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Q&A Session 9 with the Director of The Son-Rise Program

Topic: Speaking

Q:
Marieke Nout, 8 years old, diagnosis autism… She don’t speak one word, except yes. Do you think it’s possibly that she is going to speak? Marieke can pee on the toilet since this year (very good) but the other thing (poop, I think you name it) she droppes it on the floor, and sometimes in a diaper. How can I get her to toilet for this? Thanks for helping me. Mother of Marieke – Marian In January I go to the Start-Up in the Netherlands – Utrecht.

A:
I look forward to seeing you in Utrecht! I’m sure you’ll find the program to be very helpful with the different challenges Marieke has. We have an entire afternoon segment on how to encourage more speech. First of all, yes, I absolutely think it is possible Marieke can speak. One of the best aspects of the Son-Rise Program is our belief in the children and families that we work with. With that belief, we help families go for more than they otherwise might with their family. For example, there was a mother who we worked with, who had a sixteen-year old son who had never spoken. Many people wouldn’t try to help him to speak�or would put very little time effort and energy into it. Why would they if they didn’t believe in that ability? People put their time and energy into what they believe they can influence. His mother began a Son-Rise Program with him and learned to fully believe in his linguistic ability… he now speaks in sentences! He is just one example of a child who flourished under a parent’s steadfast belief in his abilities! We can help you grow this belief in your daughter during our Start-Up program.

For those of you interested in learning more about our comprehensive, five-day Start-Up Programs, we have a link on the top left of this page.

In terms of helping her getting bowel movements (her poop) into the toilet, here are a few ideas:

Have fun with this. Your attitude towards her poop can help inspire her to want this. This is the most important part of helping her… how you feel emotionally.

Don’t force her to sit on the toilet when you think she is going to do a bowel movement. This only makes the toilet less attractive and unmotivating. Give her as much control as you can around this, so when she goes, she knows that it was her choice. This makes all the difference, long term.

Model to her exactly what you want her to do. You take the diaper (or get what’s on the floor), and dump the contents into the toilet. Do it with great verve and excitement. Show her that you think and feel this is the best place in the world to put it! Cheer when it’s in the toilet!!

Be calm and easy if she goes on the floor or in her diaper. Don’t tell her she is naughty or say “Ick” or “gross&rdquol, this just makes going on the floor more interesting for her to do the next time.

Explain to her exactly what you want her to do and why. Even if she is not saying many words right now, she very well may understand everything you say. You can even do it when she is peeing. For example, one thing you can say is: “Good! Now, you go poop! Right into the toilet. You can do it.”

When you are reading or telling her stories, include a bit about the main characters going on the toilet, and how everybody loved it and cheered. This way, it becomes a more familiar part of her life.

Have any questions? Ask an Autism Expert

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