Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Autism, and Automatic Toilets

As we all know, automatic toilets are, for the most part, a good thing. They allow us to have a hands-free experience. This is great on trying to prevent as many germs spreading as possible. But, automatic toilets also are loud and can flush by themselves.

I have always been a fan of automatic toilets, but I will admit that I hate the ghost flushing. I also sometimes have jumped because of ghost flushing and how loud the toilet flush was. Now, I am a grown woman that has had these occurrences. I suspect you have too! Think about a child who is learning to use the potty in public or a child who has sensory issues. These contraptions might seem like monsters!

Children and even adults with sensory issues typically are more sensitive to noises. Loud noises can scare them and prevent them from doing the task at hand.

I know first hand as to how hard it can be to train your toddler to use the public restroom, especially when there are automatic toilets. My first son has SPD and would cover his ears and cry before I even sat him on the potty. Honestly, I would try to avoid public restrooms at all costs, so that we would not have the screaming and meltdowns just from going in the restrooms.

Chik-Fil-A was one of his favorite places to go, and we all know that they have automatic toilets (which are totally awesome and I am not knocking them at all!). He would always freak out before we would even get to the restroom. It was definitely not the best experience for him or for me.

I would cover the sensor with my hand or stick toilet paper over it, but it just never satisfied him. The loud noise the toilet made was the worst part. The ghost flushing always scared him, but the noise it what really put him on edge. In restrooms that had toilets with handles, I would tell him to cover his ears and then I would flush it. He was okay with those because he knew that it would flush when I wanted it to flush.

Fast forward to my second son. When I was potty training him, he was also scared of the automatic toilet. He does not have SPD and was actually more scared of the automatic toilet than my first son. He was so scared that he would refuse to use the restrooms that had automatic toilets in them and would instead mess in his pants. This became such a huge problem and super disgusting!!

I would have to hold the sensor with one hand, pull his pants down with the other, put toilet paper down on the seat, put him up there, all while he was wiggling and crying. We would put toilet paper over the sensor, but that sometimes fell off because of all his wiggling and screaming. I knew that there had to be something to stick over the sensor, but there was not anything besides sticky notes. I try to be as eco-friendly as possible, so I did not want to waste sticky notes every time. Also, sometimes the lighting under the sticky notes would make the toilet flush.

After I created the Flusher Blocker, my youngest son never was scared of the automatic toilet. He would watch me put the decal on, wave my hand over and over and over and the toilet would not flush. He would try as well. He finally agreed to use the potty if the Flusher Blocker was on the sensor. He is 8 now and still likes taking the Flusher Blocker with him.

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