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Help! Calling all toilet-training experts

(19 Posts)
messmonster Mon 05-Nov-12 12:29:41

Sorry - this post is longer than I intended...

We started trying to toilet-train my DD (4.9, chromosome disorder, LDs, non-verbal but great non-verbal communication) about 2 weeks ago.

We started because her MS nursery were telling us that she was taking herself off to the toilet there and about 50% of the time, doing a wee. At home, we'd bought a mini toilet seat and steps and she had been happily sitting on the toilet lots of times although had produced nothing.

So, it felt right to go for it. But, 2 and a bit weeks on, we're not much further forward and I'd really appreciate some guidance if anyone can help?

Pattern at home is, we sit her on the toilet at regular intervals. She's happy to sit there, we do singing, reading, toys etc. She sits for several minutes (5-15), signs all finished (having done nothing) walks into the kitchen and within a few minutes wees on the floor. She stops herself mid-flow, we take her to the toilet. She sits there, does nothing. Gets up, walks into another room and then within another 10 minutes does another wee.

In the 2 plus weeks, she's managed 4 wees on the toilet for which she gets a sticker on her special toileting chart (in the bathroom), special sweeties (only given for doing a wee) and loads of praise. She recognises the praise because she's all smiley and claps herself!

During this period at nursery her "hit rate" has decreased and they are getting more accidents.

She's weeing up to 15 times a day, largely I think because when she wees in her pants, she stops herself, we go through the routine of sitting her on the toilet (does nothing), cleaning her up, fresh pants etc and then within 10 minutes she has to go again to empty her bladder but sometimes she goes through this process 3 or 4 times before her bladder if empty iyswim so within a 30 minute period we may get up to 4 accidents.

She's due to start at MS school next September so we'd like her dry for then if at all possible.

Do I give it up now and wait or persevere? Help!

starfishmummy Mon 05-Nov-12 16:48:50

Do you think the reading/singing/toys could be distracting her from the purpose of the visit? Could you just try letting her sit on the loo while you hover outside (with the door open)?

messmonster Mon 05-Nov-12 17:58:04

Thanks Starfishmummy. I think the problem is that she would just get off the toilet without doing anything although I accept that's not much different from where we are now! I can certainly give it a go and see what happens - thanks!

cansu Mon 05-Nov-12 18:23:29

Is it possible to read when she needs to go? With dd I gave her loads to drink and watched her like a hawk and when she was jigging around I scooped her up and onto the loo at the last minute. Eventually she started reading the signs herself but it was quite a long process tbh. I wonder if your dd has stopped associating the toilet with the actual weeing and now just thinks its a nice thing to sit in there every so often!

I used a iPhone app called AvaKid seemepotty, it's very structured with going to toilet, wee/poo, wipe, flush, wash hands. My dc (4) played it over and over again, and then after a few days copied it exactly. you even see the avatar wee/poo

messmonster Mon 05-Nov-12 20:02:59

Thanks both. Cansu I can sometimes read the signs and whisk her off to the toilet but she then seems to freeze and not produce anything. She can sometimes read the signs herself too - on a few occasions she's taken me into the toilet and I've said "wee-wee?" to which she's nodded, sat on the toilet and then done nothing. Then minutes later wee'd on the bathroom floor confused. So she sometimes seems to know that she wants to go, it's the weeing on the toilet that's the issue. I've re-offered the potty which is always out and available in case that preferred but she'd rather sit on the toilet than the potty.

Thanks FSB. I'll download the app and try it - anything's worth a try.

It's so frustrating, lots of the signs are there, we just can't seem to put it together at the moment.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

The problem I had was that dc would sit on the toilet or potty, but didnt seem to grasp the idea of actually doing anything whilst sat there.

We also left the pants off initially so that there were only elasticated tracky bottoms to pull down.

blueemerald Mon 05-Nov-12 20:46:10

This may sound silly but could you catch the wee in a plastic jug and pour it in the toilet and then go crazy nuts with excitement/give a smaller reward?

messmonster Mon 05-Nov-12 20:49:39

Thanks blueemerald I'll try that too. That might help her make the connection a bit more.

