The majority of children with autism have at least one or more sensory
issues, which may include sensitivity to light, sound or touch. A particularly
common problem for a child on the spectrum is an aversion to toilet paper, which
can often lead to stressful potty episodes for parents. Even the softest toilet paper products
on the market can turn a routine trip to the bathroom into a meltdown of epic
Not long after our son was diagnosed with autism, I recall him dreading trips to the bathroom because of the uncomfortable feeling toilet paper produced on his backside. Wiping with paper is irritating enough for neurotypicals, so this problem is only compounded for those who are hypersensitive to touch, which included my son.
Then a few years ago, we discovered a relatively inexpensive product called the Biffy, which is a bidet-like attachment that affixes to existing toilets, turning them into powerful cleaning devices. The product was invented by a physician and has been a lifesaver for our family.
The Biffy is hygienic and doesn’t require any manual dexterity or
coordination, which is particularly important for those with special needs. It
draws from a home’s clean water supply and incorporates a showerhead-like
apparatus that produces a fan of water to a user’s bottom, thoroughly rinsing the area clean.
An adjustable dial helps a user control the strength of the spray, which can be
quite strong when on its maximum setting.
The standard Biffy retails for around $99 and is definitely money well spent. However, we have found that it does tend to wear out after about a year or two, at which point you would need to buy a new one. To counter this problem, the company has recently released a "Chrome" version which is said to be more durable and last longer.
Other similar products include those from BBC Innovation and Bidet International, which I have not tried. Although they produce similar results, the designs are noticeably different from the patented Biffy.
I’m not a big fan of product promotion within our stories. However, there are times when we make exceptions if we feel something will be particularly beneficial to parents, caregivers and individuals with autism. The Biffy certainly fits this category and although it takes some getting used to, after a few times of using this thing, you will wonder how you and your child ever went without (no pun intended).