Earlier this week, I attended a presentation on puberty and sex ed directed to parents with children with disabilities. It was, overall, pretty good, but there were a few points that I couldn’t agree with. One in particular is worth talking about.
The presenter said that if a child (or young adult, as the case might be) could feel the urge to go to the bathroom and know where to go, then there was nothing stopping them from being potty trained.
To me, that’s like saying that if someone feels the urge to swim and knows to go to a pool, they can learn how to swim. As someone who has never been able to learn how to swim, I know it’s not true. Having knowledge about something doesn’t mean that you can perform the act.
Her examples to prove this was true was that when kids are hungry, they know to go to the kitchen and find the refrigerator, and that they know that when they’re tired, they should go to their bedrooms and climb into bed.
These aren’t necessarily true, either. When Simon gets sleepy, he would prefer to climb into our bed or even fall asleep on the couch. He only goes to sleep in his bed at night – he has very set rules for himself about it. And while he may go into the kitchen for food, he won’t get it for himself without asking first.
Clearly, there was a flaw to her logic.
I considered bringing up my points and getting her to respond to them, but the presentation was already running long, and I didn’t want to keep us there even longer. But then I thought about it, and decided to write this blog for any other parents who go to a meeting and hear from an expert. Experts are great, and they might have a lot of experience in the field, but that doesn’t mean they have experience with you or your child.
Always remember that *you* are the expert on your situation, and don’t let yourself be convinced otherwise. While I’m all for trying and pushing the envelope, I also understand that sometimes, it’s impossible to achieve something, no matter what an expert tells you.