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Q&A: Brushing Protocol Related to Toilet Training?


I enjoyed your Interoception course, but I have a question. I have utilized therapeutic brushing with two different students to address tactile sensitivity issues. After receiving the brushing protocol over a period of a couple of months, both of these students, who were not having success with toilet training, became toilet trained. One of the students was 12 years old and the other one was 9. Have you had any success using the brushing protocol to improve toilet training with children that you have worked with? Do you think that brushing would improve toilet training for students who are over- or under-responsive to interoception?


Good question! I do use brushing as one part of a comprehensive sensory program for kids who are over-responsive to tactile input so it’s hard for me to know whether or not it was the brushing that helped specifically, but I do believe it’s possible. From a tactile standpoint alone, the brushing protocol may reduce their reaction to the feel of the clothing moving up and down on their skin during the toileting process. But it could also be that the brushing program helps them get out of fight-or-flight mode and therefore they become more aware of interoceptive input, such as the need to use the bathroom.

My overall feeling is that it’s seldom just one thing that leads to success in toilet training. But therapeutic brushing is definitely one tool to consider as part of a comprehensive program for kids who are over-responsive to tactile input.

I hope that helps! Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Best Wishes,