Use of Shaping to Overcome the Fear of Entering a Restroom: A Case Study of a Preschooler with Autism

Suja M. George, Ph.D.
Fresno Pacific University
Clovis Unified School District

Tamara Soemali, M.S.
Clovis Unified School District


This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series comes from JAASEP and was written by Suja M. George, Ph.D. and Tamara Soemali, M.S. Teaching toilet training skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be challenging. Many techniques use Azrin and Foxx’s Rapid Toilet Training method (RTT).  However, some children with ASD find the first RTT step of entering the bathroom or restroom to be challenging due to the relatively loud sound of the toilet flushing.  Although more schools and public settings are utilizing the automatic flush toilets, effective strategies for overcoming the fear of the sound is limited to non-existent.  The current study utilizes shaping to assist a preschool student with ASD overcome her fear of entering a restroom. 

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