Teaching typically developing children how to use the toilet is difficult enough- but what about our children who have developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, and communication challenges? Here are a few considerations and strategies to use when toilet training your child with special needs.
If your child is sensitive or upset by the sensory aspects of going to the toilet, try controlling your child's sensory experience during toileting.
Get your child familiar with sitting on the toilet by practicing for a few minutes every day.
Make him comfortable- consider letting your child wear socks, warm the temperature of the room, provide a foot stool for better support, consider a toilet seat reducer/insert to decrease fear of falling in the toilet, use warm flushable wipes, and try noise canceling headphones or background music to block out upsetting background noises.
Teaching any child how to resist their impulses and stay on task is a difficult feat, but teaching a child with executive functioning difficulties how to inhibit their impulses can make even the most patient parent want to run for the hills! Here at Abilities, we can help children with Autism and ADHD stay on task and independently complete daily routines by implementing some pretty simple strategies. A therapist favorite for promoting on task behavior is the Time Timer! This tool is a great way to teach children the concept of time as a system of measurement. Showing time disappear helps to teach children how to pace themselves as they work. It also functions as a motivational tool, encouraging your child to stay on task as they can see that break time is nearing!
Visual schedules are another useful tool for helping to keep your child on task and to ease difficult transitions. Visual schedules serve as an external reminder to complete specific tasks,...
As you celebrate with loved ones, keep in mind that holiday meals are not the time to make progress in trying new foods. It is a time to maintain the skills and positive feelings about eating that have been gained in therapy. The holidays are a fun but often challenging time for picky eaters. Numerous factors can cause this stress:
Being with unfamiliar foods
Eating at different times, in different homes/places, and with different people than usual
Being served food by someone who doesn’t usually fix your child’s plate
Being around well-meaning family members who encourage and maybe push your child to eat new foods
Here are a few suggestions that may reduce the stress of eating holiday meals if your child is at a very picky stage or new to therapy and just making gains in trying foods and building confidence about eating.
Don’t let well-intended family members push your child about eating. He or she already has enough struggles with the challenges she feels about...
The concept of sensory processing and sensory processing disorder has rocked the pediatric world over the last few years. Many of us are left scratching our head and asking…. “What does Sensory Processing mean?” “Does my child have a disorder?” “How will therapy help my child?”
First, it helps to have a general understanding of what is meant by the term sensory processing. Basically, sensory processing refers to a person’s ability to register, attend, assign a meaning to, and respond to our basic senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. On top of processing all that incoming input, there are also internal sensations that we must respond to which detect changes in our body position or our need for nourishment and voiding of our bowel/bladder. The term sensory processing refers to this entire process. When talking about Sensory Processing Disorder, we break this process down further into what we call sensory modulation and sensory discrimination. Sensory modulation refers to a pers...