Friday 26 February 2016

Stepping It Up for Toileting

Alex has begun to have some regular successes on the toilet since we began the program of letting him have his iPad for 10 minutes on the toilet on coming home from school.  However, those successes are still very limited by circumstance.  He has only achieved success when he has been away from home for the majority of the day in a place where he doesn't feel comfortable soiling himself.  Right now, that basically just means school, so we haven't had any successes on weekends, PA days or school holidays.

With March Break and summer starting to peer around the corner at us, we need to start thinking of ways to encourage him to get to the next level, which would be recognizing that he needs to go and going to the toilet rather than having an accident.

Our behavioural specialist suggested that we come up with a really big reward for multiple successes.  In this case, we've told him that he can earn a train ride to Montreal if he spells "TOILET" (he gets one letter for each success).  He likes the train and it's certainly not something he's earning through anything else.  

We've never had more than two successes per week, so we're hoping this will encourage him to break through that comfort zone.

We'll have to see what happens.  This has been an agonizingly long process.  I overheard two moms talking last week and one was complaining that it had taken her toddler 4 months to toilet train.  The other mom was properly sympathetic about how difficult that must have been to be constantly cleaning up accidents.  

I couldn't help myself.  I laughed out loud.  And when they began getting upset, I explained that I have a special needs child and have been working on toileting for almost 10 years.  Not exactly what's in the brochure when they send your new baby home from the hospital.

I don't expect this to be a quick dash to the finish line.  It could be another two or even five years before we get anything resembling reliability, assuming that we continue to progress.  It took Alex over four years to begin to be able to manage urination and he still needs reminders or else he'll have accidents.  I'm sure that BMs won't be any simpler.

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