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Can I teach an adult with DS to use the toilet? Is it too late?


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Old 01-20-2015, 12:37 AM   #1
JohannaMason
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Arrow Can I teach an adult with DS to use the toilet? Is it too late?

He's can poo by himself but often does not have the patience to wait it out. He also sometimes do not go to the toilet in time (late noticing of urge perhaps).

He can put down the toilet seat (but doesn't always for what reason I do not know) and he can flush. But how do I teach him to wipe/wash?

Someone usually showers him, takes him to the loo and cleans him, prepares his food(he is picky/intolerant to lotsa food).

I get grossed out cleaning my own butt sometimes (that's why I use TP and wet wipes) and I really cannot overcome that to teach him. I'm not a parent and don't plan to be one either.

I'm not sure about his eyesight, not that great I think but he sometimes picks up things unnoticed by others. He can eat with spoon and have an okay dexterity I reckon.

PS- he does not speak languages but he makes sounds kinda like humming/shouting etc.

 
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:07 PM   #2
kanded
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Re: Can I teach an adult with DS to use the toilet? Is it too late?

Some people feel that after a certain age, people with DS can't learn, but I disagree. It depends on the person, because each person with DS is different with different handicaps and capabilities. It does require much patience and sensitivity.
If I may ask, are you the caregiver or a relative? It sounds like someone else is also helping with his toileting needs, so I think consistency will be the key thing. You say you're too grossed out to teach him, so it would have to be someone else doing it. Because it will take a lot of time and patience and probably much repetition to help him master toilet skills. It should be someone that doesn't act weird about it or get impatient or angry with him when he doesn't do it right, or doesn't do it at all. It will have to be a positive experience, just as if you were training a toddler, you don't get mad and yell at them when they are potty training, because then they probably will never want to try again. You have to praise him when he does one step right, so that he will continue on to the next step. Of course, if there is any dementia involved, which can happen in adults with DS, you cannot expect him to remember the steps correctly time after time, even if you have shown him a hundred times or more.
I suggest you try to get a therapist involved who can help the family or caregivers to help with the steps that he would need to learn to be able to do it on his own. What seems easy to you and me could be like climbing a mountain for him, even if he is trying his hardest.

 
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:20 PM   #3
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Re: Can I teach an adult with DS to use the toilet? Is it too late?

I'm the sister(older by a year plus), and usually the sitter(who also acts as a housemaid and cook) cares for him. Over the years we have had maybe five sitters. Consecutively, not at the same time. It's sad when I think maybe my parents did not teach him living skills when younger or hired a trainer/therapist that works with practical things. There were always in their own adult world then and worked full time. I recently came back after doing tertiary studies far away and can see a lot if things more clearly.

 
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:01 AM   #4
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Re: Can I teach an adult with DS to use the toilet? Is it too late?

That is sad that he didn't receive the training he needed at what would have been the crucial time to teach him. Your parents probably meant well, but speaking from experience, it is difficult to raise a special needs child. Unfortunately, unless you try you won't know how much your brother can do.
If you don't mind me asking, are your parents still alive?
As long as parents are alive and able, it is their responsibility to care for their special needs child. After all, they are the ones who brought him into the world. If they can no longer care for him, trying to make sure he has people in his life that care about him is the next best thing. That will give him stability, and when he feels safe and secure, that will possibly lead to him being able to do more things. I think it is wonderful that your brother has you in his life, but even if you end up caring for him, don't forget to take time for yourself and have your own life too.

 
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:36 PM   #5
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Re: Can I teach an adult with DS to use the toilet? Is it too late?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanded View Post
That is sad that he didn't receive the training he needed at what would have been the crucial time to teach him.

If you don't mind me asking, are your parents still alive?
Yes they are alive, older(55-61) but still working full time (they were working full time before we were born and until today). We're not rich, just somewhere in the middle class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanded View Post
It should be someone that doesn't act weird about it or get impatient or angry with him when he doesn't do it right, or doesn't do it at all.
Disgust of feces and all related things is pretty healthy. Poop is brimming with all kinds of bacteria, viruses and parasites.

 
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Can I teach an adult with DS to use the toilet? Is it too late?

Your parents also came from a different generation when children with DS were handled differently...now it is realized by educators that early intervention from birth is the key to whether a child with DS is going to have more success in life or not.
I forgot last post that we were talking about an adult with DS when referring to potty training. Yes, I'm sure it is disgusting. I just meant there is a way to do it where the person doesn't feel chastised, because no one is going to force him to go or not go, he has total control of that. And if he feels backed into a corner, feels you're angry, he may not understand what he is doing wrong, just that he made you angry and that may forestall all progress.
I guess if I were in your situation, and he's never been taught properly, I would start from the beginning:
Put a chart with the pictures (and the words if you like) right next to the toilet on the wall. There are special programs that make up these charts for special needs kids, very simple as if for a toddler, but you can make your own with pics from the Internet, and then show the caregiver how you want the steps carried out, practice the steps with him, and then wait to see if he will respond first before doing it for him. One of the things I have learned with my son is if I give him enough time, eventually he'll do something. Maybe not what I want, but its a start, then I guide him from there. But there has to be some kind of expectation or he will never learn to do anything on his own.
The chart should be something like this:
A picture showing Pull Pants Down. Then a pic showing, Take down underwear, then a pic showing Go Potty or Poo, then a pic that shows (to some degree) Wipe. This took awhile for my son to learn, but now he does it on his own. I had to show him the steps one-by-one many, many times. But now he can do it on his own finally! As for not realizing he has to go the bathroom, there are suggestions on the Internet for how to deal with that also. One suggestion is getting a "potty" watch and setting it. When the ringing goes off, even if he doesn't have to go the bathroom, he can learn, oh, that sound means I need to go into the bathroom, and hopefully he can be habit trained to use the restroom at those times. This is a method that has worked for other people with DS, but its just a way of getting them to realize. You set the watch to a later and later time as he gets better at recognizing his body urges. I think the watches should come with instructions, or you may find more info on this on the Internet. As far as staying on the toilet, maybe he could look at books or listen to music. This is something that someone would have to control, but these are just suggestions, things that have worked for me.
Best wishes, K.

 
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