I was recently sent the Roller R2 to review for my son who is 2 1/2 years old. He has already tried a mini scooter and balance bike so we were excited to try something different.
On receiving the big box with the photo on the front my son was hugely excited and jumped around the kitchen whilst I opened the box up. He wanted to start using it immediately but the Roller requires a small amount of assembly. The product came in 3 main parts plus some small screws and clamps, which should be a 5 minute job but I would have liked simpler instructions to help speed things up as my son was anxiously waiting to use the scooter. That said however, the parts are very lightweight but strong so it is easily a job for one person and all the tools are included which is great.
Once it was assembled we first tried the R2 without the seat – as the Inline Scooter. It was good in that the wheels were big and strong and the footplate is nice and wide. He could understand the concept of scooting but his balance is not quite advanced enough to successfully scoot on 2 wheels yet, so we put the seat on to make the Balance Bike, which was a simple case of clicking it into the frame. He was really excited when he saw this and immediately sat down steering the bike around whilst using his feet to move.
He found it very comfortable and easy and we made a successful trip to the shops and back with him happily rolling along. It felt safe to watch him on the Roller as it is low to the ground and cannot go too fast as his feet stopped him – perfect for his age group and now his ‘transport of choice’.
The best thing about the Roller as a parent is the weight – it’s easy to take places and sling on to the back of the pram. It is also quick to set up (subject to simpler instructions) and will last for a good few years once he grows and can use the scooter without the seat and raise the handlebars.
The Rollers R2 is now available to buy in pink or blue at Argos.
Lorraine MacAlister, Autism Training Consultant, The National Autistic Society gave some good advice on this…
Why might children with autism find toilet training tricky?
There are various aspects of autism that might make toilet training tricky, but not impossible. Some of the communication and interaction around toilet training can be difficult to understand; the amount of verbal language used, phrases like “let’s spend a penny”, learning what to do by copying others, not liking change or being put off by the idea of wearing ‘big boy/girl pants’. Many children also have sensory differences, therefore they may find it difficult to register the need to use the toilet or may find the bathroom a very overloading room to be in – or they may love it and be more interested in posting things down the toilet or flushing it!
What things are important to think about?
When thinking about toilet training a child with autism, there might be some other things to think about when planning for this.
For more information, visit the NAS website.
Here is a technique recommended by June Rogers MBE, Team director at Promocon…
‘’This is a very common problem with toddlers – so much so we have written a leaflet about it! Basically you allow ‘poo nappies’ which are left in the bathroom – you can tell the child that the ‘The poo fairy’ has left them as it sometimes make negations easier. The child is told that when he/she wants to do a poo he/she can have their ‘poo nappy’ on – the nappy is put on in the bathroom and the child stays there until the have done their poo – the nappy is then taken off and the poo put in the toilet and the child is then involved with flushing it away etc. It is important that the nappy is put on/taken off with the child standing so that way they can help with pulling pants up and down and also start to learn about wiping bottoms etc
It has to be to the child’s advantage to do it this way rather than in his/her pants so you can say things like the poo fairy has left some special stickers and every time he/she does a poo in the nappy in the bathroom he/she can have one of the stickers. Once he/she is happily going into the bathroom to do a poo in the nappy then you move the goal posts and say that the poo fairy said he/she can still have a nappy on but he/she must also now sit on the toilet /potty – once he/she is doing this you are almost there and just need to work on removing the nappy completely. Some mums progress by just putting the nappy on the potty/toilet and sitting the child on the nappy on the potty/toilet then one day they just ‘forget’ to put the nappy there and sit the child straight on the potty/toilet. Others cut a bigger and bigger hole in the nappy …one determined little chap said he was going to poo in the toilet ‘when I am big’ so his enterprising mum bought smaller and smaller nappies until they were too small to fit him and then told him he was now ‘big’ so had to use the toilet!’’
Early Elimination Toilet Training Method
At one year old, child is expected to control elimination, walk, and verbalize simple needs.
The child is expected to gain competence in communicating his or her need to void and climb into the assumed position and urinate by 4 to 5 months.
b. For bowel movements, mother sits on the floor with knees bent, infant facing her, supported by her lower legs. Child’s legs are placed over hers. The mother’s feet provide a kind of potty. No sound is made. If elimination occurs, the child is rewarded by pleasurable activity; if not, the child is returned matter-of-factly back to previous activity.
During elimination, social activity carries on; elimination is not regarded as private or unclean.
The mothers claim to learn to read infants’ movements, skin and muscle tension, and also distinguish a language of grimaces, grunts and cries to signal need. When specific pushes and shoves are detected while carrying a child on her back she may occasionally stimulate a sphincter reflex with a gentle pat to the rear.
3. At 3 to 5 months, young girls 5 to 12 years old also learn the child’s signals and participate in further training by assuming elimination positions at appropriate times. Helpers are scolded or punished if they are not responsive or sensitive to infant’s needs.
4. Occasional accidents are expected and handled casually; caregiver cleans up immediately.
5. At one year, when infant begins walking, he or she is expected to eliminate away from the living area of the house. Accidents in the living area or courtyard first attract warnings and later physical punishment.
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