Toilet “Training” On Wheels: Adventures with my Non-verbal Child

Not the loveliest topic, but certainly a very important one to families in this situation!  We had to figure out all of this the hard way. (aka, I couldn’t find any online resources for it when we started)  So I’d at least like to help some else that’s walking this same road.

 I don’t know your situation, so I’m leery of coaching you on something that may not fit your situation.  Instead, I’ll just share our adventure (an ongoing one), and you can take what fits and leave the rest! Cheers!

For almost 6 years, B alternated between:

–  Constipation

–  Blowouts (facilitated by miralax) AND most commonly

–  3 to 6 tiny BM’s a day  (this was ALMOST every day…talk about difficulty traveling…or seeing a friend or leaving the house, period!)

We also waited WAY too long to move into adult diapers…we dealt with soaked clothes 3x a day…often.

He’s about to turn 7.  From about ages 4 to 6, we had a flamingo potty chair that was NOT supportive enough – at all.  We used it, but we were forever helping to free tangled arms and legs that had gotten out of straps and dealing with busted straps and our child literally falling out of the chair.  Not bagging on the chair.  Just was NOT a good fit for US.

About a year ago we got the tubleforms potty chair and it has changed. Our. Life!

B has ONE bm a day when we put him on it in the afternoons.

This is what that looks like for me:

Every afternoon after school I put him on the chair for an hour or so.  He usually watches a movie while he’s on it, so he’s relaxed enough to do whatever he needs to.  (It has a tray/catch bin you can use with it, giving you of using it in the bathroom OR anywhere in your house.)  Also, the tray is also big enough that most people never even realize he’s on a potty.

In order to not completely stress myself out and make up an impossible goal of transitions every 30 minutes…I HAD to start easy.  1x a day, based on when he normally was going.  He has not needed a diaper for a BM for months now, which has been AMAZING for our family.

The strap it came with wasn’t supportive enough and kept choking him.  We started using this bodypoint one.  (These straps are another one of my favorite things!  Great to have on hand any time your child needs added support!)

The right potty chair can make SUCH a difference!

After using it for a little while, B now wakes up dry in the mornings and I take just 5-10 extra minutes to give him a little time on the potty before school.

He’s 60lbs and no lift…so it’s a little bit tricky, but really worth it.  It has changed our whole families lives. He used to soak the bed Every. Night.

I now realize that the 3-6 bm’s a day was happening because he was trying not to soil himself.  Really wish I’d known.

Now I’m just trying to figure out the potty for the summer.  I feel like he really wants to doing all of his voiding on it…but that’s hard to even imagine, in terms of the # of transfers and the lack of clear communication.  We’ll see what we can work out!

Favorite Diapers for Overnight:

Tranquility ATN All-Through-the-Night Disposable Adult Diapers

For Daytime, also like 4-tabbed version:

TENA Stretch Adult Diapers, Super Absorbency

A Lifesaver:

FOR SLEEP, Essential, as his sheets are very difficult to change, it wicks away any drool, and is a HUGE help for middle of the night sheep changes.  Our boy can't have ANY sheets due to the risk of entanglement, but these tuck in pretty well.

If you have any tips you’ve picked up along the way, please leave them in the comments.  My  whole goal in this site is to provide great info and support to a variety of special needs families!

2 thoughts on “Toilet “Training” On Wheels: Adventures with my Non-verbal Child

  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us, as I know it will help some families in our community of parents. I have shared your blog post on our Facebook Page and look forward to having you LIKE us so that we may continue to share and facilitate the lives of others with Special Needs.
    Many Blessings to you & your family for all you do.
    Thank you!!

  2. Hi. I typically do not have a lot of free time to read, however when searching for the right neck flotation device for my 13 yr old daughter (she has severe spastic quadriplegic cp) I came across this article and wanted to first say thank you for this information and second my tip for diapers and problems with leakage and blowouts that I am very familiar with, I recommend to double diaper. I have been doing it for 13 years. It serves as a backup for leakage, blowouts and night time sheet/bed protection and for girls it helps protect her private area and gives her a little extra padding in the event hip thrusting causes any straps to become tight and uncomfortable.

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