University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

Continence Project


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Children's Books and Resources

The books listed below are available for loan through the AT Tryout Center. If you are interested in borrowing any of the titles, please contact Deb Sharpe, Continence Project Coordinator.


cover of book Clouds and Clocks by Matthew Glavin: A story of a young boy who becomes worried and upset by family/life stresses, and begins to soil. With a visit to the pediatrician and to a therapist, Andrew gets the treatments he needs to feel better and start using the toilet again. This book contains a Note to Parents by psychologist Virginia Shiller, PhD, on the topic of soiling (encopresis), its causes, and its treatment.

ISBN: 0-945354-18-5-0

cover of book Does a Pig Flush? by Fred Ehrlich: Introduces children to experiences they all encounter as they grow and develop, using a friendly and funny question-and-answer format which compares people and animals. Text and illustrations are informative, humorous, and reassuring.


cover of book Even Firefighters Go To the Potty: A Potty Training Lift the Flap Book by Wendy Wax and Naomi Wax: This is a great pictorial book that demonstrates that everyone needs to take the time to go to the bathroom, even firefighters, policemen, and baseball players. It is a great book for boys who would benefit from to seeing men standing up to "pee."

ISBN: 13:978-1-4169-2720-4

cover of book Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi: "Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi is part biology textbook, part sociological treatise and all celebration of a very natural process. ..The text is simple and straightforward but not without humor." - The Expositor.

ISBN: 978-1-929132-14-0

cover of book Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeny: A super-simple introduction to the human body ...What is under your skin? Why do you have bones? What do your muscles do? Where does the food that you eat go? Me and My Amazing Body can show you! ...Easy to read and easy to understand, Me and My Amazing Body helps children appreciate everything their amazing bodies can do.

ISBN: 978-0-375-80623-0

cover of book Monkey Learns to Potty by Dana C. Smith: Monkey Learns to Potty is a children’s board book with illustrations and a story about Potty Monkey. Potty Monkey has new underwear, a potty chair, and becomes potty trained via a charming Monkey See, Monkey Do technique. The book includes a mirror inside that makes the child reader feel like s/he is part of the story.

ISBN: 0-9762899-2-2

cover of book Poop Hurts! by Flavia Norman: Children who are experiencing constipation frequently withhold stools because it hurts to eliminate their bowels. This book provides an explanation about why "poop hurts" for children using a combination of pictures and narrative and suggests ways to solve the problem.

ISBN: 1-4184-9078-4

cover of book Sammy The Elephant & Mr. Camel A Story To Help Children Overcome Bedwetting While Discovering Self-Appreciation by Joyce C. Mills, Ph.D., and Richard J. Crowley, Ph.D.: A delightful and profound story that can be enjoyed by children of all ages. The theme is of a struggling youngster who is guided to discover his own unique abilities will touch the heart of any child in a universal way.

ISBN: 978-1-59147-247-6

cover of book Where's The Poop? by Julie Markes: With the aid of this playful book, your child will see that he or she has a place to poop, too. While reinforcing the concept of toilet training, Where's the Poop? gives children the confidence they need. This engaging lift-the-flap book shows children that all creatures have a place to poop.

ISBN: 0-06-053089-8

cover of book Zoo Poo by Richard Morgan: Parents who share this humorous picture book with their child will discover that it's a pleasant and positive way to introduce them to toilet training. The color illustrations on every page will make boys and girls laugh as they begin to comprehend the story's point. The book concludes with confidence-boosting tips that parents and toddlers can read together. (Ages 2-4)

ISBN: 0-06-053089-8

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Tipsheets and Visual Guides

icon of a light bulb Toilet Training Steps for Boys: This packet includes a checklist of skills your child has acquired, four detailed toileting steps, and a picture guide your child can reference. (PDF)

Source: Continence Foundation of Australia

icon of a light bulb Toilet Training Steps for Girls: This packet includes a checklist of skills your child has acquired, four detailed toileting steps, and a picture guide your child can reference. (PDF)

Source: Continence Foundation of Australia

icon of a light bulb Tip Sheets for Parents: A list of tip sheets for parents that cover topics such as bedwetting, constipation, and toilet positions. (website)

Source: Continence Foundation of Australia

icon of a light bulb Picture Cards: print out these large picture cards to hang on the bathroom wall for a visual reference. (website)


icon of a light bulb Photobook for a Story About Toileting: this tipsheet will help you create your own photobook to help your child understand the toileting process. (PDF)

Source: Continence Foundation of Australia

icon of a light bulb A Complete Guide to Special Needs Toilet Training: *new resource* this website has a very extensive list of toilet training resources. Listed alphabetically, this site addresses specific topics such as autism, ADHD, deaf blindness, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and more.(website)

Source: One Place for Special Needs

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  • TEACCH: Applying Structured Teaching Principles to Toilet Training by Susan Boswell and Debbie Gray: Mastery of toilet skills can be challenging for children of all abilities. Many factors (social, medical, environmental, communication, physical, and cognitive) determine how easily toileting skills are learned. Teaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorder requires the development of an individualized program, taking into consideration the child's perspective and utilizing their unique strengths. This article compiles suggestions of teachers and consultants applying the elements of Structured Teaching. (website)
  • Source: UNC School of Medicine

