When are they ready?
- they are able to stay dry for at least an hour
- they show signs of hiding when opening bowels etc
- you notice changes in their behaviour when they are passing urine or opening bowels
- they are showing lots of interest in other people going to the toilet
- it is a good time for everyone
Things to do before you start
- Start changing nappies etc in the bathroom/toilet
- You can use a bathmat as a changing mat
- Start building up a routine of using visual cues/objects of reference – such as trousers/pants down, clean, pull up pants/trousers etc
- Build handwashing into routine
- Encourage regular drinks of water to develop bladder awareness and capacity – aim for 8 drinks of water through the day rather than just having free access
- Let them see you use the toilet
- Ensure there is no negative talk about bad smells, the toilet being dirty etc
- Ensure that the potty/toilet seat and foot stool are in place
- Place them on the toilet/potty first thing in the morning, last thing at night, 10-20 minutes after each mealtime and once in between
- If you notice that they need the toilet, encourage them to go and try. Remember that they are being good for trying even if nothing happens
- IGNORE all accidents
- Use a visual timetable and incorporate it into a daily routine
- Ensure all carers are on board and following same routine
- Poos – peak time to occur is 20 minutes after eating – encourage child if possible to blow bubbles/feathers/windmills
Things to factor in if your child has additional needs
- It may take longer, so start introducing the idea earlier
- Children that struggle with their communication do better when introduced as part of a routine – use visual cues
- Children with an altered interoception may struggle with awareness and realising that they want to go
- Children with altered proprioception/vestibular perception may struggle with balance – ensure you use an appropriate seat and they are well supported
- Adapt positive rewards to your own child’s needs
Interoception and toilet training
- Teach your child how their body makes wee and poo and how it tells them when it needs to come out
- Try not to ask if they need a wee or poo – ask instead do they have a wee or poo that needs to go into the toilet
- Use videos and pictures that are available to help support their learning
- Include body awareness to help children understand the messages from their bowel and bladder – practise on other parts of their body to get them to understand their body working
- Children with altered interoception are more at risk of constipation
- Be consistent
- Ignore accidents
- Be aware that the novelty may wear off after few weeks and you may notice regression
- Positive consequence – what works for your child?
- Wear pants/knickers rather than pull ups
- When you go out, leave pants/knickers on and put nappy/pull up on top but be careful to monitor to avoid risk of soreness
- Be mindful of constipation
- Avoid blackcurrant juices
- Stay and Plays – All children welcome
- Little Stars – Most children’s centres offer additional groups just for children with additional needs – no diagnosis necessary
- Groups – SALT drop in – Contact local centre for date when attending
- Sensory Rooms – Available free of charge
- SPACE – help support parents and children with emotions
Cheshire East Start for Life SEND team
We need to complete a knowledge and agreement to submit a SEND notification – this helps Cheshire East to ascertain what level of support your child can have via discussion at a monthly forum.
Transition to nursery – 2-year funding
You may qualify for 15 hours of childcare from the team after your child turns two. People on certain income benefits qualify, such as income support, job seekers allowance, child tax credits (if below certain income thresholds), and disability living allowance. You may have to pay for extras such as nappies, meals, outings etc.
Contact: 0300 123 5033
Cheshire East Local SEND offer and services
Cheshire East Early Start SEND team under restructure
Cheshire East Information and Advice Service (CEIAS)
At CEIAS we offer free confidential support and information to children and young people with SEND, their parents and/or their carers. We aim to ensure that you feel more informed and can be fully involved in decisions relating to special educational needs provision
Email – [email protected] Tel no: 0300 123 5166
Cheshire East Parent Carer Forum
Cheshire East Parent carer forum is a group of parents and carers of disabled children and young people. Our aim is to make sure the services in Cheshire East meet the needs of disabled children / young people and their families.
Email: [email protected]
Cheshire East children with Disability Short Breaks Team
Short breaks come in all shapes and sizes and each one can last from just a few hours to a few days – from daytime and evenings to weekend and overnight activities. They provide disabled children and young people with:
- positive and safe things to do and places to go.
- the opportunity to spend time with friends
- the opportunity to develop personally and socially, and reduce isolation
They can take place in a community setting, the child’s own home, the home of an approved carer or in another setting.
They provide parents and families of disabled children and young people with a necessary and valuable break from their caring responsibilities.
Early Help Individual Payments (EHIPs)
EHIPs form part of the Local Authorities Short Break Support for Parents and Carers of Disabled Children. The first level of the Short Break Support are the commissioned services that provide activities and clubs.
For any further support to help families with a short break from their caring responsibilities, including EHIPs and direct payments, an assessment will be carried out by the Short Breaks Team.
Contact: 01625 378 083, email: [email protected]
Cheshire East All Ages Carers Hub
Parents and siblings of children with additional needs need acknowledgement and support too.
The Hub offer breaks, activities, peer support etc.
DLA – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who: is under 16, has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability. They will need to meet all the eligibility requirements. Mobility – Usually from age three if significant complex needs (www.gov.uk)
Siblings of children with additional needs need acknowledgement and support too
Offer breaks, activities, peer support etc
Other commissioned support groups/services for additional needs
Who is in your team
Keep a list of all involved with your child, with names and roles, and include contact details where possible. Keep a file with all your letters in, make a note of when referrals were made/applications made, keep a list of appointments.
Find Your Tribe
Look after you in order to care for others. Do not forget to look after your own health, including your mental health. Surround yourself with people who understand and support you.