How to potty train a deaf or hard of hearing toddler

Keep Your Toddler from Taking Their Diaper Off

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Potty Train Your Child

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Potty Train a Child at Night

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Start Potty Training

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Potty Train Your Daughter

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Potty Train a Blind or Visually Impaired Toddler

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Potty Train a Resistant Child

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

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How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Make Toilet Training Fun for Your Son

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

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While potty training can be difficult for any child, most parents of deaf children fear that potty training is going to be a huge struggle. The truth is that it can be just as easy as training a child with normal hearing. While the instructions won’t work for every deaf child, they are tried and true ways which work for most children.

Step 1

Recognize when your deaf child is ready to start using the potty. Note the typical signs such as your child removing his dirty diaper on his own, choosing a certain area to hide while he urinates, offering to help you flush the toilet or communicating to you by grabbing himself when he needs to go.

Step 2

Communicate that it’s time to use the toilet. When you notice readiness signs, take him to the toilet and sit him there for a few minutes.
Even if he doesn’t actually use the toilet, perform the wiping and hand washing process as if he did to show him the routine. Even flush the toilet.

Step 3

Take your child to the toilet to clean up messes from his diaper to show him that the bathroom is the proper place for this. Communicating that it’s time for your child to use the toilet helps him to learn.

Step 4

Switch your child from diapers or pull-ups to underwear. Let your child feel the wetness and discomfort of a dirty diaper. If your child makes a mess in his underwear, sign to him that he had an accident and take him to the toilet to clean it up.

Step 5

Reward your child for successfully using the toilet or even just for trying. Make a small celebration out of it on the pot with hugs and kisses or even a small treat. Praising and rewarding your child will encourage her to use the toilet more often. Never punish your child for making mistakes or having accidents.

Sarah Rahal, MD is a double board-certified adult and pediatric neurologist and headache medicine specialist.

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

  • Everyday Care
    • Potty Training
  • Growth & Development
  • Health & Safety
  • Eating and Drinking

If you’ve decided your child is ready to be out of diapers, congratulations! Using the toilet is an important skill that further develops your child’s independence and increases their confidence. The purpose of toilet training is to teach your children how to recognize the sensation they feel in their bodies before they need to use the toilet.

The most important thing to remember is that potty training is a process and your child will have accidents, but stick to this method and your child will be using the potty consistently in just three days.

Is Your Child Ready?

Before deciding to take the leap and potty train, you should get your child familiar with using the toilet. Let your child come with you to the bathroom and show him what big boys and girls do.

Most kids are excited to learn about bathroom etiquette. Show them how the toilet flushing works and how to wash their hands. Look for signs of readiness and excitement, such as your child telling you when he has to pee or poop; asking you to use the potty; feeling bothered by a dirty diaper.  

Does your child seem excited to use the potty? The three-day method will only work if your child is on board.

Choose the Weekend

You will need three days in a row where you are home with your child. For working parents, this method works best over a three day weekend or a time when you can take off a day of work to add on to a regular Saturday/Sunday.

You will be inside for most of the weekend so it important to mentally prepare yourself to spend lots of time with your child. Have fun with them! If you can’t block out three days, on the final day, discuss what you have been doing with your childcare provider and ask them to continue the process.

Stock Up

Once your child is showing signs of readiness, take them to a store and pick out underwear together. Purchasing underwear with their favorite characters is a fun way to get them excited about wearing big boy or big girl underwear.

Also, since you will be spending a lot of time at home, you may want to think about some at-home projects in advance. This may be art supplies, a movie, games, cooking, baking or anything else that will keep you and your child entertained.

Before the Long Weekend

One week in advance, let your child know that it is time to say “goodbye” to diapers. Depending on what your family decides, this could be a full goodbye or a partial goodbye where diapers or pull-ups will be used during nap and bedtime. Once you start training, underwear will be worn at all times unless your child is sleeping.

If you are doing a full goodbye to diapers, you can count the remaining diapers with the child and explain that when they are gone there are no more. You can still make sure only one diaper is left before bedtime the night before you begin toilet training.

Share the process with your spouse and other caregivers, such as babysitters, nannies, and relatives. Take shifts (especially if there is an older sibling) or stay together and support each other during the process.

It is important that all adults are involved in the process and that using the toilet does not become something that is done only with one adult in the family. By sharing the responsibility, your child learns that they must use the toilet with everyone, not just in certain situations or with specific adults.

Day 1

Right when your child wakes up, change their out of the diaper. Let your child spend at least the first day bare-bottomed. Without a diaper or underpants on your child will be more likely to recognize the need to use the toilet.

You may choose to put a little potty in the living room for easy access.

This is a personal choice as some people may want to keep all bathroom activities in the bathroom. Give your child a big glass of water, juice, or milk so they have to pee frequently. Have a constant sippy cup near your child’s reach. Give your child a lot of fluid and watch intently for signs that your child is about to pee or poop.

When you notice the sign, take your child to the bathroom immediately to use the toilet. Ask them if they have to go every 20 minutes. You may want to set an audible 20-minute timer so your child knows that when the timer goes off it is time to try to use the toilet. Make sure to have your child wash hands after each attempt to instill healthy habits.

If your child doesn’t want to try, you could say we are going to try “after you are done playing with your trains” or if your kids know numbers, you could say “we are going to try when the clock says “10:30.” Have your child attempt to use the toilet at every transition, after cleaning up a toy/material, before snack or lunch, and before and after nap and bedtime. This will become part of their daily routine.

Use emotionally neutral, behavioral observations regarding your child’s progress. “You peed in the toilet, that’s where pee belongs!” or “you peed on the floor, help me clean it up.”

You know your child best. Some children respond well to an exciting celebration of success while others become uncomfortable with the attention. Some children respond well to rewards so if your child is motivated by stickers or small treats, you may decide to do a reward chart to encourage potty training.

Day 2 and Day 3

Your process for day 2 and 3 is essentially the same as day 1. Some people stay inside on all 3 days to solidify the process. Other people choose to venture outside for short activities on the afternoon of day 2 and day 3.

If you go outside, go to a playground or do an activity that is close by and always remember to bring a small portable potty with you in case your child refuses to use the public restroom, as some kids do. Expect accidents. When they happen, just change the underwear and don’t make a big deal. Simply say, “we pee and poop in the potty.”

Naps and Nighttime

Whether or not to put a diaper on during nap and nighttime during three-day potty training is a personal decision. Some believe it is easier to potty train completely for daytime, naps, and nighttime; others train in stages.

Your children can often be helpful in decision making, too. For example, I originally put a pull-up on my son for nap time, but noticed our nanny was letting our son wear underwear during naps and he wasn’t having accidents. So we talked to him about it and he wanted to wear underwear for naps. For nighttime, he is still in diapers.

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Even though they aren’t able to hear commands, deaf dogs can be trained to obey their owners. Of course, this process is different from training a hearing dog and comes with its own set of challenges. Training a deaf dog requires a bit of extra patience, but it’s not outside the capability of most dog owners.

Some dogs are more prone to deafness than others. Dalmatians, Whippets, English setters, and Jack Russell terriers seem to have the highest instances of congenital (present at birth) deafness. Some dogs only begin to lose their hearing as they reach their senior years.

For puppies who don’t yet have hearing problems, consider incorporating hand gestures with voice commands when you train them. That way, if your dog loses hearing in old age, he is already familiar with the signs for the various commands.

Getting the Attention of a Deaf Dog

Before you can ask a dog to do anything, you must first have the dog’s attention. Since you can’t call his name like you can with a hearing dog, you’ll need to think of other ways to grab your dog’s attention.

There are a few things you can do to get a deaf dog to look at you, such as stamping your foot on the floor. Sometimes the vibrations coming through the floor are enough to turn your dog’s attention in your direction.

Use a Flashlight

Some owners of deaf dogs use a flashlight to signal to their dog. You can train a dog to look at you by turning a flashlight on and off. Continue to do so until your dog turns to see where the light is coming from. As soon as the dog looks at you, reward him with a treat. The dog will soon learn that a flash of light means that he needs to look at you.

