Toileting

I have a little girl who is 4 years old and attends pre-school for a variety of problems including vision problems, but also fine motor delays. Her occupational therapist at school has stated that she has sensory integration problems. We are doing a sensory diet with brushing and movement and are even using a weight program. The one problem we have consistently is that she hates to use the bathroom. She will not go in at home or anywhere near the restroom at school. At school she will indicate that she needs to use the restroom but when they try to take her in she begins to scream and runs away, then usually wetting herself. The OT at school as given us a few ideas to try, but does any one else have more ideas? It seems like she does not like the sound of the room, the feel of the toilet, and is afraid of the flushing!


Thank you for your help!

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Dec 15, 2010
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try ear plugs
by: Anonymous

My daughter was terrified of public bathrooms from ages 2-6 because of the unexpected noise of the toilet flushing in the next stall over, echos, smells and all automated items - toilets, water faucets, hand dryers would send her screaming in fright - both the loud sounds and the unexpected on/off. I tried to get her to use small, discreet ear plugs for various situations that would set her off, but over time she learned to cover her ears throughout the whole process. She found the ear plugs too uncomfortable. At 7 y/o she can now use public bathrooms with a little mental preparation - she gives herself an internal pep talk and acknowledges that it might be loud and stinky, but she knows she can handle it. She still avoids automated hand dryers.

Also, if you are a firm believer in using paper toilet shields, try covering the seat with toilet paper instead of the scratchy paper ones -this worked for a friend of mine whose daughter had big tactile avoidance issues.

Oh, and if an issue, and when appropriate, you can teach her to flush the toilet with her foot, rather than her hands - that was another issue my daughter had. It was more about the feel of the cold/wet metal than germs for her.

Dec 03, 2010
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Toileting
by: Anonymous

Maybe when she needs to use the bathroom she can go to the Nurses office. Usually the nurse has a bathroom in her office but it is much smaller than the large bathrooms in schools. It wouldn't have the same sounds in it as the larger bathrooms.

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