Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast

One of the homeschool groups we belong to has an annual Thanksgiving feast. This event was through our Christian homeschool group. (we also belong to a group that has more of a diverse mix of beliefs) This thing is huge, I mean HUGE! Last year was our first year attending as...well...with Prader-willi Syndrome food issues, attending an event like this is no simple matter. But, in addition to the feast there were also lots of fun activities; making corn husk dolls, carriage rides, making butter, archery, gem mining, plus some I forgot. So even with all of the anxiety that comes with a food event we were also able to get A~man excited about the fun activities and also getting together with friends. I left my camera at home this time, but if I can figure out how to download pictures off of A~man's ipod I will post some later.

Some things that we always do that seems to help A~man during food events is to remind him before we go that-
  • only his dad or I can get him food.
  • this kind of goes along with the previous statement but he knows that he must ALWAYS ask us if someone offers him a treat. (he also has a peanut allergy) 
  •  we will pick him out a wide variety of yummy healthy foods.
  • no second servings (actually this is something we do at home too although on rare occasion he can have extra veggies)
  • we will pick him out an A~man size portion of yummy desert. 
Knowing in advance what he should expect cuts down tremendously on his anxiety of an upcoming event. Of course, he will repeat everything over and over (and over) up until the event which can cause anxiety for the rest of us! So to help with that we normally wait until the day before to tell him about a special event.

Aside from dropping his turkey on the ground (hubby went and got him some more) food wise the whole event went very well! 

He even was able to see one of his friends we met a couple of years ago that also is on the autism spectrum. They really like each other (sometimes other kids with autism have a hard time with A~man) but sometimes I do not think they really "get" what the other is talking about. It also reminded me I need to work on some context games. Sometimes I noticed him starting to get upset in a social situation as often A~man is not absolutely clear what the other person is saying.

Oh...and he has gotten into this bad habit of asking someone something, they will try and answer, and in the middle of them talking he will find someone else he wants to talk to and wander off. (I cannot tell you how this embarrasses me! ) Fortunately, most of the people that know him realize he isn't trying to be rude, but is easily distracted by interesting people! It's definitely something we are working to help him improve though.

I sort of got off on an A~man/PWS theme to this post but I cannot forget to mention Z~girl. She loved the event, especially hanging out with one of her best friends. People are encouraged to come dressed in a Thanksgiving theme dress and although the rest of us didn't, knowing how she still likes to dress up I bought her a new costume. She dressed as an indian and looked SO cute shooting a bow and arrow. 

It seems this is just the beginning of the holiday season that ends up being filled with food, which can cause great anxiety to people that have Prader-willi Syndrome. (AND their families!) I hope to share more in the next couple of months on ways our family takes the focus off food, to make it a more enjoyable and meaningful time of year.


  1. Yes, and ((clears throat)) you still owe me some giraffe pix too, missy!!! :)

    1. They are on Facebook...I just tagged you in them though.

  2. Thank you for this post. I enjoy hearing about how other families handle Thanksgiving and PWS. Nicholas also responds well to reminders before an event. But like you say...not too early or it is all we hear!

    1. I'd love to hear your ideas about it too Lisa!

  3. Sounds like such a fun event! We are currently in the process of finding a new homeschool group, and I would feel very fortunate if I could find a larger one that does gatherings/activities like this. :)

    While I don't have any experience with PWS, I really appreciated your tips on handling food at events such as this. These are great for any family dealing with food allergies, etc. Thanks so much for sharing! Looking forward to seeing some of those pictures. :D


    1. I hope you find a group! With belonging to two groups (plus Girl Scouts and 4H) sometimes it has the potential to be too many activities. LOL!