Use a Vibrating Collar

These electronic collars are different from those that give shocks to aid in training (which you want to avoid because they provide negative reinforcement to the dog). These simply vibrate painlessly when you press a button on a remote.

You can train a dog to look at you by pressing the button to make the collar vibrate, and continue doing so until your dog looks at you. As soon as the dog turns its attention to you, stop the vibrations and offer a treat. One of the benefits of using the vibrating electronic collar is that you can use it in just about any situation.

Try Hand Signals

Many people train dogs by using hand signals for basic obedience commands. There is a standard hand signal most dog trainers use to teach each command, but you can also create your own hand signals.

Instead of giving a solely spoken command, you start off by making sure your dog’s attention is on you, and then give the hand signal. You then train the dog to perform the command just as you would any other dog.

Use Sign Language

Most people communicate with their dogs for more than the basic commands, learning from the repeated connection between the words and the actions. You can communicate in a similar way with a deaf dog, but rather than using spoken words, you can use sign language.

Many owners of deaf dogs find it useful to learn a few simple words in American Sign Language and use them when doing everyday tasks with their dogs. You can also create your own signs for different words. As long as you and your dog know what the sign means, you should be able to communicate easily.

Reward Good Behavior

While many dogs find it rewarding to get verbal praise from their owners, this obviously won’t work for deaf dogs. Keep some small treats on hand to give your deaf dog positive reinforcement when it obeys a command correctly. Non-verbal forms of praise like petting or ear scratches can be helpful as well.

Once your dog has a good understanding of each command, you can use treats less frequently. Be sure in the early days of training when you’re using a lot of treats that you cut back on your dog’s meals accordingly.

Keep Deaf Dogs Leashed

Some people love taking off-leash walks with their dogs. It’s debatable whether or not this is a good idea in any situation, but it’s never a good idea to allow your deaf dog off the leash in unfenced areas.

Even the most well-trained dog can get distracted, and you can’t simply use a come command or an emergency recall to keep a deaf dog from a dangerous situation. For the dog’s safety, keep him on a leash.

Problems and Proofing Behavior

Deaf dogs may be initially startled by a person unexpectedly touching them to gain their attention, especially if they are touched while sleeping. Startling a dog can lead to it snarling or snapping out of fear, much in the same way a person might yell out if someone sneaks up and startles them.

Practice touching your dog very gently on the shoulder and back. Give treats immediately following the touch. Try to do this often throughout the day, and soon your dog will learn that having someone touch them from behind means good things are about to happen.

A common mistake many new owners of deaf dogs make is not talking while they give their non-verbal commands. Just because the dog can’t hear you doesn’t mean you should remain silent; often your body language can appear unnatural if you give a command silently.

To ensure the visual commands come naturally to you and translate easily to your dog, go ahead and speak the words of a command as you perform the action.

No parent wants any condition to hamper her efforts to potty train her child. Problems like low muscle tone, also called hypotonia, are caused by disorders like muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome and could easily get in the way of independent living activities, including toileting. Potty training a child with low muscle tone follows a similar structure of standard training but requires more patience and practice.

Determine your child’s readiness to use the toilet. Children who poop in their diaper at the same time each day or show an interest in your toileting might be ready. Psychologists from suggest that your child’s intellectual disability, a common cause of hypotonia, might delay potty training until around age 3 or 4 1.

Take your child with you to the toilet and let him observe the process. Point out each step — turning on the light, pulling down your pants, toileting, wiping, pulling up your pants, flushing, washing your hands and turning out the light. You can even encourage your child to watch videos, such as “Tom’s Toilet Triumph,” several times a day.

Show your child a potty training chair and let him play with it so he gets used to this strange new object.

Take off your child’s diaper completely during the day. Let him wear pants or go naked below the waist around the house and keep towels and other cleaning supplies ready for accidents. Developmental psychologist Dr. Rika Alper says children with low muscle tone are less responsive to sensations like wetness, and the diaper reduces these feelings. Wearing wet pants or feeling pee dripping down his leg will help your child respond to toileting.

Take your child to the toilet at certain times every single day to practice potty timing, which is a bit different from training. Tell your child it is time to go to the potty and bring him to the bathroom. Make sure he uses the toilet, even if it is just a bit of pee. Give praise to your child to reinforce the action of using the toilet. Walk him through the steps of flushing and washing his hands.

Ask your child often if he needs to use the toilet. Give your child plenty of water or diluted juice to ensure he needs to go and allow more opportunities for training. A child with low muscle tone might have difficulty sensing his bladder filling up or holding urine in when he needs to go. Frequent reminders ensure your child has opportunities to realize he needs to urinate. If your child says he needs to go, whisk him away to the toilet quickly, as his difficulty clenching his muscles to hold his pee might result in accidents. Again, give praise for his use of the toilet.

Practice abdominal-strengthening exercises, such as sit ups, with your child. Pushing out feces requires a great deal of abdominal strength, so exercising helps your child with low muscle tone learn to use these muscles.

Use reinforcement often when potty training. Simple verbal praise is often best, and Dr. Alper suggests giving your child “special underwear” as incentive for weaning off of diapers or an opportunity to do something your child enjoys, such as going for a swim. Your child might show success with potty training during the day but might still have accidents at night. It is normal for all children to require training pants at night until they decide they are ready to wear underwear or stay dry throughout the night.

For most pet owners, having conversations with our treasured companions is commonplace – and we’re quite convinced that they are listening intently to every word that we say! Communicating audibly with our pets is an important part of our relationship with them – from reinforcing their good behavior to recalling them from a dangerous situation – and of course, soliciting their advice for any number of our human issues. For some pets, though, verbal communication is not an option, or is a method that gradually fades as pets age.

This week, 9/20-27, is Deaf Dog Awareness Week, bringing attention to hearing impairment in our furry friends. Whether your pet has perfect hearing or no hearing at all, they can still bring joy to your life and benefit significantly from the love of your family.

Larimer Humane Society Behavior Supervisor Mary Babbitt recommends these methods for training work with deaf or hard-of-hearing dogs:

  • Consider using a vibrating collar when teaching your dog. The vibration means to “check-in” and look at the owner so other cues can be given. Vibration collars are different from shock collars, in that they give a mild sensation to attract the dog’s attention – they do not deliver any type of electrical impulse.
  • Be respectful when the dog is sleeping or not paying attention. Deaf dogs can startle easily and may not realize that the touch that woke them is their loving owner. Also be sure to teach children that there are clear rules about when it is and isn’t okay to approach or touch a dog, particularly one with hearing impairment.
  • Be creative. Try to think about what non-verbal cues might work in your home. For example, at night when it’s harder to see, think about teaching a deaf dog that the porch light flashing off and on a few times means, “come inside now.”

While it takes more patience and understanding to train dogs who are hearing impaired, the reward at the end is equally as satisfying as audible communication. Most owners find benefit from sign and body language an alternative method of communication. Dogs are very perceptive of these types of signals and are able to quickly make meaning of and commit to memory visual commands. Learn more about training your dog with nonverbal cues by following this link.

Have fun learning with your furry family member!

A potty training blueprint for setting up your child for success back at daycare or preschool

Do you worry about sending your toddler back to daycare or preschool, brand new to potty training ?

Skip googling for hours or scrolling mom forums for what you should be doing about accidents happening at daycare — or why your toddler refuses to use the potty at preschool.

Get instant access to this potty training blueprint for setting up your child for success back at daycare or preschool .

Oh Crap How to Potty Train With Daycare + Preschool was created by potty training experts Jamie Glowacki and Jen L’Italien. Unlike a mom forum or parenting blog, we’re not here sharing what worked for our kid or what we saw in our circle of friends. Nope, this course is about sharing what we’ve seen work through supporting thousands of families through the potty training process. and making that big leap back to daycare or preschool as a diaper-free toddler.

Throughout our years of helping families like yours get through this crazy-making milestone of potty training, we can safely say that the transition to daycare or preschool is definitely one of the most challenging. We’ve made this course out of necessity. While Jamie wrote a chapter on daycare in Oh Crap Potty Training , that covers broad strokes and most families need more. We do private consulting for potty training support, but we know that’s not a cost-effective solution for everyone.

