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EC + Down Syndrome

gdf podcast 63
The secret to toilet training a special needs child with great success - Down Syndrome potty training alternatives

Today, we're going to talk about practicing elimination communication with a special needs child, and more specifically, I'm going to offer some advice and techniques for doing Elimination Communication with a baby who has Down Syndrome. 

If you are a parent of a special needs child, did you know that you don't have to go the prescribed route of delayed toilet training and extended diaper usage?

According to the CDC, 1in 700 babies have Down Syndrome. Lately, parents and caregivers of children with Down Syndrome have been questioning the status quo and experiencing more and more success with EC, typically choosing to potty their babies soon after they return home from the hospital.

ECing a baby with Down Syndrome has benefits that extend far beyond getting out of diapers 50% sooner than the average age of 5-6 years old...today we’ll cover those extended benefits, some techniques you can use immediately, and we will share some encouraging success stories!

We will cover:

  • How motor development delays might impact EC
  • Why waiting for traditional signs of readiness might backfire
  • Some of the benefits elimination communication offers special needs children
  • How EC can help with the development of other communication skills
  • How to set up your bathroom to aid independence
  • At what age to use which of my books on EC and potty training with a child who has Down Syndrome
  • A few success stories
  • A few questions from parents

Links and other resources mentioned today:

Download the Transcript

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Transcript download: EC + Down Syndrome

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Do you have experience practicing elimination communication or early potty training with a child with Down Syndrome? Do you have any ideas or tips to add? Please leave a comment below!

I look forward to chatting with you in the comments.

xx Andrea

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my husband and 5 children (newborn to 8 years old) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)

3 Comments

  1. Avatar Ulrike Grote on October 8, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Dear Andrea, thank you so much for covering that topic. It is so nice to hear that there are others out there in a similar situation. When our little boy was born last year and diagnosed with DS I started searching the web for EC with babies with DS and there was close to NOTHING out there! I have been doing EC with my other two boys, number two from birth, and I simply could not imagine going back to full time diapers just because of the diagnosis. So we just went ahead and started EC when out of the hospital. By now he is 16 months old and I can tell the difference to my second who was basically diaper free at 18 months. Things will take longer (he is quite delayed physically) but EC works pretty well. We have almost no number two diapers and we catch a couple of pees a day mainly during standard situations/timing. Far from all but that is not the goal. While he shows very little interest and almost no signs when he needs to use the potty, I can still see some development in his bladder capacity and his capacity to hold, while e.g. being carried in a wrap. So we just continue and hope that diapering him full time while in kindergarten will not interfere with EC at home. As a little advice regarding the low muscle tone many babies/children with DS experience, it helped us a lot to use a portable tiny potty (top hat potty) that we put between our legs to sit him on, instead of holding over the toilet/sink which was uncomfortable for him as it gave way too little support. We still use it with great success as he can still not sit by himself.

  2. Avatar Danielle on October 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    This is so great. Thank you Andrea for talking about this super-important topic and getting this info out there to so many families who need and want it!

  3. Thanks for this podcast! Wonderful! I wanted to add another book resource. It is a US based book, written just a few years ago now for natural movement development. It is quite a unique resource, called On the Way to Walking by Lenore Grubinger. Many, many pictures, written by a craniosacral therapist & Infant development specialist. And there are many pictures of my kids in there! Lenore helped both my kids throughout babyhood & childhood. I do not receive any royalties for telling you about this book. It is just so important, that I want people to know about it!

    https://www.amazon.com/Way-Walking-Essential-Movement-Development/dp/0692686355

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