As any regular reader of this blog probably now knows Rowan finds anything to do with toilets and bowl movements immensely funny.

To be honest who doesn’t.

A sure fire way of successfully introducing a new topic to him is therefore to begin with poo – intrinsic motivation at its best.

We therefore decided when we wanted to start teachintg him about inventions to start, not with the wheel, but the toilet. Rowan was tickled to learn that in the Middle Ages in London people defecated in chamber pots and then poured the contents of each pot out onto the street, often narrowly avoiding passers-by and that parts of a toilet, such as the ballcock, were invented by a man called Thomas Crapper.

However what really got him sold on the topic was when he discovered that the Romans had communal toilets where they pooed side by side. This immediately inspired him to create a new game, one that he has dubbed ‘communal toilet.’ 

The game involves Rowan shouting loudly ‘ready to poo’ which is the cue for all his ladies to rush to his side. At this point we all have to link arms, shout together ‘1, 2, 3…’ and then squat down and make pooing sound effects.

On a recent trip to San Antonio, Rowan requested that we play this game up and down the corridors of the hotel and all around the zoo the next day whilst adults looked on bemusedly and other kids with glee.

The game did its trick though.

Rowan’s conversation has been peppered recently with questions such as ‘had they invented cars during the Middle Ages’ and ‘when did they invent mattresses.’

Another example of the power of intrinsic motivation and humor when teaching children with autism.