So TA DA…we made this course!

There are literally THOUSANDS of possibilities with toddler daycare and preschool. When we sat down to map out this course, we were blown away by the combinations of possibilities.

Collectively between us, we have 15 years of experience as potty training consultants, and over the years, we’ve seen patterns. This course gives you the tools to tackle whatever you’re seeing at daycare or preschool. While we may not hit the exact minutia of your situation, we can assure you that your daycare potty training issue is in here!

Jamie Glowacki is an internationally recognized potty training and parenting expert. She’s the bestselling author of Oh Crap Potty Training and Oh Crap I Have a Toddler, as well as hosting her popular podcast, Oh Crap! I love my kids but holy f**k. Her two past careers of circus performer and social worker make her uniquely qualified to deal with toddlers and poop. For the past 11 years, she has helped thousands of families with the charming yet infuriating toddler stage of parenting. For courses, live classes, and private consulting, please visit

Jen L’Italien is a senior certified Oh Crap Potty Training consultant who runs Oh Crap Potty Training From ME To You. She is also the author of the course Potty Training Solutions. Jen has worked with hundreds of families around the world for support in their potty training journey and has been a speaker at moms’ groups, daycares, and she’s been featured as a potty training expert in the Huffington Post and Parents magazine.

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

LOVELAND, Ohio — Ohio Valley Voices, the school that teaches children who are deaf and hard of hearing how to listen and talk, started meeting for in-person learning sessions in early August. Until now, students and teachers were continuing their lessons online, but the nature of the sessions meant that meeting face-to-face would always be preferable.

Four-year-old Brooklyn Ballein had profound hearing loss after birth. A cochlear implant brought that sound back to her, but she needs to learn how to translate those sounds.

“It’s not your ears that hear – it’s your brain,” said Ohio Valley Voices executive director Maria Sentelik. “So we have to train their brain how to interpret the sound they’re receiving through cochlear implant or hearing aid so they can learn to talk.”

Sentelik said time is of the essence – the best window to learn these skills is between ages 1 and 3. She said, after that, the child’s brain starts reassigning space. Time lost due to the coronavirus pandemic threatened the students’ learning curve.

“We knew we had to keep them above water, and so we did virtual learning, but we also knew it was just as critical to get them back in the rooms,” Sentelik said. “Back at Ohio Valley Voices.”

In the classrooms, where technology blips can’t get in the way of sound integrity, which she said is crucial for the progress of the kids.

“Just the attention span of the preschoolers – you can’t do it remotely like you can in person,” said Ohio Valley Voices teacher Julie Carter.

In order for students to return to the classrooms, the building was divided into four community pods by age groups.

Each pod has its own entrance and color-coded lane down the hallway that leads to a classroom area that is further sectioned off for smaller group sessions and each group has their own bathroom in that space.

The goal is no exposure to anyone outside of each child’s individual pod, but lots of language work inside of it.

Brooklyn spends a lot of time talking about the class’ pet rabbit. “He has big ears – big ears,” she said.

“It makes all the difference in the world. There’s so much they glean from your face,” Carter said about the one-on-one time between teacher and student.

In adjusting to the COVID-19 world, the teachers are coming up with ways to protect themselves but visually teach. It’s hard for the students to see a teacher’s mouth moving through a mask, so they’re finding creative ways around that. They need to – that’s how important this training is to the kids.

“It is the rest of their lives and it makes all the difference for them and it changes their whole life,” Sentelik said.

The children learn to become listeners and speakers in our conversational world. The leadership at Ohio Valley Voices said they can’t allow the pandemic to get in the way of that life-long gift.

Learning to use the toilet is a big developmental milestone for toddlers, and a big challenge for parents! How can parents successfully navigate this age and stage, especially when you add hearing loss to the mix? Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Readiness. With or without hearing loss, the number one thing to look for when deciding when to help a child become potty trained is “readiness.” If the child has begun to show signs of knowing when he has a wet or soiled diaper, or indicating that he needs to use the restroom, this is a good predictor that the child is physically and developmentally ready for this task. I see so many parents who feel pressure to have the child toilet trained by some arbitrary deadline, regardless of the child’s developmental stage. More often than not, this just ends up putting lots of stress on both parent and child with limited success. When the child graduates from college, will it really matter whether she was fully potty trained at age two or at age three? Not really. Obviously, if the child is falling far outside of developmental norms, this is cause for concern, but parents are much better served by waiting for the child to be ready than by pushing the process because of some artificial timeline. It will be a quicker and smoother stage for everyone this way.

Language. This is one are of potty training where conventional wisdom may not be as applicable to children with hearing loss, if the child has a speech and language delay. It is important to consider two levels when determining a child’s readiness for this task — overall developmental level and language level. If the child is “just deaf” and has no other delays, then developmental readiness is key and we can work around the language issues. If the child has both language and global developmental delays, you may be better served by waiting for developmental/physiological readiness for this task. For a child with significant language delays, it may help to use a picture schedule (e.g. first we pull down our pants, then we sit on the toilet, wipe, flush, pull up your pants, wash your hands, etc.). When you see signs of readiness, use language to identify them! “You look like you need to go to the bathroom. Let’s go try!” “Oh, your diaper is wet? We need to get you a new one.” Help the child learn to label her feelings and articulate her needs. Books are another great way to introduce vocabulary and concepts — either commercially available books from the library or experience books you make yourself. One caveat for teaching language around potty training is this: While I usually like to see if the child can stretch his language, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go! I’ll accept any attempt, verbal, gestural, whatever, that the child uses to communicate the need to go to the bathroom. We can polish up this language later, at a less urgent time. If you’re telling me it’s potty time, let’s go!

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Clear communication and routines. Children thrive on consistency — for potty training and for pretty much everything else. I find that parents have the greatest success if they “just do it” in terms of potty training. Really commit and stick to it for a week, even if that means staying home more often and dealing with some messes along the way. This is much easier for the child to understand than the in the diaper/out of the diaper dance that some families do when potty training halfheartedly. The first approach (consistency) is much harder and requires a greater commitment at the outset, but it tends to yield success more quickly. One rough patch, and then you’re done. Children can also be helped in this by the use of routine, familiar language to describe each step in the process.

Setbacks are normal. This is a big developmental step! Things like a change in daycare situation, a week or poor sleep, vacations, or other disturbances in routine can throw the child for a loop and you may see temporary regression. It’s frustrating, but not unexpected. If you know to expect this, the disappointment is less for everyone involved.

Keep it positive! The way we speak to and about the child will become the way he thinks about himself. Potty training can be a really frustrating time, but it’s important to remember that we’re frustrated with the behavior, not the child. Take setbacks in stride, rather than shaming or embarrassing the child about his bodily functions. Remember that he is working to gain full mental and physical control of his body — that’s not an easy task, and, as much as it may seem that way, he’s not doing this to you “on purpose.” Praise effort, not outcome. Have a sense of humor. This phase will pass soon (even if it seems it’s dragging on forever), but the emotional legacy you give your child lasts a lifetime.

Health and safety. A discussion of potty training would not be complete without some other important reminders for parents and caregivers. First, this stage presents a great opportunity to teach another important skill — good hand washing habits. I like to use the following song, to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” to help children learn to wash their hands for an appropriate amount of time (and sneak in some vocabulary!):

Wash, wash, wash your hands

After work and play

Scrub, rinse, shake, and dry

Keep the germs away!

On a more serious note, the second important topic to cover during potty training is physical safety. Unfortunately, we know that children with disabilities are at a higher risk for abuse, and that, sadly, abuse is a risk for all children. No child should ever have to experience this, and we have a duty to equip them with the language and skills they need to be as safe as possible. I feel it is very important to teach children the correct words for their anatomy in a shame-free, factual way. It’s also important to express that using the bathroom is a private event. Help them learn to close the door (maybe not lock it at this stage), or, as the parent or caregiver, step outside the open door until the child needs your help, once he is sufficiently able to handle the task on his own. Toilet training is also a good time to talk about safe and unsafe touch and the importance of not keeping “secrets” from parents, even if instructed to by another adult. I hate that we have to talk about this, but we do — it is crucial to empower our children!

