One of the problems (okay, the BIG problem!) I had with ABA was their methods of training. And given that their methods of training is what you sign up for, it was inevitable that we would part ways. And we did, at the end of March.
One big issue was the way they approached toilet training. Very lock-step (like everything else) and forced. They would set a timer and run him into the bathroom every 15 minutes, the whole time they were here. Even when he was in the middle of something fun. It was all very pavlovian, but Nik being Nik, he dug in his heels and made their lives hell (he is my son after all). Soon, he was refusing to do anything they wanted, let alone going to the toilet. Then he started tantruming the minute he saw them come in the front door. And who could blame him? One of the tutors quit because she couldn’t handle his “behaviors” and “non-compliance” (their stupid terminology is another thing I don’t miss!).
So when I finally put an end to the madness, Nik’s preschool teacher and his therapists all saw an immediate improvement in his demeanor. I felt better about stopping a highly-sought-after therapy, but still felt a little guilty. What if I had made the wrong decision? I also stopped all attempts to toilet train him because I felt he needed a break from the pressure. I told Pete that I would start up again in a couple months.
The last couple of weeks, I was noticing a lot more self-awareness in Nik. On Friday, he showed interest in underwear and I told him that big people wear underwear, and babies wear diapers. He said: “I’m a big boy.”
And I said, ” Do you want to wear underwear?”
And it was that easy.
I started toilet-training Nik on Saturday (the next morning). Wanted to take advantage of the 3 day weekend, especially with his packed schedule. He had two accidents, and three successes. On Sunday, he had one accident and successes all day long. On Monday, he had one poop accident, but that was after being out all day, and not really being comfortable in a strange bathroom.
Today, he had no accidents, and pooped in the toilet for the first time.
I know he will regress, as everyone has been so quick to tell me. But I know that he can do it, and that he knows he can.
And the best part?
He did it on his on schedule, when he was ready.