People with PWS have a set of behaviours which are so characteristic of the syndrome they are known as a behavioural phenotype. Most are linked to the hypothalamic dysfunction and/or cognitive problems. However, these behavioural challenges vary considerably in mildness and severity from person to person, and over time and circumstances. Behaviours shown by toddlers and very young children are usually very similar to those who do not have PWS.
The following links are sections from the PWS Journey. Families can obtain a hard copy of the whole PWS Journey, which is updated as their child reaches the next age range, by becoming a member of PWSA UK
5 – 10 years 10 – 13 years 13 – 18 years 18 – 25 years 25 – 40 years 40+ years
Skin-picking is common in PWS – about 70% of people display this behaviour at one time or another. It is thought to be a coping strategy on the part of the person. It may be mild or severe and may not happen all of the time. For tips on how to manage this, see the behaviour management links above. Also:
Skin-picking in people with Prader-Willi syndrome (IPWSO Famcare)
Aggressive and violent behaviour
Behaviour can become aggressive or violent, although this does not manifest in everyone with PWS, and may be a response to external pressures and stress. The following information may be helpful in understanding and managing this type of behaviour.
Aggressive behaviour in PWS
Others source of information about behaviour management
Understanding and reducing problematic behaviours in persons with Prader Willi syndrome - Dr. Kate Woodcock (Frambu Centre, Norway)
If your son or daughter is displaying severe or unusual behaviours or if you have a question about behaviour, please contact us.