If you are registered deaf or use hearing aids, you and your travelling companion could get a third-off rail travel. You may also be eligible for free or discounted travel on local public transport.

Discounted rail travel

You can get a Disabled Person’s Railcard if you live in England, Scotland or Wales and are registered deaf or use hearing aids.

The card costs £20 for one year or £54 for three years, but you’ll get one third off most adult rail fares at any time of the day for travel on the National Rail network in Great Britain.

If you’re travelling with another adult, they’ll also get one third off their rail fare, so you can save money for a friend or family member too.

To prove you qualify for a Disabled Persons’ Railcard, you’ll need to show evidence that you are registered as deaf or use a hearing aid.

  • If you are registered as deaf, you will need to get a Social Services official stamp on the form to confirm this.
  • If you use a hearing aid, you will need to provide a copy of the front page of your NHS battery book or a copy of your dispensing prescription from a private hearing aid provider.

To find out more and to apply, visit the Disabled Persons Railcard website

Discounted bus travel

You may be able to get a disabled person’s bus pass if you meet the eligibility criteria. There’s no central provider of this scheme, so get in touch with your local authority to find out if you qualify:

In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

  • What Is Potty Training?
  • When to Start Potty Training
  • Potty Training Tips
  • Having Patience When Potty Training
  • Nighttime and Naptime Potty Training

What Is Potty Training?

When you have a baby, you’re knee-deep in diapers. They’re tucked into your bag. Stacked near the crib. Stored in boxes under beds. You might even have a few stashed in the glove compartment of your car, just in case.

Diapers are part of your life, day in, day out, for so long that it’s hard to imagine not needing them anymore. It seems like the day when your child will walk into the bathroom, pee or poop, wipe, wash hands, and walk back out without you even knowing it is a long way off.

And yet, that day is coming. And it’ll be as glorious as it has been in your dreams. Between now and then, there’s a big project: potty training, or to use the grown-up term, toilet training. You may be ready to make the transition, but is your little one?

When to Start Potty Training

With potty training, just like talking, walking, and sleeping through the night, every child’s timing is different. There’s no perfect age to start potty training. How will you know if your child is ready? They’ll show interest in various ways, including asking questions about the toilet, potty seats, and underwear.

Whether or not your child is ready depends on where they are physically and emotionally. Many kids show interest around 2, while others couldn’t care less until they’re 2 1/2 or 3. But here are always exceptions. Girls usually show interest earlier than boys and are quicker to get the hang of it.

There’s no need to whip out a potty seat the second your child’s questions start. Ask yourself a few questions first:

Can my child sit on a potty seat and get back up without my help?В

Can they follow basic instructions?В

Do they tell me when it’s time to go?В

Can my child pull down diapers, training pants, or underwear without my help?В

Can they control bladder and bowel muscles and keep a diaper dry for at least 2 hours?

Does it bother them to have a dirty diaper?


If you’ve answered yes to those questions, your child is ready. But are you? Though having a potty-trained child is easier in the long run, it takes time, focus, and plenty of patience. It may be best to wait if:В

You’re about to have another childВ

You’re about to move

Your child is switching from a crib to a bed

Your child is sick, especially if diarrhea is involved

Your family is going through turmoil, like serious illness or deathВ

Holding off until you’re resettled into a routine will help set you both up for success. If you start potty training before your child is ready, the process may take longer than needed. And no doubt, you’ve already noticed how stubborn toddlers can be.

Potty Training Tips

Be a positive potty model. When you go to the bathroom, use it as a chance to talk your child through the process. Use words your child can say, like pee, poop, and potty.

If you plan to start your child on a potty seat, put it in the bathroom so they get used to it. Make it a fun place your child wants to sit, with or without the diaper on. Let them sit on the potty seat while you read or offer a toy.

Tune in to cues. Be aware of how your child behaves when they have to pee or poop. Look for a red face and listen for grunting sounds. Then get them to the potty quick!

Take notice of the time when they pee and poop during the day. Then establish a routine in which your child sits on the potty during those times, especially after meals or after drinking a lot of fluid.В

Dress them in clothing they can easily manage by themselves.

Teach them to wipe correctly, from front to back, and to wash their hands when they’re finished. Boys have an easier time learning to pee sitting down first.

Use plenty of praise, praise, and more praise. Do words motivate your child? Stickers on a chart? Small toys or extra bedtime stories? Check in with what feels right for you and use it to reward positive potty choices. Your good attitude will come in handy, especially when “accidents” happen.


Having Patience When Potty Training

Sitting on the potty should be a want-to, not a have-to. If your child isn’t into it, don’t force it.

Just when you think your child has nailed it, accidents happen. It’s OK to be frustrated, but don’t punish or shame your child. It won’t get you closer to your goal. Take a deep breath and focus on what you and your child can do better next time.

Don’t turn potty training into a power struggle. The more you push, the more they may resist. If your child feels stressed and anxious, they may have setbacks. В

Don’t compare your child with other children. Some parents like to brag about how easy potty training went in their family. So if your neighbor says their kids potty trained themselves, smile and remember that the only right way is the one that works for you.

Nighttime and Naptime Potty Training

When your child is finally able to use the toilet on their own, it’s a milestone to celebrate. But staying dry when they sleep is a whole different ball game. It may take months or years for their bodies to mature to the point that they always wake up when they need to go.

So don’t sweat it. Put a protective cover on their mattress and keep using diapers or training pants at naptime and overnight while your child grows. But talk to your doctor if they’re ready to start school and are still wetting at night.


Mayo Clinic: “Potty training: How to get the job done.”

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital: “Toilet Teaching Your Child.”

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “Toilet-Training.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Toilet Training Your Child.”

The Nemours Foundation: “Toilet Training.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Emotional Issues and Bathroom Problems,” “Stages of Toilet Training: Different Skills, Different Schedules,” “Bedwetting.”

Although most children start showing signs of toilet training readiness at 18 to 24 months, some children won’t use the toilet until they are 4 to 5 years old. Children with behavioral issues or special needs may be especially difficult to train 2. Take a deep breath, try to stay positive and be consistent in your approach to potty training. With persistence and patience even the most challenging children will have success.

Determine why your child is having difficulties with potty training 3. Is he physically unable to use the toilet? Is he afraid of the toilet? Is he locked in a power struggle with you, or is it something entirely different? Children with developmental or behavioral problems often struggle to use the toilet on a regular basis, according to 2.

Evaluate your bathroom for kid-friendliness. If your child is afraid of the toilet, provide him with a potty chair 3. If you have a child with sensory issues, make sure the smell of your cleaning products and the brightness of the lights aren’t irritating him. Consider hanging a colorful poster of your child’s favorite cartoon character near the toilet 3.

Provide motivation and rewards. Sometimes, children don’t potty train because they just don’t care. Your child may need a reward chart where he can add stickers every time he uses the toilet 3. After 5 stickers, let him pick a prize — and let him choose from things he would really enjoy. An incentive for one child might be a trip to the movies, while getting a new picture book might work for another.

Offer choices. Preschoolers like to do things independently, so give your child the opportunity to make some decisions when it comes to potty training 3. Encourage her to choose her own underwear. Let her decide whether she wants to use the toilet or a potty chair. Also encourage her to let you know when she needs to sit on the potty.

Allow your child to continue using his diaper, but instruct him to go into the bathroom when he eliminates. This way, he’ll get accustomed to going potty in the bathroom even if it’s not quite on the toilet. After he becomes comfortable in the bathroom, have him sit on the potty or toilet with his diaper still on him. Eventually, have him remove the diaper to use the potty.

Mention the names of his friends or preschool classmates that use the toilet. Children’s social awareness grows during the preschool years — and you can use this new development to your potty training advantage. Ask your child if he wants to go potty “Just like little Johnnie at school.”

