Have you been struggling with how to teach your autistic child to use the potty? It takes a lot of strength and determination, but once you have succeeded, you will see it is worth the effort.
Potty Chair, Toilet or Seat of the Correct Size
It is very important to have a potty chair, toilet or cushioned seat for a toilet that are the correct size for your child. If the seat is too small or too large, it will be difficult for your child to be successful. Your child should be able to sit on the seat comfortably while resting their feet on the floor. If your child is using a regular toilet, you may want to put a step stool in front to rest their feet on.
If your child notices that they have soiled pants on, then they are ready to potty train. If your child runs to a corner or tries to hide themselves when they need to go potty, then they are ready to begin potty training. if your child follows you into the bathroom, they may be ready to potty train. Your autistic child will let you know when he is ready.
It is best to have the parent of the same sex as the child to model the correct potty procedures. Even a child that appears to not be looking at you is actually watching every small detail. They can learn a lot from watching mom and dad use the potty correctly.
Keep the Potty Close By
Keep the potty as close to your child as you can, so that you can run to it when the time comes.
Reward your child with one of their favorite rewards when they do actually go on the potty. For example, give them an M&M if they love M&M’s. The reward needs to be given immediately so that they know what it was for. After they are used to receiving the reward, the potty training will become easier.
Increase the Reward
Increase or change the reward if the first one is not working. Autistic children do not automatically learn to potty and then do it every day perfectly. Sometimes it is an ongoing process that they get better at over time.
If your child is not having success, try using the potty party technique below.
Having a potty party may not be the best way to potty train an autistic child, but it can work for some kids, so it is worth discussing. Basically, a potty party is a way to help autistic children learn to use the potty by staying in the bathroom with them until they need to go. It is sometimes difficult to stay in the bathroom that long. If they are not comfortable, they may hold it in for a long time. You know your autistic child better than anyone, you will want to make him comfortable.
Good luck with your potty training. You can do it, if you stay determined. Do not give up on your child’s ability to learn to potty train.