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Toilet training a child with disabilities.

Our four and a half year old daughter has a diagnosed global development delay and also hearing loss with some communication delays. Her vocabulary and speech is age-typical but not her conversational skills. We are making our third attempt at toilet training at the moment, and while she is doing quite well in terms of "holding on" to both wees & poos, she doesn't seem to be responding at all to the feeling of needing to go. She also has not at all communicated to us that she needs to go to get help.

We have read John's book "Toilet training without tantrums" and in particular note his recommended age for starting training is between 18 and 24 months. We are curious if you've conducted any research with disabled kids, in particular developmental delays. Our daughter at 18 months old was able to sit unsupported for only a short period of time before falling over, and only started to commando-crawl at around 20 months, with "normal" crawling more than a year later. She began walking independently just before her fourth birthday.

Our last attempt at toilet training was about a year ago, at which point she was still unable to walk independently and fatigued quickly sitting (on a high chair for example she needed to be in a baby-style seat to prevent falls). She appeared to understand in her heard that the potty is where she should do wees and poos, but that physically sitting on the potty was too demanding and required so much effort that she was unable to relax enough to let anything happen.

We feel that she is certainly capable now, just that we need to be patient and help her as with all the other things she has learned, but do you make any distinction with your recommendations for developmentally delayed children?

Thank you

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