Avoid engaging in negotiations or a battle of the wills with your 4-year-old. Preschoolers are very verbal and might try to “win” bigger rewards or fabricate excuses. Use his new-found verbal skills to explain how his body works and how important using the potty is. Remain consistent with toilet training despite your child’s complaints 3.

React positively to toilet training 3. Stay with your child and read books or tell stories to her while she sits on the potty. Let her know that this is an exciting part of growing up.

Toilet training is more challenging during times of change in your child’s life. Try to avoid training during a move, divorce or other upheaval. Offer plenty of encouragement and praise when your child exerts any effort to toilet train.


Never punish or try to shame your child if she has accidents or refuses to use the potty. Such negative reinforcement may further delay her potty training progress. If all attempts have failed, call your child’s doctor to check whether she has a physical issue that is impeding toilet training.

Some toddlers won’t use the potty. Sometimes a child may know how to pee in the potty, but will not poop in the potty.

This situation leads to a “power struggle” between a parent and child. A power struggle is when the child is trying to have control of something.

How can I help her poop in the potty?

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

  • Talk to her about why we poop, and why it is important to get it out of our bodies. Or do not flush when she is in the bathroom with you or wait until she is not interested anymore, and then throw it away.
  • Other children are afraid of falling into the toilet. Let her have control by flushing away some pieces of toilet paper. This will help her get used to hearing the sound and seeing things disappear.
  • Show her a picture of what she should do. Explain the picture through a story.
  • Make changes in her diet. Give her more sweet corn, peas, beans, fruit and whole-wheat bread. This helps. Do not give her too much milk. Make her drink lots of water and clear liquids.
  • Write down when your child poops and pees. Then you will know her pooping pattern.
  • Talk to a pediatrician if you have any worries. It can help to talk about this with a health professional.
  • Ask other parents for advice.

If the problem is a power struggle, let your child have control over other things:

  • Let her choose what games to play with you, or what clothes to wear.
  • Have her do exercises like running, skipping or jumping. These will develop her physical control.

What should I do if my child has an accident?
Do not punish your child if she has accidents. This happens when the child is learning. Accidents can make her upset. Do these things to help your child:

  • Play funny games about toilets and accidents. She will laugh and will not feel pushed.
  • Tell her that there is no rush. Comfort her. Tell her that she will learn.
  • Talk to her about her body signals. Explain how she will know when she needs to go.
  • When an accident happens, take her to the toilet. Then she can see what should happen.
  • Even if your child signs, have her carry a pocket size wallet with pictures that help her tell you when she needs a toilet.
  • Tell your child that she can ask for a potty break anytime.

Why did my child regress and stop using the toilet?
It is normal for a child who knows how to use the toilet to stop. If she does this, we say that the child is regressing. Children sometimes regress because:

  • They want to take a break from growing up.
  • Regressing is part of growing up and learning how to do new things.
  • They learn something new like riding a tricycle or building a tall tower of blocks.
  • They are upset or stressed. Your child may regress when:
    • There is a new baby in the family
    • She changes from crib to bed or to a different bedroom
    • The family moves to a new home
    • A family member moved away
    • Parents have a fight.

How can I help my child use the toilet again?
Don’t punish or scold your child. The best thing to do is to help her relax. Do not tell her you are disappointed. You will upset her more if you do. Do these things to help your child:

  • Find out what is worrying or bothering your child.
  • Comfort your child
  • Use pictures, favorite toys, stories and playing to explain things.
  • Lie down with her at bedtime.
  • Don’t push her to grow up too soon or too fast. Let her give up the bottle, the crib, the pacifier, and the diapers slowly. If you push her too hard, she may regress even more.
  • Tell her to use the toilet. She may say no. Explain why it is good to stay dry.
  • Repeat whatever helped you potty train her in the beginning.

Usually a child does not regress for very long
Remember these things:

  • Give it time.
  • If she regresses for more than two months, talk to your doctor.
  • If she regresses every five or six months, talk to your doctor.
  • It is important to know that the problem isn’t caused by a bladder infection or other medical problem. If you think your child has a medical problem, talk to your doctor right away.

Find out more

Learn more at these websites:

  • Read the Dr Spock website. It gives you a list of all the articles, message boards and advice they have on potty training.
  • The American Baby website has lots of information on potty training and also has parents’ stories about starting early or waiting.
  • Go to the Potty Training Tips website for more information about this topic.
  • has a good article on potty training when you travel.

© 2001-2004, Deafness and Family Communication Center or its affiliates

The webinar will share best practices on how to provide early intervention (EI) services for deaf and hard of hearing babies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are new to the field or an experienced EI service provider, this webinar will give you different tools and resources to consider. This webinar is also to support families to be better informed on how to ensure that their deaf and hard of hearing baby receives the best services. [Transcript available here]

  • DATE: Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 3-4:30 PM EST
  • No CEUs will be offered for this webinar
  • This is a free webinar and will be streamed to Facebook Live with the exception of those requesting Spanish Voice interpretation which will be available via Zoom Webinar with a provided private link emailed to you before the webinar.

[NOTE: registration is not required since this will be streamed to Facebook Live but if you require Spanish Voice interpretation or any other accommodations, email [email protected]]

Seminario web (Webinar) con sesión de preguntas y respuestas: Proporcionar intervención temprana a bebés sordos o hipoacúsicos durante la pandemia COVID-19

El seminario web compartirá las mejores prácticas sobre cómo proporcionar servicios de intervención temprana (EI) para bebés sordos o hipoacúsicos durante la pandemia de COVID-19. Si usted es nuevo en el campo o un proveedor de servicios de EI con experiencia, este seminario web le brindará diferentes herramientas y recursos para tu consideración. Este seminario web también sirve para ayudar a las familias a estar mejor informadas sobre cómo garantizar que su bebé sordo o hipoacúsico reciba los mejores servicios. [NOTA: interpretación de voz en español disponible.]

  • FECHA: miércoles 17 de junio de 2020, 3 – 4:30 PM EST
  • No se ofrecerán Unidades de Educación Continua (CEUs) para este seminario web.
  • Este es un seminario web gratuito y se transmitirá a Facebook Live con la excepción de aquellos que soliciten interpretación de voz en español que estará disponible a través del Zoom con un enlace privado enviado por correo electrónico antes del seminario.

[NOTA: no es necesario registrarse, ya que se transmitirá a Facebook Live, pero si necesita interpretación de voz en español o cualquier otra adaptación, email [email protected]]

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

  • agility
  • tricks
  • scent work

Deaf dogs can live normal lives, but need to have a special dedicated owner to work with them. Check out these tips from AKC GoodDog! Helpline trainer Erin Rakosky on how to train a deaf dog.

Training a Deaf Dog: Positive reward-based training is essential when working with a deaf dog. To start training your dog, being able to get their attention is important. You can get their attention with either a wave in front of their face, thumping your fist on the floor to create a vibration, or by touching them gently (always in the same location).

Collars that produce a light vibration can also be used (only vibration—never a shock collar). Use caution when using light (such as a laser pointer) to get their attention, as some dogs develop Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder behaviors with lights and shadows.

Since your dog cannot hear a click or a marker word, teaching them a signal that means they did something good is crucial. Many trainers will use thumbs up to signal this. You can condition your dog to this by giving the signal and rewarding with a treat. Soon your dog will understand that thumbs up means treat!

You are then ready to move forward with basic obedience commands. Deaf dogs can be trained using the same luring and hand signals that dogs with the ability to hear use. Eventually you can begin to rely on hand signals alone. Have fun and be creative! You can use American Sign Language to teach your dog all kinds of words and tricks!

How To Prevent Startling Your Deaf Dog: Non-hearing dogs are often startled or scared by things suddenly appearing or a person touching them since they cannot hear the approach.

It is important thing to work with your dog on desensitization to reduce startling. To desensitize your dog to touch, start by always touching them in the same location, and each time you touch offer a food reward. Initially start by being in sight of your dog, and then once your dog is comfortable with this exercise, move to being out of your dog’s sight when you touch them.

