Sensitive subject!

posted in: Kodiak My Little Grizzly | 16

There really is no simple way to say this… but to say how it really is…
Toilet training a DeafBlind child… How?

So this is where many can be very critical and have their own ideas. I have to tell you Kodi has been “almost” for so many years. Then came the setbacks. Setbacks that put him in the hospital, medications that sedated him, then the vision loss and him being so preoccupied with losing his vision…. etc. But always we have had a major communication gap! The toilet when he could see became his own private water bowl… He would pull up the lid and play in it… until soaking wet… Grrrrr!!! THAT is no longer an issue! How do you train a kid to use the toilet but then not play in it when he does not have any form of communication to begin to understand GERMS! You get the point right?

Gradually though he’s getting it yet again. He has had many successful moments at home. But us catching him or he goes and stands in the bathroom or before bath time. Then we reward him with his favorite candy… Suddenly he was liking the whole fun experience. Then getting to wash his hands and play in the sink was really rewarding. He loves water… but he does not want the hand washing to end…

However, thanks to his school intervenor… today has been a break through! Kodi signed several times with both hands “potty”. She got him there… the first sign was on the bus. So he went successfully at school right away! Then all day long… 🙂

However, this too will become an OCD thing now… It’s a new thing he can communicate so like “more candy” now it will be “potty” But this is a fact of life and we will have to help him find the nearest restroom!!!! 🙂

The ASL sign for toilet and then shake the hand. (Below)


I hope that he continues this. We also use which bathroom card as well. We hope to add the braille form as well!

I just have to say I’m still not sure what to do in the car. When I’m driving I can’t see if he signs. So we will have to figure something out. Once he can send a text with a brailler? Oh man! I would get the text but be driving… (THAT IS NOT SAFE AND NOW ILLEGAL) Hmmmm! Computer geeks??? (Nothing mean intended – I just call you that because of the Geek Squad – I have the highest regard for you because you are creating things to help special needs people communicate with the rest of the world!) But can you help us out here? I need a high-tech all wheel drive Expedition with a button he can push or some way to tell us he is thirsty, hungry or needs the nearest pit stop to use the restroom or just to get out and walk! Also he needs to be safe in his auto as we travel!  He needs to sit in the center either middle row or back row with a harness like thing.  He gets out of just the shoulder belt. If he had the option to move a little bit to put his head down… Oh! Now I’m pushing it!  Let’s see maybe he just needs his own limo… just kidding… that’s just silly!

We are in need of a safe auto that Kodi can communicate his needs to his driver in…  🙂 My kids and I try to come up with ideas… Even if its only a DREAM!


PS: I know this is a minor issue here but… It has become an issue.

16 Responses

  1. Oh. I remember those playing in the toilet days… Also him giving all his battery powered toys baths… And balloons… And sometimes his clothes… Or just his hair… What a little stinker he was. But so cute. I hope he gets the idea of the potty training…

  2. Does he know to tap someone to get their attention? If you are in the car he knows you are there, has he learned any attention-getting strategies?

    • If his older brother and sister are with he can get attention. But it’s an expedition and he can’t reach me… I don’t know… Something we could try to work on…

  3. Well this is a tough one. I’ll be back if I think of something intelligent to say about this.

  4. Oh I completely this. My daughter still plays in the toilet if anyone allows her near it. Sigh. She’s five and I think she’s ready, physically, to start potty training…but since she is non-verbal I have NO idea how to go about this. Sigh. I know this doesn’t help at all…but you are most definitely not alone. And if I think of anything, I’ll come back and post 🙂

  5. I think making a vehicle like that would be a great idea! I mean, the auto industry should just go ahead and provide families in need with cars like that, free of charge or something. I know it would be filled with the latest tech and all but they charge everyone else insane prices for normal cars so the leftover money that they just normally pocket should go towards a program to get special needs families equiped with special vehicles! 😀

  6. Is there a portable braille device he could have in the car that when a button is pushed, like the “bathroom” button, a computer voice would then say outloud the button he just pushed and you would hear “bathroom”?

    • At this point we have the programming… Well not our family yet… But it’s an iPad with a Braille device/reader. But he can’t use it quite yet… We don’t have it yet but are waiting for the grant to get us one… 🙁 very slow in getting here… He’s a smart boy! Just a huge communication gap that grew when he lost the little vision he had!

  7. I have no new ideas except from the other comments…but…my middle daughter is deaf and after she finally understood the sign for potty, a friend in class showed her the sign for poop…be prepared for many false alarms once they learn that one. They think the sign is just hilarious to do.

  8. I think there may be an app (on certain phones) that will speak out text messages. So, if you get one during driving you can just have the phone set up to read you aloud (in the latest and greatest of digitized voices) what the text message (or email) says. I don’t know that for certain, but it could be worth looking into… not a current situation solver, of course, but could be for the future.

  9. Can you try reading his sign tactually while driving? I’m working on putting my hands lightly over Orion’s so he can get used to it… To know I’m ‘listening’ to him. (Pro tactile). But it’s tricky while driving eek.