Mostly gravity, but there's also a healthy helping of unicorn magic. Unlike a traditional hourglass that is flipped to reset, The Toilet Timer rotates a full 360 degrees.
This little guy (who we've nicknamed Toilet Timer Tommy) is a reminder to stop deliberating and make a decision. Give your favorite procrastinator (or yourself!) the gift of timeliness with a Toilet Timer.
The idea first plopped into Adam's head when he tried to get off the toilet from an extended bathroom excursion and found that he couldn't feel his legs. After pulling himself up by the sink and waiting to regain use of his appendages, he thought of something he could keep nearby for when nature called. And thus, the Toilet Timer was born.
Potty training a child with autism can require different methods and motivators. Motivators that work for others may be ineffective for children with autism. These children may also find a lot of comfort in their routine, and they may not be interested in changing it. Not every child is going to respond to the same motivators, so it’s important to try different strategies and see which works best for each child.
Less Social Motivation
Most children want to start potty training because they want to mimic the behavior of their parents and peers, or they want to be more independent. These desires are not as present in children with autism. They typically don’t have that same social motivation and often prefer to stick with their routine.
Autistic children can struggle with verbal communication. They may have a hard time telling you when they need to go to the bathroom. They may also have difficulty understanding what you mean when you ask if they need to go. If you aren’t able to communicate, you won’t be able to keep the new habit consistent enough to become a routine.
The bathroom can be a stressful environment for children with autism. There are a lot of new smells, sounds, lights, and sensations. They may be comfortable using diapers and may not find it worthwhile to go through this new and stressful experience.
In order to help with these issues, it can be helpful to introduce a transition object. A transition object is a toy, book, picture, or any item that your child can take with them to the bathroom. This object should be specifically reserved for bathroom time. It can comfort the child and add a feeling of predictability to their new routine.
The Toilet Timer™ is a great option for a transition object. It can help visually communicate when it’s time to go to the bathroom. Timers have proven to be helpful to children with autism as they begin new routines or transition from one activity to another.
Also, The Toilet Timer™ is small enough that it’s easy to pack up with the child’s things if they need to go to daycare, a nursery, or to a caregiver. This is important because consistency in a new routine is essential. Anyone who may have a part in the potty-training routine should know about, and use, the transition object2.
A transition object helps with verbal communication issues because it is a physical object that represents an action or desire. An autistic child may have difficulty saying that they need to go to the bathroom. With the transition object, the child can pick it up when they need to go, encouraging independence in the potty-training process. If they are having a hard time understanding verbal directions, the object can be presented to them to tell them that it’s time to use the bathroom.
When you give a child this object, the physical presence of it will keep them focused on the task they are expected to do. Following the earlier example, the Toilet Timer has a picture of a person using the toilet on it. This will be easy to associate with bathroom time. The child can see the picture and know what is expected of them. Visual cues like this can help avoid tantrums and increase follow-through4.
Children with autism may have a hard time dealing with all of the stimulation in the bathroom—new smells, flushing sounds, bright lights, etc. Having a visual representation of how long they have to stay in the bathroom can help the child stay calm, knowing that they only have to stick with it for a few minutes5.
Simply verbalizing how long they have to stay on the toilet, “a few more minutes,” or “just a little longer,” can be confusing and frustrating. But, the combination of the verbal cues and the visual cues can provide a clearer answer.
Another reason that a timer is useful in this situation is that children with autism may not be able to understand signals from their body telling them when they are done on the toilet2. A timer gives the child an allotted amount of time that they should be trying to use the toilet before they get up. This can help prevent accidents resulting from the child getting up while they are still going or before they have completely finished.
The Toilet Timer™ lasts approximately five minutes. If they are taking any longer than five minutes, even for a bowel movement, it may be time to take a break and come back later to try again.
The timer also encourages the child to be more independent. They can set the timer and see for themselves how long they should spend on the toilet without having to ask a parent or adult if they can be done.
Children with autism can have bowel problems like loose stool or constipation3. This can bring an added challenge to the toilet training process. It can make bathroom time more unpleasant than necessary, and the child may become even less interested in a new bathroom routine as a result.
The Toilet Timer™ can help you monitor if your child is taking too long to have a bowel movement. It is designed to give your child enough time to finish but not so much time that the child risks injury. Sitting on the toilet and straining to eliminate for more than five minutes can be unhealthy. If the child is taking more than five minutes on the toilet, it may be time to make changes to their diet or take them to a doctor.
While there is no exact science or one correct path to potty train a child with autism, transition objects and timers have been used effectively to help a child make a change in their day-to-day life. The Toilet Timer™ is an easy tool to implement into a new routine, and it can make a big difference.
Did you know that spending too much time in the bathroom can have more dangerous effects than irritating your roommate or spouse? The shape a toilet seat causes a lot of pressure to the be put on the lower rectum. If you’re spending more than a few minutes to do your business, you could be at risk for hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and, in extreme cases, anal prolapse. Let’s ease into this.
This is the least common but most serious injury that could incur from spending too much time on the toilet. Allow me to regale you with a cautionary tale. In February 2018, a man in China was rushed to the hospital because he felt a large lump come out of his anus while he was on the toilet.
This image is a CT Scan of the man’s prolapsed anus (believe me, I could have picked a worse picture). He told his doctor that he had been sitting on the toilet for half an hour playing games on his phone. His rectum had detached from the body and been forced out by the pressure of defecating. To repair the damage, the man had to undergo surgery to remove the mass.
This particular patient had been dealing with this condition since he was a child, but the time spent on the toilet is what gave that final “push.” When you sit on the toilet for too long, the muscles in your pelvis begin to weaken. Your rectum also starts to bulge as pressure builds in your abdomen. This combination is what could land you in the same situation as that man from China.
Everyone has hemorrhoids. The difference is that some people have healthy functioning hemorrhoids, and some hemorrhoids become swollen. When someone “has hemorrhoids” what they really have are irritated hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can become irritated when too much pressure is on the lower rectum. Where does this happen? On the toilet. When you’re going #2, the toilet seat can cut off blood flow to the rectum. The longer you sit, the more you put yourself at risk. While this isn’t as traumatizing as our first example, it can still mean bleeding after you poop, itchiness, swollen hemorrhoids, and even clots that need to be drained.
Anal fissures are sensitive to that same pressure. An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of your anal canal. When the pressure on the muscles in your anus is too high, the muscles can become fatigued. They can spasm and block blood flow, which can then cause these fissures.
Basically, any time you are sitting on the toilet for longer than a few minutes, you are putting your body at risk. Some doctors recommend that you don’t bring any distractions into the bathroom with you. That means no reading material and no phones4.
If you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t go any faster, that’s just how my body works!” You may be surprised to find out that the average bowel movement shouldn’t take more than 12 seconds4. If you find yourself struggling, or taking more than a few minutes, your body isn’t ready yet3.
To make sure that you aren’t putting your health at risk. Set a timer while you’re in the bathroom. The Toilet Timer by Katamco is created specifically to solve this problem.
Turn the timer a full 360° clockwise to start the sand timer. The timer goes for about five minutes. If you haven’t made your deposit by the end of that time, it’s best to take a break and try again later.
Toilet Timers are helpful to everyone! Potty training new poopers? Toilet Timer. Spouse spending too much time in the bathroom? Toilet Timer. Coworkers making the bathroom their second office? Toilet Timer. There is no poo-crastinator too big or too small.
Start building healthy habits and stop hogging the bathroom. Your body (and your loved ones) will thank you.