To help condition your dog to wake easily with a gentle touch, start by approaching them while they are sleeping. Place your hand in front of their nose allowing them to smell you, and then gently stroke just a couple of hairs gradually increasing the pressure until your dog wakes. Once their eyes are open, reward them with a treat. They will learn that waking up in response to touch is a positive experience.

With the proper knowledge, positive training and patience, owning a deaf dog can be very rewarding. There are many resources available as well as deaf dog support groups that can offer many helpful tips. With the right training, your deaf dog can do anything a dog with hearing can do. There are many deaf dogs in performance events including obedience, agility, flyball and scent work.

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

  • government relations
  • socialization
  • service dog

Strolling with a happy, tail-wagging companion securely by our sides is one of life’s greatest joys. We love our furry, four-legged friends. While dogs are America’s most beloved pet, humans have bred and domesticated dogs for thousands of years for important work functions. Modern day working dog are employed in tasks ranging from drug and explosive detection, agriculture, tracking, emergency recovery, mental health treatment, and much more. Service dogs are working partners for people with disabilities. Hearing dogs are specifically trained to support the needs of severely hearing impaired people. They serve as their masters’ ears and provide the added benefit of companionship. By federal law, service animals including hearing dogs may go anywhere the public is permitted (restaurants, stores, government buildings, etc.) and live in housing where pets are prohibited. They are not pets–but valuable assistants for people with disabilities.

Hearing dogs are trained to alert their owners to common sounds like doorbells, oven timers, smoke alarms, telephones, babies’ cries, or alarm clocks. Hearing dogs make physical contact with their masters, nudging or pawing them to get their attention. Most are trained to lead their handlers toward the source of a sound.

Outside the home, hearing dogs perform additional duties. Most will not respond to ambient street noises like car horns or sirens. However, because they are keenly alert to environmental sounds, their partners can ascertain a great deal of information about their surroundings by observing the dogs’ cues. This serves to alert people with severe hearing losses to the approach of persons or vehicles which may be a threat or hazard. Owners of hearing dogs report that having a trained canine helper gives them an increased sense of security and independence that other assistive means just can’t provide.

What types of canine make the best hearing dogs?

Although hearing dogs must be trained for their specific duties, there are natural traits that make some dogs better candidates than others. Characteristics of a model hearing dog are as follows:

  • Naturally attentive to sound
  • Alert and ready to work in an instant
  • Friendly and people-oriented
  • Steady temperament, calm in crowds
  • Focused on its task
  • Confident but not dominant

Most hearing dogs are small to medium mixed breed animals. Many are rescued from shelters; others come from professional breeders. While hearing dogs come in all kennel classes and varieties, certain purebreds are also well-suited to the role. These include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. Because hearing dogs are best active and alert, many are a terrier mix. Pedigree is, however, far less important than trainability and a temperament ideally suited to the work.

Training a hearing dog

While temperament and instinct are prominent features of successful hearing dogs, they must be expertly trained for their specific duties. The dogs are trained to perform both on and off a lead and to work for small rewards and affection. Instruction starts with basic socialization and obedience training: stay, sit, come, heel.

Next, the dogs receive several months of audio-response training. They are taught to respond to specific sounds in the home such as smoke alarms, telephones, doorbells, or a knock at the door. Once a deaf or hard of hearing person is carefully matched with his or her hearing dog, the two are trained to work together as a team. The dog may then be trained for other specific sounds, like a teakettle whistle, specific household appliances or alerts in their master’s home environment, and someone calling the master’s name.

Numerous organizations across the country train and provide hearing dogs for members of the deaf community and other hearing impaired candidates. Assistance Dogs International is an excellent source for locating a hearing dog provider near you.

Hearing dog training and placement organizations will typically utilize a preliminary screening process followed by an in-depth application and interview. Finding a good match and completing the training process may take a few weeks to several months.

It’s important to know that training a hearing dog is an expensive proposition which can run $20,000 or more. The cost to clients varies across organizations, but most require an application fee. Some collect a deposit which is returned to the owner after a specified time. Other organizations offer hearing dogs at no cost to clients and raise the extensive funds needed through donations. Still others will require clients to share in the cost, encouraging them to conduct community fundraisers to defray at least a portion of expenses. The new owner also assumes the total financial responsibility for the animal’s care.

According to Micheleigh Perez, Staff Audiologist with Hearing Planet, a hearing dog cannot replace the use of properly fit hearing devices for people with significant hearing loss. Hearing dogs add to their masters’ sense of security and support. Some people with hearing loss may also feel a certain amount of isolation especially when home alone. A hearing dog is not only a working partner, but a wonderful companion and source of emotional connection as well.

Whether you have a puppy or an adult, hearing problems can arise at any age. It can be congenital, meaning present at birth, or your dog may become hard of hearing or deaf some point in his life.

Hearing loss during your dog’s lifetime can be temporary or permanent. Wax build-up, ear infections, old age, and injuries can cause loss of hearing in one or both ears. Things such as antibiotics, antiseptics, and chemotherapy drugs, along with toxins (lead, arsenic, mercury), and even the products used to break down wax build-up, can also cause hearing loss (

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Certain breeds (over 30) are more susceptible to hearing problems. According to the main ones are:

– Australian Shepherd
– Boston Terrier
– Cocker Spaniel
– Dalmatian
– German Shepherd
– Jack Russell Terrier
– Maltese
– Toy Poodle
– Miniature Poodle
– West Highland White Terrier

So if you own one of these breeds, pay particular attention to your dog’s hearing. When choosing a breeder, ask if they have any hearing problems in the ancestry and to what extent so you know if there is a high risk for congenital defects. A responsible breeder will not be breeding dogs with congenital hearing loss.

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler


Although it seems obvious, it can actually be hard for pet owners to notice if their dog is deaf or hard of hearing. I have had dogs come to me for training because the owners claimed they were stubborn – refusing to come or listen to any cue. They ended up being deaf or hard of hearing. They weren’t refusing, they couldn’t hear their owner asking!


– Doesn’t “start” at loud or unexpected noises
– Doesn’t respond to cues
– Doesn’t turn his head at sounds – familiar or unfamiliar
– Doesn’t respond to the squeak of a toy he can’t see
– Painful ears
– Head shaking
– Excessive barking (he can’t hear it!)
– Strong odor and discharge from ears (sign of a serious infection)
– Sleeps through loud noises, his name, etc. (Do you have to touch your dog to wake him up?)

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Less common symptoms can include timidity, anxiousness, and snapping/biting when you touch them from behind (because they can’t hear you coming). I would say if you notice any of the above symptoms, take your dog in for a hearing check, as soon possible. It could be something as simple as wax-build up or it could be a serious ear infection. Depending on the cause, you may be able to save your dog’s hearing, but time is of the essence in these cases.

In addition, you may save yourself a lot of training frustration, and just imagine what your poor dog is going through, especially if you have been correcting him for not listening or paying attention to you.

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

Hearing loss can happen at any time, and it can lead to delays in a child’s ability to learn.

Your child’s doctor should routinely ask about speech, language, and auditory developmental signs like the ones below, but it’s a good idea for parents and other caregivers to be watchful. Contact the doctor if you notice any of these red flags:

Warning signs: 12 to 18 months

  • Doesn’t enjoy games like patty-cake
  • Doesn’t recognize the names of familiar people, pets, and objects
  • Can’t follow simple commands such as “come here”
  • Doesn’t turn head in response to sounds coming from another room
  • Doesn’t point to express a desire
  • Doesn’t imitate simple words
  • Doesn’t use at least two words
  • Doesn’t respond to music
  • Doesn’t babble
  • Doesn’t point to simple body parts or look at familiar objects when asked

Warning signs: 19 to 24 months

  • Doesn’t say more than five words
  • Can’t point to at least two body parts when asked
  • Doesn’t respond with “yes” or “no” to a question or command
  • Can’t identify common objects such as “ball” or “cat”
  • Doesn’t mix babble with some intelligible speech
  • Doesn’t enjoy being read to
  • Doesn’t understand “yes” and “no” questions (“Are you ready?”)
  • Doesn’t understand simple phrases (“under the table,” “in the box”)

Warning signs: 25 to 29 months

  • Doesn’t respond to two-part commands such as “sit down and drink your milk”
  • Can’t answer “what” and “who” questions
  • Can’t form simple two-word sentences such as “I go”
  • Isn’t interested in simple stories
  • Doesn’t understand many action words (“run,” “walk,” “sit”)

Warning signs: 30 to 36 months

  • Doesn’t understand possessive terms such as “mine” and “yours”
  • Can’t select things by size (such as “big” and “little”)
  • Doesn’t use any plurals or verbs
  • Doesn’t ask “what” and “why” questions
  • Doesn’t understand “not now” or “no more”

The Definitions Depend on Who You Ask

Ashley Hall is a writer and fact checker who has been published in multiple medical journals in the field of surgery.

