulate your movements throughout the classroom.
- Use decorations in the classroom but keep only what you want the student focused on at eye level, for example the white board.
- Promote the use of sensory soothing items such as noise canceling headphones, tactile tools and weighted items.
- Stop every 15-20 minutes for brain breaks that allow the students to get out of their seats and stretch, move or do something off topic. These breaks only need to be a few minutes long but they go a long way in keeping the mind focused and fresh for learning.
- In the job setting, schedule frequent, short breaks.
- Encourage socialization with co workers but only at certain, prearranged times during the day. We may be able to have a co worker pop in and have a short conversation then easily get back on task. This same scenario with a person with PWS is extremely difficult. Refocusing once distracted can take far longer than that of a typical worker. It is best to avoid the distraction when possible because getting back to the job at hand can take a very long time.
- Shorter work days are ideal as this allows for the higher quality output.
Manger PWS Services
Strategies for the Classroom
Sensory Integration Activities
Reasons Behind the Behavior