Medical / Dietary Needs

What you need to know

The list of possible medical problems in PWS can be quite extensive. However, each individual usually has only some of these problems. Also, the severity of any one of these medical problems varies widely between individuals. Therefore, it is important to ask the parents for information about the medical issues affecting their child.

School age children with PWS may have annual doctor and specialist visits to monitor medical conditions. 

Be aware, or ask a parent, if the child has a medical alert bracelet.

What you can do

  • Encourage parents to get a yearly check up for the child with appropriate screening, diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring conditions.
    • Should be centered in the child's primary care Medical Home
  • Ensure the child's vaccination history is up-to-date. Most children with PWS can receive live virus vaccinations. Recording information about the types of vaccinations the child receives is important. 
  • Support good hand washing to minimize the spread of viruses in the classroom. 
  • Notify the parents of any changes in the child’s energy level. 
  • Be aware of any changes in behavior or mood that seem out of line with the situation. Notify the parents. 
  • It is important to be aware of any academic changes. Contact parents when any differences are noticed. 
  • Be an advocate for the child in obtaining sufficient speech and language support during school to communicate effectively throughout the day. This may include communication augmentation devices in some situations.
    • Work with parents when they are advocating for their child.
  • Work with parents to establish behavioral and environmental support for weight management. Consider:
    • Restricted access to food in all environments
    • Locks on refrigerators and food storage areas (including other student’s lunches and snacks)
    • Constant supervision
    • Calorie restrictive diets
    • Consistent and scheduled meals and snacks
    • Programs that help teach behavioral and weight management strategies.