Toilet Training

Do you ever get questions about how to teach a child to use the toilet? Toilet training is actually something that most everyone has to learn, and few parents or teachers working with children with Autism or other serious problems (let alone non-handicapped individuals) have systematic ways to address the task. But there is hope.

Over the years, I’ve given away many copies of a favorite book, Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, to graduate students of mine who are expecting a child. Nathanel Azrin and Richard Foxx originally developed the most of the procedures working with individuals with mental retardation, but they realized they could apply them in modified form with normally developing children as well. They work like a charm.

The US National Center for Biotechnology Information, a branch of the National Library of Medicine, recently published a review of research called The Effectiveness of Different Methods of Toilet Training for Bowel and Bladder Control that showed the Azrin-Foxx methods were superior to pretty much all competitors.

Foxx, R. M., & Azrin, N. H. (1973). Toilet training persons with developmental disabilities: A rapid program for day and nighttime independent toileting. Harrisburg, PA: Help Services Press.

Azrin, N. H., & Foxx, R. (1974). Toilet training in less than a day. New York: Simon and Schuster.

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