Working with young children and having several of my own, daily achievements are often celebrated Dora The Explorer style by singing “We did it! We did it! We did it! Hooray!” This is one of the first things that came to mind when I discovered that a client of mine, a 12-year-old boy with ASD, had learned to shower and toilet with minimal intervention.
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focused on a particular therapy session, spent role-playing the steps involved in wiping after using the toilet. I had mentioned this particular client to help explain the many ways in which OT’s work with people to improve their ability to participate in daily living activities.
This last session was one of many that had been spent developing and introducing schedules for daily self-care tasks. Weeks before had been spent discussing the steps involved in tasks such as showering and toileting, role-playing each step, and perfecting posters for actual use, in addition to coaching the child’s mum on how best to introduce these concepts at home.
Mum had been particularly worried about this last point. After years of developing a routine that worked, this was a big step for both of them. It was bound to cause some stress as any change in routine often does, and it was going to be a time-consuming process.
I never expected to be so excited and proud when I discovered that my client had learned to both shower and wipe himself when toileting with only minimal supervision required for each activity. Only months beforehand, he had been completely dependent and showed little interest in changing that fact. We now have new goals for therapy based on other daily tasks and I can’t wait to see what else this amazing kid can do. Hooray!