Toilet Training: Behavioral and Medical Considerations

  • Pamela McPherson
  • Claire O. Burns
  • Mark J. Garcia
  • Vinay S. Kothapalli
  • Shawn E. McNeil
  • Timothy Thompson
Part of the Autism and Child Psychopathology Series book series (ACPS)


The achievement of toileting competence is an important milestone in an individual’s physical, emotional, and social development. Most families in developed countries agree that successful toileting involves voiding in a commode and doing so independently with volitional control. Because the majority of children achieve this skill without clinical intervention, research on toilet training has been limited. Additionally, there are no consensus established operational definitions or universal data driven support for any one particular method, effectively limiting efficacy based research. However, individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical challenges, or chronic medical conditions may require intervention in order to achieve mastery of toileting skills. For those individuals and their loved ones, this chapter reviews toilet training methods, both learner- and trainer-centered, as well as readiness factors, training challenges, and specific toilet training techniques.


Toilet training Toilet training protocol Assessment Developmental disability Behavioral intervention Medical intervention 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela McPherson
    • 1
  • Claire O. Burns
    • 2
  • Mark J. Garcia
    • 3
  • Vinay S. Kothapalli
    • 4
  • Shawn E. McNeil
    • 4
  • Timothy Thompson
    • 5
  1. 1.Northwest Louisiana Human Services DistrictShreveportUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  3. 3.Northwest Resource CenterBossier CityUSA
  4. 4.Louisiana State University Health Sciences CenterShreveportUSA
  5. 5.Department of School PsychologyUniversity of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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