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I am the father of a three year old girl with Down Syndrome. Her mother and I have been given very specific and clear advice to do away with nappies and start potty training this summer. She is to start school in September next year and will have much greater range of options if this is achieved.
However, our daughter is not yet standing independently and is not able to tell us when she needs the toilet. She is beginning to use the sign for the toilet, but only rarely uses this appropriately. We are having very little progress and getting quite jaded but determined to carry on if it our efforts are to bear fruit. Does anyone have any encouraging stories to share or helpful advice for us please?
Just to let you know, we have a guide to toliet training on this site, which you can find here:
Hopefully this might have some tips and ideas which you might find useful. Do let us know how you get on...
Late reply, sorry! My daughter didn't walk til she was 4 (dislocated hips - get them checked!) and I despaired at ever potty-training her. She didn't feel safe on the loo and wasn't comfy on the little potty. Then we visited a friend whose child used a higher-than-normal potty - seeing her little friend use it encouraged my daughter to try. I then put her in pull-ups, rather than standard nappies, and this gave her more independence which is what she wanted. Daytime cleanliness was relatively easy after that, tho night-time took a little longer. But, your child is legally entitled to help with toiletting, regardless of school, so don't worry. It's important to stay relaxed about it with your child. Good luck.
Thanks for the replies and apologies for even later response. As predicted the whole thing has taken lots of patience (and good humour) but we are now 90% there (after only six months). The problem we now face is we do not have a downstairs toilet or suitable place for a potty and we don't feel confident leaving the stairgate open. We can get fuinding via a DFG but it is repayable if we move within five years. So we are at stalemate - she cannot become more independent until she is safe on the stairs or we move to a bungalow!
But that is not to celebrate her achievement - last summer we thought it would never happen!
It can be a long and difficult struggle, we were training Alfie for 18 months or so where all the kids around us took a few weeks! As our son has ASD I'm sure the problems he had would be different from those faced by those with Down's, he didn't have any physical problems, it was just understanding what to do, and later his aversion to/ obsession with toilets which got in the way. If you don't have carpet you could try the nude-from-the-waist-down method. We found this very effective for wees, Alfie would go and sit on the potty for a wee only if he had nothing on his bottom half. As he has communication difficulties he wouldn't know to tell us he needed a wee, so had to have access to it himself. Also we could see if he was doing a wee and quickly sit him on the pot which worked. It took ages though. And poos a lot longer, it wasn't until he saw the dog do a poo that he realised it was normal and went on the toilet! I wish we'd known that would happen, he could have seen it 12 months earlier adn there would have been 365 less messes to clean!
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