Applying Structured Teaching Principles to Toilet Training

Chapel Hill TEACCH Center

Format           Article by Susan Boswell and Debbie Gray of TEACCH       

This article on children with autism discusses educational approaches to toilet training and is the compilation of suggestions by several experienced TEACCH teachers and consultants about this area of programming.  When setting up a program to help a child learn to toilet independently, the first TEACCH recommendation would be to try to look at the problem from the perspective of the student with autism. Another TEACCH recommendation is to build in many elements of visual structure to help the child understand exactly what is expected. It is important to look at each element of Structured Teaching to decide how visual supports can be added to build positive routines, clarify expectations, and reduce confrontational situations.  Involved in the beginning step of assessment is defining a realistic goal; a simple chart can be used to collect the data needed about the child’s readiness to toilet independently.

One of the principles of Structured Teaching involves structuring the physical environment for success, which is accomplished through the creation of clear boundaries and the reduction of distractions.

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