Book Review – Toilet Training and the Autism Spectrum (ASD): A Guide for Professionals by Eve Fleming, Lorraine MacAlister.

Toilet Training and the Autism Spectrum

4 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Jessica Kingsley Publishers for an ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.

Also, not too sure if I can classify myself as a ‘professional’, I’m just the parent of a child with continence issues. All the same…

This is a remarkable book! I just wish I had it a few years ago when struggling to get my son – diagnosed with HFASD last December – to get into the same toilet training habits aged 3 that his two older sisters seemed to breeze through, in comparison, at younger ages. Still, due to ongoing continence issues he has today, I still found this book very insightful, useful and also uplifting. Why uplifting? It was just such a relief to read that it wasn’t one of those “what am I doing wrong?” moments. Yes life with ‘toilet times’, constant changing of sheets, clothes, rewards charts is still a struggle – but it’s not just me! And here is a fantastic book that has just patted me on the back to comfort me, show that I’m going in the right direction and offering some extremely helpful hints and tips along the way.

‘Toilet Training and the Autism Spectrum’ has also helped me work out the differences between situations of both hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity and it really did give me a few light bulb moments as to why some of the tricks I’ve been using don’t work.

I’m now also curious to look into Pathological Demand Avoidance as this set off a lot of light bulbs for my son’s attitudes and behaviours too.

So, THANK YOU for such an inspiring, helpful and indeed useful book. The only reason I didn’t give it the full 5 stars is my usual complaint about a book not being Australian and so not all the societies, groups and support systems mentioned exist here. Not the book’s fault, another ‘blame the reader’ moment. All the same, I have found this book a great ‘thumbs up’ to what I’ve been doing as well as some gentle nudging in the right direction for future attempts.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. In fact, I would possibly even recommend it to friends who don’t have ASD children as there was some good insight into toilet troubles our non-ASD kids have – withholding poo! My girls are notorious for this, aren’t on the spectrum, and now I have some great ideas on how to work on this too. I know this book is set for ‘professionals’ but I seriously feel parents of ASD kids do become professionals in their role as we tend to be the lead Case Manager in charge of getting our glorious child set in the right directions in life.

Would I buy this book for myself? I probably would, though would prefer a version modified to suit groups and support means in Australia. But I can also see myself buying it and getting my family and my son’s teachers to have a read as I found it so useful.

In summary: Although aimed and probably best suited to help parents of ASD children with their toilet training and related issues, I also feel parents of non-ASD children would get some useful information from this book. Such a great book to help those of us struggling with such situations daily to know we’re not alone and to offer us some really helpful advice.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

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