Franci Crepeau-Hobson, PhD
Rebecca O’Connor, MA
It will probably take longer than usual to toilet train a child with fragile X syndrome. The length of time it takes will depend on the child’s motoric or muscular difficulties, the child’s awareness of his body and sensations, as well as the level of mental retardation of other cognitive deficits.
Toilet training a child with fragile X syndrome requires that a number of behaviors and abilities first be in place. The child needs to be able to physically perceive that he is wet and communicate this. He needs to have significant periods of dryness, (about two hours) and have a fairly regular time for voiding or bowel movements. He also needs the motor skills and muscle tone to get to the bathroom and to sit on the toilet unassisted. Eventually he needs to be able to coordinate the entire process of feeling the need to go, getting to the bathroom, sitting down (or standing up for some boys) and actually going. All of this requires appropriate timing as well.
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