Using Public Restrooms is an autism social story written for an older, verbal child functioning at a higher cognition level. The goal of this personal story is for our loved one to handle any anxiety or fear due to the noise of ceiling and hand-dryer fans inside most public restrooms.
Autism Social Story for Older, Verbal Child
Using Public Restrooms
Sometimes when I’m going places, I have to use the bathroom. Sometimes I feel scared because the bathroom might have a fan that would be noisy.
Fans do a special job. They can blow hot air to dry your hands or make you warm, or cold air to cool you off on a hot day. Fans in bathroom ceilings blow fresh air to get rid of stinky smells.
The noise that a fan makes comes from an engine that makes the blades turn around. The moving of the blades makes a breeze. Without the noise of the engine, a fan won’t work. Then people would be too hot, too cold, or have to smell stinky bathroom smells.
Engines also make noise when they cause cars, trains, and roller coasters to move. When I hear an engine sound that scares me, I can remember that the engine is making the blades of the fan blow the air, and that it cannot hurt me.
Some bathrooms have fans in the ceiling and some don’t. It’s important to use bathrooms when I’m not at home even if I’m nervous about a fan, so that I won’t have to hold myself until I get home. If I have to use the bathroom I will remember that the fan is doing a job and will not hurt me.
If I can be brave and use different bathrooms, I can think of each bathroom as being a different roller coaster – like the Franklin, the Medusa, or the Vortex Monster Coaster!