Strongecoffeeismydrug Mon 05-Nov-12 21:05:12

I've got a DS so it's going to be different but DS took an interest in what everyone else was doing on the toilet before he would produce anything himself,so I made DH drink loads and go often smile I even made him use a ping ping ball target so I could teach them both aim smile.
So it soon became a spectator sport and non of us got any privacy but DS soon got the hang of it.when he did go we did a silly dance and he went a lot just to get the reward of us dancing smile

AgnesDiPesto Mon 05-Nov-12 21:08:58

Agree give her a bit of tissue (you don't actually have to put it in the wee on the floor) but pretend she is cleaning up and make her put it in the loo and say 'wee goes in toilet' - go through the actions of getting her to clean it up to make the association. If its a hassle to clean up then may be less hassle to go.

It sounds as though she may be deliberately holding it until she gets off. DS did this and we were advised to do intensive toilet training. We withheld favourite toys (eg iPad) for few days before so that would be a stronger reward. Sat him on loo and made it clear first wee then ipad. Gave him loads of drinks (you need a child to drink alot and be happy to sit for a while to do it intensively - he got through about many bottles of favourite drink) and entertained him until he went. we had to keep him sitting there until he went which was about 25 mins but then about every 15-20 mins. When he went he got to get off for 10 mins play with reward and then we sat him straight back on and gave more drinks / stories etc. When he had been 3 or 4 times (which due to the amount he was drinking was not that long) he got to play next to the toilet (and praised every 5 mins for being dry) and then gradually we moved him away from the toilet as he was more successful. If he was unsuccessful we moved back a step. We spent 1 day outside the bathroom and one upstairs and then he had to take himself from downstairs. Within 4-5 days he was dry day and night. It was hard work and we had lots of help from ABA staff.

messmonster Mon 05-Nov-12 22:10:44

Wow Agnes that does sound intense. I can see how it might work with DD. Unfortunately she doesn't have a favourite toy or gadget so I might have to be a bit cruel and withold a favourite food item!

DD is at nursery tomorrow so I will ask her 1:1 to do the lots of drinks, lots of toilet visits and lots of time spent on the toilet to try to increase their hit rate.

I can then refine it to more closely match your approach when I next have DD at home for the day.

Thanks again all - lots of ideas to try.

StabbyMacStabby Tue 06-Nov-12 22:44:21

I'm definitely not an expert (and we're having toilet troubles ourselves) but have you thought about using PECS or something similar? Something like this Although this one is aimed at boys, I'm sorry I can't find one for girls. But as a supplement to the methods already suggested, it might help her grasp the concept if she can see the process in a visual form.

MummytoMog Wed 07-Nov-12 00:34:15

I downloaded the avakid app last night after seeing it on this thread - DD absolutely loves it and insisted on being put on the toilet (where she did a wee) before bathtime, then wiped with loo roll, then washed her hands! She's very very visual, so a great aid for her training. Not sure if it will help her work out when she needs to go, but she was very interested in the 'accident' video.

AgnesDiPesto Wed 07-Nov-12 11:52:41

Yes it was intense! But effective. And better than DS holding it in until he was uncomfortable. Lots of hits is the key I think. Thats why it was done this way so he got lots of success in a short space of time.

Eloise73 Thu 08-Nov-12 09:23:51

I don't know if this will help but the trigger for our daughter was seeing herself on the toilet. She would sit on it happily, playing with my iphone or her ipad, read books etc, but wouldn't do anything.

So my husband brought in a full length mirror and planted it in front of her and started talking to her saying 'look, that's you on the toilet having a wee' and she stared for a bit, laughed and then did it. Totally worked for us, she was toilet trained after that - hope it helps you too!

theDudesmummy Thu 08-Nov-12 09:53:58

I went to a conference recently and a lady from this organisation (a national charity) gave a very helpful talk, may be worth giving them a call or at least looking on their web site:

www.disabledliving.co.uk/PromoCon/About

messmonster Thu 08-Nov-12 09:58:16

Thanks again Agnes and Eloise. I plan to try the intensive approach this weekend having had no more success this week. Nursery can't cope with the number of accidents she's having so have asked me to re-assess.

Read this book last night which has an ABA style approach of collecting data first, planning your intervention, reinforcing desired behaviour and trying not to accidentally reinforce the accidents/witholding etc.

Think I'm going to try Agnes's approach first and then, if that doesn't do it, have a break and then try again in a couple of weeks following the book's instructions.

Will hopefully be reporting back my success very soon hmm

messmonster Thu 08-Nov-12 09:59:48

X-post Dudesmummy.

Thanks for the link, looks interesting.

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