  • Toilet Training by Gary J. Heffner: This article outlines methods and guidelines for toilet training children with Autism. (PDF)
  • Source: BBB Autism Support Network

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Children's Resources

  • Are Your Bowels Moving?: an informative website for kids.
  • Source:

  • The Real Deal on the Digestive System: an informative website for kids.
  • Source:

  • UCanPooToo: This is a research based internet education program for children with encopresis. An online application is required. Be aware that some children may not meet the programs criteria. (website)
  • Source: BeHealth Solutions, LLC

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Cerebral Palsy

  • Teaching a Basic Function: Exploring several techniques to use when toilet training children with cerebral palsy by Ginny Paleg, PT: Occupational, physical, and speech language therapists are often asked to assist classroom staff, caregivers, and families in toilet training children with cerebral palsy. Here is a quick guide to how we can help. (website)
  • Source: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Rehabilitation

  • Toilet Training a Child with Special Needs by Claire Keeler: Parents often find that toilet training their child can be a frustrating process. Some children may train quickly and easily, but for many children it can take time. And if a child has special needs, it can be even more difficult. Toilet training can often be stressful, even for children without special needs, but for every child it's an important milestone. Toilet training increases a child's self-esteem and independence, especially as he or she enters school or daycare. The good news is that typically, children can achieve toilet training by two to three years of age, regardless of special needs. However, only you and your child can determine whether they are ready to learn. (website)
  • Source: Rifton

Down Syndrome

  • Toilet Training Made Semi-Easy by Kent Moreno: Kent Moreno is a Behavior Analyst and father of a child with Down syndrome. He is employed by the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University as an education specialist. (website)
  • Source:

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Encopresis and Constipation

  • Childhood Constipation: This is an interactive resource on constipation for parents. (website)
  • Source:

  • Encopresis: This website provides definitions, causes, and other information around encopresis. (website)
  • Source: University of Virginia Children's Hospital

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General Articles and Presentations on Toilet Training

  • Potty Training Children with Special Needs by Vincent Iannelli: a brief article that gives an overview of the readiness for children with special needs and toilet training. (website)
  • Source:

  • Toilet Training Individuals with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities: A critical review by Kroeger, K.A., and Sorensen-Burnsworth, R.: The following journal article reviews the current literature addressing toilet training individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. (PDF)
  • Source: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • The Effectiveness of Different Methods of Toilet Training for Bowel and Bladder Control by Kiddoo, D., Klassen, T., Lang, M., Friesen, C., Russell, K., Spooner, C., and Vandemeer, M.S.: The objectives of this report are to determine the following: (1) the effectiveness of the toilet training methods, (2) which factors modify the effectiveness of toilet training, (3) if the toilet training methods are risk factor for adverse outcomes, and (4) the optimal toilet training method for achieving bowel and bladder control among patients with special needs. (website)
  • Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information

  • Toilet Learning by Karen DeBoard, PhD: In days past, to teach children to use the toilet, parents simply undressed them and sat them in a potty chair for extended periods until they eliminated. Then referred to as toilet training, past practices and past terms have been updated. Research has shown that seeing the child as an active player makes the toileting process more enjoyable. Therefore, a more appropriate name for the process is toilet mastery or toilet learning. (PDF)
  • Source: North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service

  • Toilet training problems: Underachievers, refusers, and stool holders by Barton D. Schmitt, MD: Toilet training can be defined as delayed if the child is over 3 years of age, has normal development, and is not toilet trained after three or more months of training. (This definition excludes families who have not yet started toilet training.) Usually the delay is in bowel training. (website)
  • Source: Contemporary Pediatrics

  • Sequential Acquisition of Toilet-Training Skills: A Descriptive Study of Gender and Age Differences in Normal Children by Schrum, T., Kolb, T., McAuliffe, T., Simms, M., Underhill, R., Lewis, M.: Toilet training is a universally acquired skill for normally developing children, yet there is no information about the requisite skills that children learn sequentially, beginning with the signs of readiness and ending with successful completion of toileting. (website)
  • Source: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics

  • Toilet Training Children with Autism and Related Disorders by Ed Sbardellati, PhD: this page outlines 7 categories important in toilet training a child with autism and related disorders. (website)
  • Source: CDCI

  • Toilet Training Non-Ambulatory Students: a Powerpoint Presentation
  • Source: UVM

  • Toilet Training Children with Moderate-Severe Disability: a Powerpoint Presentation
  • Source: UVM

  • Helping Children with Moderate-Profound Cognitive Disability: a Powerpoint Presentation
  • Source: UVM

  • Toilet Training for Children with Special Needs (DVD): This 2 hour DVD (available to purchase) provides an overview of practical toilet training techniques and core principles for success. Curriculum developed by Dr. Susan Hepburn, Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver, JFK Partners is presented as well as vignettes taking viewers through the toilet training process. The DVD concludes with a parent's perspective on the techniques presented and words of wisdom for other parents going through the toilet training process. (website)
  • Source: Western Media Products

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Last modified March 16 2016 04:54 PM

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