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Using Public Restrooms

Question:
Should a mother or other female caregiver bring her older male disabled child to the womenís or to the menís restroom?

My Opinion:
From what I have seen of the men's restroom, certain basic functions are carried out in full view of the other people in there. An adult female in there would cause many men a few problems, so I would say if you can avoid doing that, it would be a good thing. If you are teaching your son to use that sort of facility, then taking him in there would be appropriate, and I like the other suggestions of calling out and waiting until it is empty, and letting new arrivals know you are there with a child. That is respectful of the others, and allows them to make their own decisions about their comfort level.

The women's restroom is arranged such that pretty much all basic functions that would cause embarrassment are carried out behind a closed door (altho I recognize that I have seen an occasional restroom with no doors at all). I do not see a problem with a male child accompanied by his mother, going into this type of facility. If women can't wash their hands, brush their hair, and adjust their makeup with a male child watching, it is their problem, not yours.

An adolescent or adult male in the women's restroom is cause for another type of concern. My brother as a small child was almost molested in a public restroom. Also, a few years ago about 30 miles from where I live, a 9yo boy was killed in a public restroom while his aunt waited for him just outside the door.

But if the boy is accompanied by a parent or aide or other guardian-type person, then I see no problem with taking a boy of any age into the women's restroom. So long as you are respectful of the others who are using the restroom, you should take your son to whichever restroom you believe is appropriate for him. It is much better for your son to be safe while you endure looks, than for him to be abused or worse.


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