Toileting is a big thing in our house. I am in possession of a small girl working towards continence (OK she is still in nappies).
There are many reasons children with additional needs can take longer to get the hang of this aspect of self-care.
For some it is to do with muscle control, others sensory awareness, and still others reluctance and fear of the toilet. In our house, I suspect there is a bit of all three.
Fortunately, we have an extremely supportive continence nurse, who is relentlessly positive and full of toilet hacks!
I remain hopeful that we’ll look back on this stage and laugh, that my girl’s knicker drawer will be full and varied, and that she will achieve a measure of independence in this area.
In the meantime life is filled with toilet talk, joint visits with commentary (I know no shame)and commodes everywhere.
We have used various books to encourage all this, and also simple social stories too.
Over the holiday I was all for going cold turkey, taking all the rugs up and seeing what occurred.
However serial casting for stretching would have made any mishaps too difficult and casts would have become smelly and uncomfortable.
We continued with the intensive toilet talk but had rather given up on books about training, as all the children pictured are toddlers, and they also always seem to use the phrase “big girls/boys don’t wear nappies”.
As my girl is 10 this is blatantly untrue and not particularly helpful either.
Luckily Charlotte Olson has written a collection of books, based around social stories with clear attractive pictures and covering all the aspects of several experiences.
Her heroine Suzie, goes through every stage of a new experience including sensory descriptions. She looks friendly and about 10 and best of all they are all rhyming!
I was given a copy of Suzie’s toilet time to review, and at this stage any addition to the toilet journey is eagerly received.
The pictures are engaging, and rhymes are really popular in our house so we gave it a go!
I love these books! Pearl has been really interested in social stories in the past, they make new situations more predictable.
Charlotte has really thought about the things that can cause difficulty in a small person’s mind, when using the smallest room.
Some children find the toilet flush really difficult, and losing sight of a treasured poo or wee can be quite traumatic in the early days!
Not for Suzie, she uses the flush but does not become flushed away herself (another common concern) but there is time for a description of the noise so it is all less unexpected.
The book is available on PDF for your computer or iPad or a hard copy for the more traditional amongst us.
I short I really rate this book. As for the long-term result, fingers crossed!
This book is available here.
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