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Toileting Challenges with older kids..?? Let's talk about poo.



I want to talk about toileting today.

Because if you know someone who is living with toileting challenges in their child, you know, they never stop thinking about it.


This is a biggie… toileting challenges are so complex and frustrating and can really impact the lives of both the child, and their family.


VSM has been successful for many kids with toileting challenges.


In both my teaching and in my Doctorate I have experienced first hand minor miracles of big and little kids making enormous shifts in their toileting skills, leading to hope and possibility of future independence.

Charlie is 12 years old, and living with autism. He wore nappies because he would never initiate the need to do a poo. Instead he would recognize it was time, hide and do his poo in his nappy. He would then go to his mother and wait for her to notice the bad smell. Charlie was also frightened of the toilet and would refuse to sit on the toilet. Or go into that room.

Charlie's mum, Beth, was so frustrated because she knew he knew when it was poo-time, but he would not initiate going to the toilet.


On one occasion Beth found Charlie doing a poo in the bathtub, just before his shower. Not the right place, but better than his pants right!


Beth and I worked together through 1:1 coaching to hatch a cunning plan and empower her to support Charlie’s greater independence.


Beth made a VSM. “Charlie does poo in the bath”. Her plan was to break the habit of pooping in his pants, then introduce a potty or bucket to the bath, then move onto a squat toilet, if needed.


It was a long shot, but Beth was determined to not have an adult son wearing nappies.


Guess what..????


Within a week of watching his VSM, Charlie was found in action, pooping in the bathtub. Over time this became more and more frequent. Stage 2 is now in action. “Charlie does poo in the bucket.”


I have seen VSM succeed for children and teenagers who

●     will not sit long enough on the toilet

●     who deliberately wee in inappropriate places (like the


●     who seem ready but just can’t let go of nappies

●     Need support to communicate what is happening in their



It seems that the end goal of full independence is so far off, until we break it down into micro steps along the way to independence. That is what Beth is doing with Charlie. She still has full independence in her sights, but is now happy to use VSM to move through the steps that will get them there.


And some kids will never be fully independent. They can however, learn some of the skills along the road to independence, such as communicating needs, dressing skills, wiping their own bottoms, showering, and putting their own nappy in a nappy bin.


Parent Coaching with Anthea


If you would like to talk about some 1:1 coaching to support you parenting through a particularly tricky challenge, such as toileting, please have a look at this link for more information and email me at

VSM Parent Coaching can be paid for using NDIS Parent Capacity Building funds.



Much Love



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