Over on our Facebook Fan page, we hold a regular discussion time, where you can ask all our fans for advice. If you have a question to ask, please head over to our Facebook page where you can easily enter your question for discussion by using the Questions tab. Ron asked:
My son is 12 years old, high functioning ASD. He keeps trying to retreat from therapy, lessons and family time by saying he has to go to the bathroom. We were at dinner recently and he went and then asked four more times. He was not sick or anything just trying to get away. Any ideas on how to work with this?
This question resulted in a number of general comments and suggestions. Sometimes the best answer you can get from a question is knowing that other people are going through the same thing as you!
Angelique said My son was the same we didn't make a big deal out of it and it stopped. I think he realised that nothing comes out if you go every 5 minutes so he just stopped going. He still uses it as an avoidance tactic sometimes but not often .
Angel commented I'm curious too as my 10 yo with Aspergers is doing the same thing. Mine tries to stay there for 30 or more mins
Amy wondered Is it a puberty thing? He needs a private moment for private things?
Shannon mentioned I would suggest that it might be anxiety & going to the bathroom could be a way for him to avoid a meltdown or sensory overload. Could also be feeling frustrated or pressured with therapy? Maybe ask him if this is the case & then work on other ways to manage it. I am going through this with my almost 11 year old at the moment.
Linda suggested Identify what is overwhelming him (too loud, too crowded, change from routine, etc). Previewing what will be happening in situations may help. I have used visuals with students that have different options for how they're feeling (For example -I'm confused -I'm not sure what to say - I'm frustrated - etc). They can touch the one(s) that they're feeling and it gives us a starting time for discussion. Make sure he understands how long the situation will last (otherwise, the feeling is "FOREVER." Think about how WE feel when in a meeting that does not have a firm end time). Also, give him some control - has the purpose of therapy been explained? can he be given some choice in the different situations - who to sit by, what he can choose to do after participating in expected ways for x amount of time....
Aspen reccommended First then Picture cards can be good too. First therapy, then quiet/alone time ect.
Chatterbox also uses needing to go to the toilet to get out of therapy. The way we deal with it is by getting her to go to the toilet before therapy and not letting her go again until the end. She now rarely tries to use the toilet as an excuse and accepts that she needs to wait. We are lucky that we know she can hold on for a very long time!
Odd Socks Mummy is so happy that Chatterbox seems to love her school for next year. After her first visit yesterday she said "I had a wonderful time".