Teaching Your Child How To Use The Bathroom

Toilet training

Toilet training can be challenging for parents, especially when you have children with special needs. While it is not your goal to push your child to perform when he or she already deals with challenges, feelings of accomplishment is experienced with certain aspects of self-care. If after reading these tips the task still seems daunting, consider working with a behavioral health center Tallahassee to help your child reach this milestone.

Overcoming Exceptional Challenges

Being the parent of a child with a developmental, physical or intellectual disability probably means you can appreciate the process of toilet training. You have another opportunity to celebrate your child's overall growth without focusing on mistakes. Even with a child who does not have a disability, mistakes are inevitable, although likely to happen less often.

Yet, this time is a chance for you to learn more about how your child learns best. You can also use toilet training as a time to show your child how he or she can progress in learning. Successfully teaching your child how to use the bathroom independently works best when you have access to instruction, guidance and encouragement from others.

Signs Your Child is Ready for Toilet Training

Before you begin, determine whether your child is ready for toilet training. Signs of readiness are the same for all children:

  • Your child is aware of the difference between being dry and wet
  • Your child can stay dry for minimum of two hours
  • Your child senses the need to have a bowel movement or urinate
  • Your child can reach the toilet in time, even if you need to help
  • Your child can dress and undress; or, she is ready to learn

Extra time to mentally prepare your child might be necessary if she resists going or does not appear ready for a new challenge.

Don't Hesitate to Ask for Help

It is important to know that you do not have to do this alone. Ask for advice from your child's pediatrician if you feel she is ready to learn. Typically, the pediatrician can conduct a physical assessment and give special insight to what your child needs. Support from your spouse, other relatives and friends can be an emotional help as you embark on this experiment with your child.

Special needs children usually begin toilet training at a later age, but you can still celebrate when your child begins. Accidents will happen and the experience can be physically painful for some, while initially incomprehensible for others. Keep calm knowing that there is a positive end.