Prader Willi

Temper outbursts in Prader Willi syndrome


Temper outbursts are commonly described in people with Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS); however they are rarely described in detail.  In a recent study conducted by Dr Penny Tunnicliffe and colleagues, fourteen parents and carers were interviewed about temper outbursts to find out what happened just before the outbursts, what happened during the outbursts and how the outbursts were managed.

Parents and carers described how temper outbursts occur most commonly if a routine is changed or if there is a different expectation on the person with PWS.  Parents described how these outbursts follow a consistent pattern, which is characterised by the person with PWS getting angry very quickly, followed by expressions of remorse and distress after an outburst.  What this points to is that individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome know that temper outbursts have an impact on others.  In addition, these findings suggest that temper outbursts may be related to difficulties with emotional regulation, which means that at the point of an outburst it is very difficult for a person with Prader-Willi to manage their emotions.  Further research is needed to confirm this for definite in Prader-Willi syndrome and a number of projects are currently running to address this.

To watch an update on Prader-Willi temper outburst research watch the short film below:

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