Curse You Automatic Toilets!

Technology can be a wonderful thing. It can also make things difficult.

Case in point: the advances made in the realm of public restrooms. We know the intent of the automatic toilet is to not have to touch the icky lever. For germaphobes and the lazy, it’s a great thing.

In our case, though, automatic toilets are the bane of our existence. The uncertainty of “when” it will flush. The loud, sudden noise and “swoosh” of the water flushing (because, normally, they flush with more force).

It can be mildly annoying to a normal person – but to B, it’s a sensory overload like no other. It’s a deafening noise that my poor son can’t prepare for, no matter how much he tries.

What looks like a mild mannered toilet is the devil incarnate

What looks like a mild mannered toilet is the devil incarnate.

I even try to “outsmart” the toilet. I have tried Post-It Notes and draped toilet paper over the sensor. B is on to that scheme though. He can immediately point out which ones are automatic toilets -because they don’t have a lever.

B, for his part, does try to work around the automatic toilet issue. He will put his hands on his ears. However, he will put his hands on his ears BEFORE pulling down his pants. It makes it kind of difficult to do your business,  if you know what I mean. 

I’ve essentially failed (for the time being) to convince him to pull down his pants, put his hands on his ears, do his thing, then pull the pants back up. He needs us to pull down his pants, because he can’t trust the toilet not to “go off”. And if we don’t – well, a major meltdown ensues.

I have tried to explain the automatic toilet issue to B, and each time it’s been disastrous.

Without getting into too many details, this pretty much sums it up:

1. Back away from the toilet,

2. Start shaking his head,

3. Begin saying “No” repeatedly,

4. Commence screaming hysterically,

5. Mommy tries to keep explain the toilet in a calm manner, but then loses hope (and patience).

6. Mommy feels bad because of the meltdown she “caused”.

Honestly, it’s exasperating and frustrating. The toilets are everywhere – at his school, at his library, the local mall. It can make or break our outing if we are not prepared for the “automatic toilet acoustic breakdown”. I’m powerless in stopping the fear that the damn toilet brings out in B.

I really hope we can work through this. But I imagine that it will be a long road. Anyone who has had success with their child please let me know what you have done. I implore you! 🙂

And those “cool” automatic hand dryers? Do NOT get me started on those!


About OneLoCoMommy

I live in Northern Virginia and and I look like the stereotypical suburban mom, for better or for worse. My son plays baseball and takes karate (albeit adaptive). My daughter is a gymnastics diva but rolls with the boys in T-ball. I've been a Room Mom and Playdate Coordinator. I work full-time, try to work out, and love my Book Club. However, I also blog on my experiences on our ASD, SPD and ADHD journey while trying to be a better parent advocate. All in a life's work.
This entry was posted in Autism, Life, PDD-NOS, Ramblings, SPD, The Lows and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Curse You Automatic Toilets!

  1. Lisa says:

    Oh, I remember when Tate was afraid of those automatic toilets. All it took for us was to get him interested in watching the flushing motion…spinning water fascinates him. He gets a little flappy with the noise, but he doesn’t have a meltdown or extreme anxiety anymore.

    Now, electric hand dryers, specifically those Dyson ones?! OMG…those are the bane of OUR existence…hang in there!!


  2. akbutler says:

    Oh, I get this. Except the opposite. My sensory seekers actually keep flushing the toilets. The noise, the swirling, the noise…I can’t get them out of there. Unless it smells bad. Then they won’t even go in.
    I hope you think about sharing this on the spd blogger network 🙂


  3. Kerri says:

    I blame those Dyson people for the automatic hand dryers. They could blow polish right off of a nail, should you ever find time to get a manicure! Allie, to this day, will “hold it” rather than use an automatic toliet. She is quite determined and the only way I can get her to use one is to hold my hand over the sensor while she, you know.

    PS–found you via Love that Max


  4. I can see this in my future. My 3 1/4 year old is not yet there, as he’s still in diapers and refuses to be potty trained. But I know, with everything I am that the automatic flushing toilets are going to be a huge problem.


    Found you from Love that Max and am so glad I did!


  5. Clara-Leigh says:

    While I am not known to be a violent person, if I ever come in contact with the inventor of the wretched auto-John, I will punch him or her right in the nose. Hard.


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