Meet Ivette Sarkar
Founder of Love 2 Sit
Currently I work for the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities as a Trainer and Information Specialist in the Multicultural Department where I assist parents and caregivers to understand their rights and how to advocate for their school aged children. I also work for Milestones Autism Resources as a Family Network Coordinator, assisting individuals in the Spanish speaking community to locate and access resources for their loved ones with disabilities.
In addition to my professional experience, I am a mother of a child with Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorders and I have experienced many unique challenges. Toileting was probably the most multifaceted and frustrating to overcome especially since there can be other co-morbid conditions that can interfere such as sensory, behavioral, impulsivity, diet, and hard to break habits that can affect this process.
I could not believe that at 12 years old my child could still not sit on the toilet and go to the bathroom. This issue was not getting easier for us and it needed to be solved soon or it would invite bullying, and create a negative impact on his self-esteem and quality of life.
In order to help my son, I needed to navigate self-regulation, sensory issues, difficulty understanding cause and effect, impulsivity, communication challenges, lack of maturity, and diet issues.
During this time, I could not find a sensory friendly toilet seat cushion that did not cause the back of his legs to perspire. He was motivated by the cushion but after just a few minutes of sitting, his legs would stick to the cushion and it became extremely uncomfortable for him. This situation was similar to tearing off a band aid, except more unbearable! I knew this toilet seat cushion would not be a workable remedy.
A solution came to me one day as I volunteered at my child’s school and noticed that some of the kids, including my child, were seated on the floor on top of these sensory cushions. It was interesting to see them sit still and paid attention while sitting on the cushions. I was impressed since I knew these kids struggled to stay in one place normally and yet they sat attentively for at least 15 minutes without incident. I wondered if this material could work for a toilet seat cushion and had an idea that might address both of these issues. A non-stick sensory seat cushion would be perfect for anyone requiring a sensory accommodation, and could even assist toddlers and young kids during the potty-training stage. After searching the internet and finding nothing similar, I developed the idea for a sensory toilet seat.
As excited as I am about solving this problem, it is critical that I conduct market research to determine if other families are experiencing similar issues like myself.
At the moment I am surveying and collecting data from parents, caregivers and professionals to understand if this product would be useful and meaningful to people living with Sensory Processing Disorders. Please take a moment and answer my survey questions so I can better gauge this need!
Ivette Sarkar and her son
As a mother of a child with Autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder, I along with my son have experienced many unique challenges. Of these challenges, toileting was probably the most multifaceted and frustrating. This is especially so because there were other interfering co-morbid conditions ranging from behavioral and communication problems to self-regulation and hard to break habits.
Initially, I was shocked that at twelve years old my child could still not sit to go to the bathroom. Because of the sensory and other related issues, he found the toilet seat too hard, cold, and uncomfortable to sit.
I tried everything to correct this problem. Nothing worked. I debated if he should wear diapers, but I ultimately decided against it because I did not want to damage his self-esteem or embarrass him.
At school, he would avoid eating to avoid using the bathroom. This led to behavioral challenges at school and poor academic performance.
This dilemma needed to be resolved soon or it could have invited bullying, negatively affected his self-esteem and quality of life. I knew much of this issue had to do with his sensory sensitivity but how was I going to solve this problem?
A light bulb turned on!
One day I volunteered at my child’s school and noticed that some of the kids including my child were seated on the floor on top of these sensory cushions. What was interesting was that these children sat still and were paying attention. I was impressed since I knew these kids and how much they struggled to stay in one place normally and yet they sat attentively for at least fifteen minutes without incident.
I wondered if this could work for the toilet. I researched but did not find anything like it. I ordered a gel cushion especially made for the toilet but after sitting for a few minutes the legs perspired and it felt like tearing off a band-aid on the back of the legs.
Then, I had an idea that might address both of those issues. A non-stick sensory seat cushion perfect for anyone requiring a sensory accommodation.
While going through this situation, I always felt like I was the only person on earth who had to be experiencing this. Please connect with me and let me know your story.
Is it similar?
Do you feel alone?
Can your child sit to complete his/her toileting?
As excited as I am about this possible sensory accommodation it is critical that I connect with you and conduct the necessary market research to determine if other folks are experiencing similar issues like myself.
My first job after graduating from college was working in an adult group home that was managed by the local Board of Developmental disabilities.
I learned so much from the residents that it ultimately shaped my career path. Even though I have had careers in finance, I returned to the social services industry assisting families with loved ones with disabilities from pre-school to adult.
I also speak Spanish fluently and work with the Latin-American community. I assist all families in understanding their parental rights, teach them how to navigate special education, and how to have meaningful access to resources and interventions.
I am in the process of surveying and collecting data from parents/caregivers and professionals to see if this patent may be useful and meaningful. I would like to share the results of the data collected and encourage you to take my survey. Please see the links below: