It is reported that some children up to the age of 15 years old are still not 'toilet trained'.
Listening to the hype that the media have begun to wrap around this issue, I understand as an outsider looking in that obviously it's not a great situation.
My ears particularly pricked up when I heard that none of these children had disabilities or developmental delays.
How many children do we have in our schools that are currently living with a health difficulty which is NOT diagnosed? I personally know a few. These children can go through life with their parents doing as best as they can to progress their children in areas of neccessity simply to be able to get through their day in a neurotypical child's world.
Think about Bladder and Bowel services. Does every child on their books have a diagnosis? I can confirm that the answer to that is no. The consultant will work with the parents and child to try and help acheive correct toiletting habits. If a child is requiring nappies at the age of 4 they will then be given an allocated amount from the service.
Surely, if a child is 'up to the age of 15' and still in nappies, then a continence specialist should be involved. It is most unusual for a neurotypical child to be still in nappies at that age. Generally speaking, most of those children who do have difficulties in this area, tend to understand the toiletting process a little more as they get older.
One interviewee suggested that 25% of the child's education was lost due to changing the child's nappy. I would then ask what the comparison of percentage would be, should that child simply visit the toilet? Surely, each time a nappy is changed, alternatively a toilet visit would have been made?
What I find most appalling about this news article is the tone used. Both news presenters and teachers have felt the appropriate manner to take in address this issue to the public is to ridicule and patronise both child and parents, rather than pointing the parents and school nurse in the correct direction.
There was also a suggestion that the pictures on the nappies and packaging (showing a skateboarder) would be appealing to the older child, therefore encouraging use. I would then shout back that those children who do need these nappies have an incentive to wear them. Do they not have a right to wear something that they feel look nicer?
As a parent, there is no shame in asking for specialist intervention with issues concerning your child's health and development, there are services out there who can give you the support that you need, as you need it. Often there is an underlying reason for these situations. Rarely is it a matter of ignorance and laziness where toiletting habits are concerned, particularly in an older child.
This news article now throws up another concern. The concern that those children who do have recognised difficulties, may now be subject to ridicule from their peers.
This is the wrong way of tackling the subject. Patronising, ridicule and shaming is not the way to bring attention to such a delicate topic- guidance and assisting awareness is more appropriate.
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