I have a 24 year old son who is in adult pull ups. He is toilet trained for the most part, but cannot wipe himself from a number 2 and can absolutely not go into a bathroom or anywhere else for that matter alone. I always take him to the bathroom because I do not want accidents even though he is in pull ups. If there are no family bathrooms available I have absolutely no hesitation in taking him into the ladies room. Although there are more family bathrooms today than in the past, they are still not available everywhere. Also when they are available it is surprising how many people come out of them who are alone and not disabled. These people use the family bathrooms just because they want a private bathroom. Very rarely does anyone even look twice in the ladies room. Most people see my son and understand. For the few encounters that I have had, I simply tell them that if they have a problem with it talk to the management and tell them to provide family bathrooms.
Never think twice about taking your disabled child, teenager, or adult into an opposite gender bathroom. The stalls are private and no one is seeing anything. We are all human and have bodily functions that need tending to. Even if your child is capable of going to the bathroom on their own but you do not feel it is safe for them then again do not hesitate to take them in your gender bathroom. Your child's safety is more important than some ignorant person's criticism. This also goes for dressing rooms in clothing stores.
I understand completely about safety issues and being concerned about who's in the public bathroom. Brendon just turned 10 and I still take him into the women's restroom unless my husband is with us. I don't care what anyone thinks, I will continue to do so because people can't be trusted.
My baby can't wipe himself, and he is 11 years old. I will continue to take him with me to the restroom until I feel it is ok for him to go alone. Who cares about anyone's stares or criticisms? I don't care anymore, and I pray that no one ever says anything to me about him or my daughter. I belong to God, but God also knows His daughter! Don't mess with my babies! Do what your heart and head tell you to do. May our Heavenly Father continue to strengthen and bless you!
Thanks everyone for your input on the bathroom issues.