Thursday, July 5, 2007

Amazing Technology

It's amazing how people making money through internet and blogging. So, I would like take this opportunity to write anything that I love that I can share with a lot of parents especially new mommies like me. At the moment, I am still training my son on potty-trained. So, below are the article wrote by Robin Heine which I think can be useful to me and maybe other parents out there.

Figuring out when your child is ready for toilet training is quite easy. There are several benchmarks that can be used in both autistic children and typical children. The age of toilet training ranges from 2-4 in typical children. In autistic children it can be quite later, due to sensory integration issues. However, in my experience, often the child is physically ready, but the parent is not. As parents, we must not be afraid to explore both our child's physical and emotional readiness, but we almost peer into our own physical and emotional barriers as well. While the methods might be time-consuming, you must commit yourself to doing what needs to be done on a consistent basis, always willing to expand, and be flexible during this time. Keep in mind that the process may be time consuming and quite possibly arduous, but the rewards of having a self-reliant child are worth any obstacles you may have to overcome.
The markers for determine if your child is ready for toilet training are the same as for typical children, if your child displays the majority of the following:

1. Holds urine for an hour or more

2. Goes to a special spot to urinate/defecate

3. Gets a special look over their face before voiding in diaper

4. Indicates verbally or nonverbally that his diaper is soiled

5. Can be taught to inmate self-care routine pulling up and down pants, etc.

Let's break down each of these markers further.
Holds urine for an hour or more. The classic test for this is dry diaper-For example, if you put your child in a diaper at 7:00 am, and then check again at 8:00 am, and the diaper is dry-and then when you check the diaper again at 8:30 am, it is super wet-then your child has bladder control. Goes to a special spot to void/defecate. Frequently, in my consulting business, I use charts to have parents keep track of bowel movements/voiding times before actually beginning toilet-training sessions.. These charts are more observational in nature, as it helps to see what latent and undeveloped but critical potty-skills a child has. In my chart, I have a spot for-"went to special area of the house". Frequently when these filled charts come out, a pattern emerges such the child will go hide behind the couch in the family room, or goes into his room and stays there. If your child does go to a special spot, you know that he is sensing his body, and is at least aware of what is going on sensorial.

Verbal/Nonverbal cues voiding is occurring In my chart handout, I have an area for parents to write observations about their child's body/facial movements just prior before elimination takes place. For example, one little girl I worked with didn't go to a special or private area of the house to void in her diaper, but she did squat down and make grunting noises/sighs when she eliminated in her diaper. Again, it's about your child's ability to sense the feeling to eliminate.
Verbal/Nonverbal cues of soiled diapers Autistic children can be quite subtle in communicating with parents. However, some children will indicate by tugging on extremely wet diapers, dancing around, flapping hands when soiled. I have seen autistic children walk over to their changing pad, or lie down next to their changing table when soiled. Again, I find a chart that a parent/caregiver filled out for at least three weeks to be extremely helpful in catching these subtle clues.

Can be taught or shows willingness/participate in self-care skills, such as pulling on and off pants, washing hands, etc. Many autistic children have poor gross and fine motor skills, however, very few cannot be taught to dress themselves. In my work, I have found that this depends on the parents' willingness to teach their children' self-reliance skills. I suggest that if you have doubts about your child's abilities to do basic dressing/undressing skills, you consult your qualified medical professional such as your child's pediatrician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

In addition to your child's readiness to be potty-trained, you have to ask yourself if you are ready to have your child be potty-trained. On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer, however, in many cases, it is the parents, and not the children, who weren't willing to be committed to the process for various reasons.

Some of these reasons include:

1. A lack of commitment of time/resources

2. Frustration with the one process/method leading parent to quit the process too soon

3. Unwillingness to tailor-make a method work for the parent/child, or lack of flexibility in being willing to embrace unorthodox methods-potty schedules, alarm wristwatches, portable potty kit for community outings.

4. An unmet emotional need such a keeping child dependent on parent/caregiver gives validation and meaning to parent

5. A need for attention or being thought of as a martyr/victim by other family members/friends/community

6. Fear of child's temper tantrums

I am not being harsh on parents, however, after potty-training several autistic children, it was never the children who weren't ready to be potty-trained, it was the parents subconsciously held their children back from being potty-trained. Just as it is critical that your child be ready for potty training, it is just as important and crucial that you as a parent commit to your child's development.

Potty-training your autistic child is doable. The first step is to make sure you as the parent and the child are physically and emotionally ready for what can be a challenging process, but a process that can be rewarding and open new doors to both your child, you and your family.

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