Instructor-to-Instructor: Our Potty Time Workshop
Two of our Signing Time Academy instructors, Arleigh Luckett and Kristy Simons recently participated in The National Canadian Down Syndrome Society Conference. This family oriented conference gave them a great opportunity to showcase Potty Time in a workshop for professionals and parents alike. The title of their workshop – “Potty Time: A Whole Body Approach to Potty Learning” mirrored our philosophy. The room was full, with 40 – 50 people in attendance.
The first thing Arleigh and Kristy did when preparing this workshop was to carefully analyze Potty Time to figure out what made it special, as they really wanted to deliver something of value whether the participants chose to buy Potty Time or not. One thing they especially appreciated was the way it puts learning to use the potty in context and recognizes that children can really think and understand, not just perform the action of going potty. This was reflected in the title of their workshop, where the word “training” was specifically not used, and instead replaced with “learning”, emphasizing the idea that potty training really is a process that starts long before the child first sits on a potty.
Arleigh and Kristy also had a clear goal in mind: To give hope and inspiration, as well as a life-line in potty training for parents, wherever they and their children might be at in the process. Like all of our Potty Time Workshops, the format was interactive, with plenty of time for participants to share and ask questions. Parents learned from each other that their child was not so different from other children with or without Down syndrome. They shared funny situations of strategies that had worked and of some that had not.
Arleigh shared that one of the revelations that came from preparing for the workshop was to not let common readiness signs, become a barrier to potty training. For example: a few signs may well be all that is needed for children who do not yet speak to say they need to go potty. Parents may be quite content to help children manage their clothing instead of changing diapers. The perfect time with no babies, special events, moves or vacations on the way may never come. Best of all, Potty Time may help create readiness where none was apparent.
Kristy provided the entertainment and a little extra inspiration at the end of the workshop as she signed and sang “Celebrate” and “Shining Star”. (Click on the song title for a clip!). Although she was nervous, she must have done pretty well, because after the workshop was finished; a mom came looking for her to ask her to perform “Celebrate” again so she could video it and email it to her child’s caregiver to play for her son.
All in all, Arleigh and Kristy were pleased with the outcome of their Potty Time Workshop, and given the very positive feedback from the participants; the feeling in the room was mutual.
You can contact both instructors through their businesses:
Kristy Simons, ECE, Master Signing Time Instructor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada