The Urinal Game

In a field of mostly women, who thinks to teach boys with pragmatic difficulties how to choose a urinal? This review is a bit different than my usual, but the app is fun and can be a great ice-breaker for a pragmatics-based lesson or unit. And while it may seem to be a light-hearted topic, there can be serious consequences if children with autism or other disabilities don’t understand appropriate bathroom behavior. For example, I had a placement with an adolescent boy who was severely injured after he approached another boy at a urinal. (He, of course, was just trying to be friendly.) There are many other bathroom-related “hidden curriculum” considerations, but this can be a good place to start.

What It Is: An interactive game on choosing the appropriate urinal.

Price: Free!

How It Works: This game presents six different urinal scenarios.  After you choose the urinal you would go to, it tells you if you were “right” or “wrong” to choose that one. It also tells you what the correct choice was and gives an explanation. For example, one of the scenarios has six urinals with two men already at urinals 3 and 4. Urinal 1 is therefore the correct option, because it is furthest from both the door and the other urinal users. But then what about a scenario where urinals 1, 3, and 5 are being used? (Seriously, did any of us women even know how complicated this could get??)

My Therapy Applications: This app is clearly a game for males, specifically those of urinal-using age. I think it has three good teaching purposes: 1. Teaching those with pragmatic difficulties how to choose a urinal. 2. Using it as a jumping point for further bathroom etiquette discussions. 3. Teaching a largely female profession just how complex male bathroom “rules” are, and why it may be important to address this with our clients with pragmatic goals.

Pros: 1. Can’t beat the price. 🙂

2. Playing the game is straightforward, but the answers are not. This allows for some great teaching moments without complex directions.

3. It begins with basic “rules” and builds on them so there is some repetition of what was learned.

4. As mentioned above, it’s a fun way to start an important but often awkward conversation.

Cons: 1. Each scenario has 6 urinals. For many of our concrete thinkers, it may be hard to generalize their newfound knowledge to a bathroom with, say, 3 urinals.

2. There are only 6 scenarios, so once you’ve played once or twice, there isn’t much more to do with the game. It’s not something you can use repeatedly.

Overall Rating: 4/5

The Take-Away: The app obviously wasn’t intended for speech-language therapists working on social skills. However, it presents some complex social bathroom rules in a fun, simplistic style. It’s not going to be the app that turns your clients into social etiquette experts! But as a tool in the hand of a good clinician, it can be a great starting point.

2 thoughts on “The Urinal Game

  1. I am so glad to see this. I’m actually going to recommend this to a family I know. One thing that happened in my years of teaching….a child who always dropped his pants to his ankles to use the bathroom at home had a very hard time using a urinal in public due to etiquette rules. Is this covered by the app? Of course, it could also be something that comes as a discussion after playing the urinal game. Like you said, this could be a starting point…

    • Glad this could be useful! Hmm no, the dropping pants thing isn’t addressed in this app–just which urinal to pick. So many bathroom etiquette rules for boys!!! I wonder if there are any that address other aspects like the one you mentioned…

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