Prader-Willi Syndrome is a genetic disorder usually caused by deletion of a part of chromosome 15 passed down by the father.
The most common symptoms of Prader-Willi Syndrome are behavior problems, intellectual disability, and short stature. Hormonal symptoms include delayed puberty and constant hunger leading to obesity.
More simply put, because of the abnormality in the area of the brain called the hypothalamus, individuals with PWS never feel full. Due to hormone deficiencies, they can also gain weight on half of the calories that other people their age can.
There is no cure for Prader-Willi.
Without proper environmental supports and dietary measures, these individuals can and do eat themselves to death. Most have obsessive compulsive tendencies and exhibit challenging behaviors. That being said, the combination of an uncontrollable food drive, challenging behaviors, and cognitive limitations creates significant challenges.
Abilities Midwest is an environment designed for PWS in a world that is not designed for it. We have 24/7 supervision, locked kitchens, strict menus, alarm systems, a structured routine, and much more. We also have ongoing training on PWS for all staff to remain carefully trained on PWS and the unique needs associated with it. We also advocate for individuals with PWS to support community integration, employment opportunities, and meaningful relationships to support a happy, healthy life.