Behavioral engineering: two apparatuses for toilet training retarded children

J Appl Behav Anal. Fall 1971;4(3):249-53. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1971.4-249.


Daytime incontinence is a major problem for retarded children. A training procedure for eliminating this problem should be facilitated by an apparatus that provided the trainer with an immediate signal when the child voided so that the trainer could react immediately. Two apparatuses were developed for this purpose: a toilet-chair apparatus to signal proper toileting and a portable pants-alarm apparatus to signal wetting of the pants. A reprimand was given when pants wetting occurred whereas positive reinforcement was given for proper toileting. Results with four profoundly retarded children indicated the reliability of the apparatuses in practice and the effectiveness of a toilet training program that used the two apparatuses.