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

  • Causes & Prevention
  • Sign Language
  • Culture
  • Hearing Aids & Technology
  • Support

What does it mean to be deaf and how does that differ from being hard of hearing (HOH)? The answer depends on who you ask and what perspective you’re looking at it from. The medical community, for instance, has a strict definition, but people within the deaf or HOH community can have an entirely different opinion.

Medical Definition

Medically, hearing loss is defined by the results of a hearing test. There are parameters set out to classify someone as either deaf or hard of hearing. A complete hearing test examines how loud sounds across the frequency range have to be in order for you to detect them. It also gauges how well you can understand speech.

If you are unable to detect sounds quieter than 90dB HL (decibels Hearing Level), it is considered a profound hearing loss for those frequencies. If the average of the frequencies at 500Hz, 1000Hz, and 2000Hz is 90dB or higher, the person is considered deaf.

A person who is hard of hearing can have a range of hearing loss from mild to severe. It should be noted that amplification technology is available for people with mild to profound hearing loss.

Cultural Definition

The cultural definition is much different than the medical definition. According to the cultural definition, being deaf or hard of hearing has nothing to do with how much you can hear. Instead, it has to do with how you identify yourself.   Do you relate more closely to hearing people or deaf people? Many medically hard of hearing people consider themselves culturally deaf.

Sometimes, this difference between cultural deafness and those with profound hearing loss can be indicated in the way the word “deaf” is written. For example, if you see “Deaf” with a capital D, it typically indicates deaf culture. On the other hand “deaf” spelled with a lowercase “d” indicates hearing loss and the person may not necessarily consider themselves part of deaf culture.

Psychological Definition

There are also those who are medically and functionally deaf who insists, “I’m not deaf, I’m hard of hearing.” This statement is often made by people with hearing loss who are in denial about the degree of their hearing loss. They may not be ready to admit the severity of their hearing loss.

Additionally, advances in the technology of cochlear implants are blurring the lines even more. Many people with profound hearing loss are now able to communicate orally and participate as a hearing person.

For these reasons, the way someone identifies themselves in terms of their hearing loss is often more about personal perception or choice than anything else.

Dual Definition

Are people with cochlear implants whose hearing losses are reduced to as little as 20 dB hard of hearing or deaf? In the author’s layperson opinion, the answer is, “both.”

When a person with a cochlear implant has the implant on and can hear well, they are hard of hearing. When the implant is off and they can not hear anything, they are deaf. The same is true for hearing aids. Long ago, the author would say that she was “on the air” when wearing her hearing aids and functioning like a person with hearing loss, but “off the air” when not wearing the hearing aids and unable to hear anything.

A Word From Verywell

As you can see, there is no singular definition that tells us whether someone is deaf or hard of hearing. Though the medical definition may pertain to everyone, anyone’s personal perception of their hearing loss and how they fit (or don’t) into the deaf culture are just as important to consider. In reality, there is no right or wrong answer that fits every individual. It is often best to ask what someone prefers before making assumptions.

Once your child learns how to use the toilet, she will need practice. Read this page for help with potty training practice.

Daytime training
After she uses the toilet successfully:

  • Let your child wear underwear during the day. She will feel the wet or dry more this way.
  • Some parents like using the training pants better, but these keep your child dry. If she does not feel the difference between wet and dry, her training may take longer.

Nighttime training
If your child knows how to use the toilet during the day, you can train her to stay dry at night. Read these tips on potty training your child at night:

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Toddler

  • Do not give her anything to drink two or three hours before she goes to sleep.
  • Make her go to bed everyday at the same time.
  • You may want to let her wear underwear at night
  • Take her to use the toilet before she goes to bed and immediately after she wakes up. Wake her after she had been sleeping for two or three hours and take her to the potty one more time. Do this before you go to sleep.
  • Keep everything calm and quiet. Before falling asleep read a book or talk with your child. Don’t play exciting games, they can make her pee.
  • Expect your child to come visit you during the night. She may have had an accident or she may need to use the toilet.

Use a ‘bell pad’ bed alarm
If your child wets her bed, you may want to buy a bell pad bed alarm:

  • When water or pee touches the pad an alarm goes off and wakes her.
  • It trains her to wake up before she has to pee.
  • Ask your pediatrician to recommend a brand or type. Use the alarm until your child is dry every night for one month.
  • In most alarms, the pee sets off a loud sound that wakes the child up.
  • A silent, vibrating alarm is also available for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Go to, or for more information.

Potty train while on a family trip
Your child needs to do some things on her own before she starts using the toilet outside the home. If she still uses the training potty, you may want to bring it with you on your trips. When you travel with your child:

  • Make sure she knows how to use the restroom.
  • Keep the first few trips short.
  • Use the handicap or family bathroom. This gives you more room.
  • Always go with your child when she goes to a public restroom.
  • Watch your child’s diet. Changes in diet during a trip may change the times when she usually uses the potty.

Things Not To Do

  • Don’t start potty training when things are stressful. This could be when you have a new baby, or when you are moving to another home.
  • Don’t push your child too fast. Don’t force her to be potty trained. Leave it for later when she shows she is ready or when she wants to get potty trained.
  • Don’t punish mistakes or accidents. Do not pay too much attention to an accident. Help your child to try to not do it again.

© 2001-2004, Deafness and Family Communication Center or its affiliates

In your child’s first few years it’s very easy to become focussed on them meeting various developmental milestones and forgetting about the importance of play and fun.

Making time to interact with your child one-to-one and providing fun and stimulating activities can greatly improve their emotional wellbeing, build bonds and improve their communication skills.

Play has developmental benefits for all children and it’s an opportunity for children to enjoy, explore and express themselves. Play doesn’t always need to have a purpose or be organised, it can be flexible and reactive.

Playing alone is also important for creativity, self-esteem and imagination. You don’t need to be involved in every minute of your child’s play – you can encourage them to get started and then leave them to explore.

Many thanks to the British Toy and Hobby Association and Make Time 2 Play for their contribution. Make Time 2 Play is a not-for-profit campaign helping to give a little inspiration so that everyone can make time to play. For more information please visit their website

  • Be child-centred – respond to the child, take their lead with play activities and let them show you what they want to do. Your child will feel more motivated and engaged in the activity if they are in control of the situation.
  • Whenever possible, make sure your child is paying in an environment with good listening conditions. Try to find somewhere quiet with minimal background noise. Soft furnishings will help to improve the acoustics.
  • Make sure the area is well-lit so your child can clearly see your face and with no distractions.
  • Try and use gestures and signs to support your speech. Facial expressions and body language are also important during playtime.
  • Try to be on the same eye-level as your child. It may help to sit or lie on the floor. This will make it easier to maintain eye contact whilst playing.
  • Nearly every part of your daily routine can be made into playtime – car journeys, bath time, mealtimes, bus rides or going shopping. Encourage games and play that will help your child to explore these situations and also make them more fun. For example, whilst on the bus, why not sing ‘the wheels on the bus’.
  • Encourage your child to play with, or around, other children. This may be at a local park or play group. When children play around each other it gives them the opportunity to see how their peers do things and for them to try and copy. This can also help to develop their communication skills as they learn how to interact with others.

