Toileting Fun

Sabrina Phelan by Sabrina Phelan Additional Needs

Sabrina Phelan

Sabrina Phelan

Toileting Fun

Toilet training a child without needs is hard enough. You know it is time they learned, but are they ready yet? do they understand when it’s time to go? will they be able to hold it long enough to make it to the potty on time? If not, can they tell when they have had an accident? Eventually they get there, and you do not have to carry a spare change of clothes anymore, and life becomes a little easier.

Toilet training a disabled child is way more complex.

However, toilet training a disabled child is waaaaay more complex than that! We rely on nappies (or pads as we call them now as it is a more grown-up term to use) pretty much 24/7. This was easy enough when my daughter was little, but now at 14 years of age it is quite an ordeal.

My daughter Maisie is nonverbal so she cannot tell me when she needs the loo and with her quadriplegic cerebral palsy, she is also a full-time wheelchair user and needs support with all her personal care needs. So, toilet training……is a bit of a mission.

We just need to try and keep trying until it works.

At home we have all the necessary equipment required, hoists, slings, supported toilet seating and a raised bench to enable Maisie to use the loo when she needs to. So, I do regularly take her to the bathroom, hoist her out of her chair, onto the bench, then hoist her from the bench to her toilet seat. Then she sits on the loo, and we wait….and then…. nothing! her pad is already soaked. Has she just been? Did I take too long getting her onto the loo? We go through this process about 5 times a day, and occasionally she will go. It can seem like such a waste of time some days, but we just need to try and keep trying until it works. Maybe it will or maybe it won’t, all I can do is encourage her and give her the time to learn.

I do hope eventually one day Maisie will get there, and we won’t have to carry a change bag with us anymore and life becomes a little easier.


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