Comments: No Comments
Some children ‘just get it’ when it comes to toilet training. Others, not so much. Toilet training is a huge developmental milestone. It increases independence, helps social relationships and it can be a really important skill when thinking about school readiness. For those young ones who aren’t having success with conventional methods of toilet training ABA can help.
Let’s look at the example of “Johnny” (not his real name!). He’s been engaged in therapy for about a year, responds well to reinforcement, is making lots of gains in his program. However he’s about to go into Kindy and has been unsuccessful in his toilet training attempts with his parents so far. Johnny’s mum approaches her ABA Program Manager about this skill and they develop a program to toilet train him. Within three weeks he goes from zero toilet use to independent requests for the toilet for both wee’s and poo’s!
How did we toilet train?
There are a few key area’s that need to be addressed in toilet training. First, you need to be able to “catch a wee”. This then gives you the opportunity to reinforce weeing in the toilet. Second, you need to teach the sensation of a full bladder and teach this as a natural antecedent to Mand (request) the toilet. Third, fine motor skills for pulling up and down pants are important if the child’s toilet use is going to be independent.
In a typical toilet training intervention, we will work on all of these skills through a very intensive program. This will include taking the child to the toilet regularly and providing reinforcement, then thinning out the schedule and increasing teaching opportunities to request independently.
In summary, ABA can help toilet train almost anyone! This case reflects the success of a young child, but these methods can be implemented with a child of any age, both younger and older.
When thinking about toileting interventions, your practitioner will need to get medical clearance from your GP first. They will need to rule out any underlying medical problems that may be causing toileting problems. The next step is to meet the parents/carers and talk through strategies and to explain any risks and the realistic time commitments before you begin. An intensive intervention around toileting can be hard work…but very rewarding too!
Please feel free to contact Rachel Puan or myself should you want to know more about our toileting interventions on 9274 7062.
Program Manager ABACAS