Through group homes and supported living services, Open Options provides community living services to men and women with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) . The syndrome, named after two doctors who began writing about it in the 1950’s, is a complex genetic disorder rooted in chromosome 15 and occurring once in every 12,000-15,000 births. Among the diagnostic criteria of Prader-Willi Syndrome are:
- a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity
- low muscle tone
- short stature
- cognitive disabilities
In 1987, our organization opened the first and only specialized group home in the state of Missouri to serve individuals with PWS. In the development of the residential program, Open Options worked with the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, local researchers and physicians that concentrate in the area of PWS. The program was designed and implemented based on their research and recommendations. Today, we remain the largest – and only specialized – PWS Program in Missouri, and one of the largest residential providers for people with PWS in the nation with three group homes.
This unique syndrome presents special and significant challenges throughout the lifespan, and our program is specifically designed to meet these challenges.