When your child has additional needs, such as deafness, it’s easy for parents and family members to feel like they need to help the child with everything they do. Play is a safe environment for your child to take risks, make mistakes and learn their own coping strategies for tasks they will face as they get older. Allowing time for mistakes during playtime will help your child develop independence and confidence.

Individual play is just as important for children as playing with others. It allows your child time to explore objects and discover how it relates to their environment. There isn’t a correct way to play with a toy. For example, you might see a child banging a plastic phone onto a drum. Although this isn’t its intended use, the child is exploring sound and movement which is essential for their learning.

Remember, play isn’t just for children. By getting involved and letting your child take the lead you will have the chance to relax, be present and enjoy spending time with your child. When they’re in charge of the activity your child will feel more confident to show you their way.

Playtime can also really help your communication as a family. If you’re learning a new language, such as British Sign Language (BSL) or encouraging a hearing sibling to maintain eye contact when speaking, play creates a fun environment to practice this.

Tips and advice for training a deaf dog from a professional dog trainer who owns and shows a hard-of-hearing dog.

A PUPPY who was found to be deaf while.

become an assistance dog, her caring trainers refused to give up on her and began teaching her obedience commands using sign language instead of voice.

The very first thing you do is teach the dog to constantly check in with you. Every five paces, he’ll look up to me to see if I’m trying to communicate with him,” Kirby said.Kirby uses a combination.

I recently spoke with Garrett Zuercher, Co-founder, Producer, and Director of Artistic Sign Language (DASL), of the new theatre company Deaf Broadway.

by basically teaching herself how to.

Deaf dogs can learn as well as those that hear. You just have to use visual rather than verbal or sound cues. In fact, because dogs are so good at.

She was one of two deaf dogs waiting for a home since last July. Reba’s new family is willing to work with her and they are now teaching her sign language along with giving her lots of love and.

Was Blanca just responding to my body language? Milena became aware of a potential hearing problem in the early morning when she could.

9-24) For some time now, I have been imagining a theory of “betweenity,” especially as it exists in Deaf culture, identity, and language. And because I teach a.

in the hot dog than the bun, the.

What Are Some Tricks To Teach Your Dog Pitbull Training 26 Jun 2019. With proper training and socialization, pit bulls make great family pets. If you have a young pitbull puppy or are planning on getting one soon, 2: Are Pit Bulls harder to train than other dogs because of their dominant nature? First and foremost as a breed Pit Bulls are not

Also if you start training your deaf dog to do new tricks and you want to learn new signs. I use a couple of different American Sign Language web-sites like.

Signing with your baby or toddler: How to communicate with your child before she can talk – The idea of taking this one step further and teaching babies a vocabulary of signs was inspired by child development expert Joseph Garcia. He discovered how easily hearing babies of deaf.

While training a deaf dog does have a different set of challenges than a hearing dog, it is certainly not.

This is has become one of the universal sign for a “sit.

An advantage to using ASL sign is if the dog you are teaching is in a shelter and up for adoption it helps the new family to be able to have a consistent easy sign.

These are the signs we use with our Deaf Dogs Rocket, Coco.

is deaf and he only knows a few commands and we want to teach him more.

As Deaf Awareness Week draws to a close, we’ve had a look back at the amazing work the Cambridge Deaf Association (CDA.

video which had a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Some people use American Sign Language (ASL) signs; others may modify these signs for one-handed use so that it is possible to hold the dog’s leash with the.

How To Train Your Dog With An E Collar Why Would I Want to Use an E-Collar on My Dog?. 7 Reasons I chose e-collar training for your dog. Every once in a while I still encounter resistance when I bring up the idea of remote collar training to a potential client. The resistance is not nearly as frequent as it was 15 years

This video reviews some common hand signals for training deaf dogs.

Having a Deaf Dog – Hand Signals / Sign Language / Commands.

Elaborating on his job at NID, Ndaba says: “I teach staff at the National Institute for the Deaf. I am also involved with material development (creating sign language DVDs, posters, and training.

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Complete Guide to Special Needs Toilet Training

In many cases, toilet training children with disabilities is similar to training other children. It simply requires more patience and some extra support. Here you’ll find plenty of articles, strategies and tips for toilet training children with a variety of special needs. Plus you’ll find resources for trouble shooting many types of potty problems like smearing poop, fear of the toilet and potty training regression. It’s the most comprehensive guide of toileting resources for special needs parents and teachers with students who are not potty trained. If you found a resource I should add, please let me know at [email protected]

by Dawn Villarreal, One Place for Special Needs

ADHD toilet training – Articles on toilet training and bedwetting for children with ADHD

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing ToddlerAutism toilet training – Many resources and strategies on toilet training children on the autism spectrum

Bedwetting – Handling bedwetting issues for children and teens

Blind toilet training – Suggestions for working on toilet training with the child who has visual impairments.

Cerebral palsy toilet training – Articles discussing toilet training, incontinence, bladder functioning and other concerns related to the child with cerebral palsy

Constipation – Articles on symptoms of constipation, why it happens and what to do about it

Continence issues – Articles covering a variety of continence issues for individuals with physical disabilities

Deaf toilet training – Resources on potty training children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Deaf Blindness toilet training – A few articles on toilet training practices for these multiple disabilities

Down syndrome toilet training – Tips and strategies on toilet training the child with Down syndrome

Elimination chart – Detailed elimination charts can help you set up a toileting schedule for children who need extra support in toilet training

Encopresis – Encopresis, or fecal soiling, can become a serious condition if left untreated. Read these resources to learn more.

Fear of using toilet/public restrooms – Strategies and articles on why some children are afraid of using public restrooms plus videos of self flushing toilets to help those with sound sensitivities

Having an accident – Accidents happen for a variety of reasons. These articles address why they happen and strategies for addressing your child’s potty training accidents

Hypotonia toilet training – Resources on toilet training for children with low muscle tone

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing ToddlerIntellectual disabilities toilet training – Toilet training resources for children with intellectual disabilities

Normal bowel movement – What is a normal bowel movement?

Not defecating in toilet – Resources about children who continue to poop in diapers or in other areas of the home

Personal care toileting – A few articles on providing incontinence care for individuals with special healthcare needs

Physical disabilities toilet training – Special considerations for those with physical disabilities

Potty training apps – Apps to assist the toilet training process

Potty training in public places – Handling potty training issues when out in the community

Potty training motivation – Strategies for rewarding good potty behavior

Potty training readiness – Look to these articles for help in knowing when your child is ready for toilet training

Potty training regression – Why does it happen and what to do about it

Public restroom safety – Keeping your child safe when using bathrooms in the community

Resistance to bowel training – These resources cover a variety of issues including fecal soiling, holding stool too long and impacted feces or encopresis

Resistance to toilet training – Children who are resistant to potty training in general as well as problems during the training process

Sensory processing toilet training – Potty training strategies for children with sensory issues

Smearing poop – Yes it’s disgusting but not so uncommon. Strategies for ending this behavior

Special needs toilet training (all) – All toilet training resources that pertain to special needs or various disabilities

Spina Bifida/Hydrocephalus toilet training – Special considerations for toilet training children with spina bifida

Timed voiding – A method of bladder retraining used for individuals with urinary incontinence

Toilet training (all) – This link comprises all of the toilet training articles on our site. Some are not special needs specific but contained good information.

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing ToddlerToilet training action plan – These are very detailed toiilet training programs for parents

Toilet training at school – Resources for parents and teachers on toilet training children with special needs in school

Toilet training older children – These articles offer some support for toilet training the older child who has not mastered this skill

Toilet training social stories – Social stories and sequence of steps for using the toilet.

Toilet training videos – Videos for parents on potty training as well as videos for kids.

Toilet training visual support – Potty training charts, self help picture cards and other visual support

Urinal etiquette – Etiquette for guys when using the public restroom

Using the public restroom – Articles, tips and strategies for using the public restroom and what to expect in a restroom

Washing hands – Potty training is not complete without learning how to wash our hands

How to Potty Train a Deaf or Hard of Hearing ToddlerAbout the writer