“One of the areas that we, as a human race are extremely diverse around… is our toileting experience!
• Some cultures sit on their toilets
• Others squat above their toilets
• Some are very particular about the type of toilet paper they use
• Some cultures prefer to use a bidet
• Do you like to see your poop, to check out the size, shape, and consistency?
• Or would you prefer not to?
• Some prefer to avoid using portable toilets
• Others don’t care where they go
• Some counties have ‘no touch’ toilets that automatically open and flush
• Some people can’t stand the toilet flushing without them being in control
• Some people always want the toilet seat left down
• Others don’t mind whether it’s up or down
• Some like to use the bathroom out in nature
• Others are ‘inside only’ toilet-goers
“Now, picture our children on the autism spectrum. They are also very diverse! Their experience of the world around them is highly unpredictable. It’s difficult to process sensory stimuli. Social rules and etiquette don’t always seem clear or make sense to them. The world of toileting and toilet training could be one of life’s biggest mysteries to those on the spectrum.
“So how do I help my child with autism use the toilet?
“GIVE YOUR CHILD CONTROL AROUND THE TOILET.
• Not insisting (especially when our children are saying no, or showing us they are not ready.)
• Avoid physical manipulation around toileting (e.g pulling our children to the toilet, holding them down on the toilet, etc.)
• Use explanations to let our children know how the wonderful world of toileting works and what to expect from their bodies.
• Being open, and comfortable in our attitude around anything to do with pee or poop. It might also mean allowing your child to sit, stand, explore and use the toilet at their own pace and in their style.
“In addition to this, when we let go of being controlling, we remove any battles we are having with our children around the toilet, and we become more relaxed and more inviting for our children to be able to learn from us.
“Try these tips! You might be surprised at how your child responds!”
Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher