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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Texas, USA

    Which Restroom?

    Hi there,
    I'm a mom and guardian of my 2 adult step sons. In light of the recent Target Stores restroom saga, I got to thinking about what their rights are as far as an opposite sex attendant (Me) in the restroom.

    They are not physically disabled and don't need help with toileting. The problem is safety. They are 33 and 34 years old with a mentality of a 12-13 year old. And they say things in the mens room that raises eyebrows and could get them attention that neither they nor I would want them to have!
    For instance: Matt will say "oh baby that feels good" when he is urinating. Tom, who is 6'3", has stood next to my father, who is 5'6", and said "I'm big huh Dennis?", referring to his height!
    One time when they were young, like 9 or 10 I was at a park and sent them in an empty mens room. Few minutes later a guy walks in with a huge bloody knife! Of course I freaked out and went in. The guy was rinsing the knife off, and had been fishing apparently.

    Anyways...I'm wondering what their rights are? And what restroom do I bring them in? Mens or Womens?

  2. #2
    When my dad was my mother's caregiver, he would go with her into the women's restroom, always loudly announcing at the door "A man needs to come into this restroom with his wife!!!" Never had a problem. In CA, we actually have a law that allows an opposite sex caregiver to go into any restroom with the person they care for. Perhaps there is something like that in your state (you don't say on your profile if you are even in the USA???).

    Since the women's restrooms are all cubicles (no open urinals) I personally would be much more comfortable escorting your sons into the women's restroom with the same type of announcement.

    I think it would also be appropriate to talk with your sons about appropriate and inappropriate comments made in public; without scaring them. You local Regional Center may have some resources to help you with this as well.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Texas, USA
    Hi KLD,

    Thanks for your answer. I assumed there would be a federal ADA law pertaining to this? So it's state by state?
    I'm in Texas I filled out my profile a bit more.

    And yes, we have had the "talk" time after time about being quiet in the bathroom, not talking to people or talking PERIOD! But Matt is autistic along with MR, so even if I tell him "no talking" right before he goes in, once I'm not there he resorts to talking to himself. He talks to himself often. Not just in the bathroom. So Huge challenge.
    Tom is more likely to heed instruction about not talking, but then again, I'm not in there to know if my instruction is followed or not!
    When my husband is with us, of course he goes in with them.

  4. #4
    No, the ADA does not address use of public restrooms by persons of the opposite sex, nor use by caregivers.


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Melbourne, FL USA
    KLD is right. The best way to handle a situation like that is to publicly asked the population for consideration which you do by announcing your presence.

    Believe most people are very helpful in situations like that.

  6. #6
    I know this is a old post but we 1st look for family restrooms, then if no luck we use which ever is not busy. I am the power chair user (male) and we have never had issues with people complaining.

    FYI for us Starbucks have the best restrooms and big and open and Starbucks on ever corner!

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