Sunday, March 21, 2010

PWS featured on Discovery's Mystery Diagnosis!

PWS is featured on Discovery Channel's Mystery Diagnosis tomorrow March 22nd at 10pm.  "The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Eating" is the story of Conor Heybach who is now an adult (and serves on PWSA's Adult Advisory Board).  From the show's description I gather Conor wasn't diagnosed until he was a teenager.

When Oscar was first born and for several years after it seemed like the only media attention that PWS received was sensationalist and depressing. As I remember it, kids were often portrayed only as food-seeking monsters and parents were depicted as clueless and desperate.  (Admittedly my memory is poor and I was particularly sensitive in those days)  We in the PWS community used to tell ourselves that any awareness is good awareness, and it is true that some people were subsequently diagnosed with PWS because of those shows.

In the past few years, though, I feel like there is interest in more sensitive treatment of PWS in the media. A month or so ago I was contacted by a television producer who is putting together a show on PWS, also for the Discovery Channel. When I spoke with her she was thoughtful and bright and genuinely interested in all aspects of the disorder.  I'm definitely not opposed to exposing the more difficult parts of PWS, but I do care that treatment of PWS be thoughtful and thorough and that the individuals with PWS and their families are shown the deep respect they deserve.

I feel like we are in a new era, and so I'm hopeful about this episode of Mystery Diagnosis.

1 comment:

  1. This would be a great posting for Hopeful let other parents know that the Discovery Channel is doing this. I've never heard of that show; thank you for sharing it with us.