My oldest daughter (age 12) is developmentally delayed and she is not fully toilet trained. We have used traditional approaches to try and get her fully toilet trained for years with little success. I was inspired when wearable technology began to emerge as a means to help prompt her to attempt using the toilet on her on.
How it works
The T. Trainer solution consists of a Fitbit flex bracelet and three apps to manage the toileting process, record water intake and nutrition.
The child is prompted to attempt a trial on the toilet when her Fitbit bracelet vibrates. At the same time a parent will receive a text letting them know the child is going to attempt a toilet trial. The T. Trainer app will present desirable rewards for the child to choose from if they are successful on the toilet. The T. Trainer app also can show the child the proper steps to toilet and provide entrainment while on the toilet for the duration of the trial. After toiling the parent records results and can monitor progress.
Since many children with disabilities with toileting issues may have other medical issues that make this process difficult, the T. Trainer Solution encourages increases in water, movement and fiber. The Fitbit app monitors movement and water while the Myfitnesspal app monitors nutrition which includes tracking daily fiber intake.
Challenges I ran into
The biggest challenge was extracting nutritional data from Myfitnesspal and combining it with both the T. Trainer app data and Fitbit data for a comprehensive report on progress. Managing the process with three apps is not ideal.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
My daughter is already showing signs of success including announcing the need to toilet and achieving higher levels of independence in the process.
What I learned
I did a lot of research on the practice of toilet training (I am writing about my experience at https://leemabie.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/tech-meets-toilet-a-series-exploring-building-technology-solutions-for-special-needs-children-to-achieve-toileting-success-part-1/). I also learned that children with Autism also struggle with toileting which sometimes requires expensive boot-camps that cost over $5,000 for a two week session.
My concept is a prototype at this point with my daughter being the primary beneficiary. While she is still a little resistant to go toileting she does expresses great joy when she does have success on the toilet which gives her confidence and encouragement. We have 12 years of habit and underlying medical conditions to deal with, but we are on the road to helping her out.
What's next for The T. Trainer Toilet Training Concept Solution
Ideally the next steps are to integrate Fitbit and Myfitnesspal APIs into the T. Trainer app to allow both water and nutritional information to be input through the T. Trainer app instead of three apps.