"Can We Do It? Yes We Can!"



I just posted a rather exuberant statement over on my Bear In The Woods page.
Bob's Dad and I are more than a little excited about the fact that for the past three nights, Bob has been refusing to wear his nappy...and has remained as dry as pepper.


What is both thrilling and perplexing is that we have been focusing on day-time toilet training for the last year and a bit, and we are about 70% of the way there. But night-time training had been relegated to such a distant back seat that a map, a compass and military binoculars would be required to catch a glimpse of it. Night-time continence has assumed the mystique of the Yeti and the Loch Ness monster.
Even though we had heard the occasional urban legend that it had been achieved, we remained sceptical, needing more evidence than footprints in the snow and grainy photographs to prove it's existence.
We were non-believers.


So, like learning his alphabet, he did it entirely on his own...

...which, true to my nature, begged a question (or two).

Will our kids eventually achieve milestones on their own, at their own comfortable pace, without us hectoring them with charts, rewards and reinforcements?
Are we just creating pointless anxiety by forcing our kids to strive for achievements that they just aren't ready for?

My gut says an annoying "yes" and "no".


It seems to me that some of the time, some of our kids will Just Do It and cock a two-fingered salute at all our efforts to impose education. See alphabet and night-dryness above.

But it also seems to me that other skills (like independent dressing and feeding) would never be realised for Bob without the input of occupational therapy and shed-loads of patience...and I don't want to be spoon-feeding a 25 year old sporter of shell-suits (as I won't have the strength to hoick anything else onto him in 20 years time).
Sole responsibility for the prevention of future fashion atrocities lies with dogged education.



This is making my head hurt, and it's too early in the morning.
I'm off for a giant mug of tea and a little lie-down.
But I would love your opinion on it to help me untangle this particular knot.



Bob will never cease to surprise us, and we fully (and shamefully) expected the need for canoes and life-jackets when nappies were finally disposed of.
What a fool I am for under-estimating him.

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Tags: autism, outreach, toilet, training

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