Common bathroom at home

Recommendation 48
Chapter (theme)
architectural spaces (bathrooms and toilets)

Because of
stereotypical patterns (preoccupations, rigidity), motor awkwardness, ToM, executive functioning, proprioception: body image

In order to
make the communal use of a shared bathroom go as smoothly as possible

The use of shared showers and toilets is a regular source of irritation and conflict. This irritation may be exacerbated if the autistic child has a very urgent and rigid need for predictability and structure. Moreover many people with autism have a strong penchant for personal hygiene. They wish to take showers/baths or go to the bathroom at particular times in order to engage in series of  compulsory activities.

Diminished understanding of the needs of others may reinforce this sort of behavior.
Although the contribution of the way a bathroom is built and furnished to the prevention of such problems is limited, here are some tips:

  • make sure boilers have sufficient capacity,
  • use a shower or kitchen timer to prevent hot water shortage,
  • make sure there is a sufficient number of cloth pegs or similar provisions for hanging clothes, towels etc.

These measures mainly address shortcomings in executive functioning.

A private bathroom for the autistic child can help prevent the aforementioned problems but needs careful consideration, assuming this is feasible. (See recommendation 46.)