HELP---Potty Training

Kayla - posted on 12/06/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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My son Jaydon will turn 4 in March. No matter what i do i just cant seem to get him to understand using the potty. I can get him to sit on the potty but going in it is a completely different story. To be honest it is almost like he doesnt even feel when he is going. Also have a lot of issues with his bowels. It's almost like everytime i change him he has pooed but its never a lot and it's not runny but its not ever solid. Does anyone else's child have these issues with their bowels and also please tell me how you accomplished potty training.

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Christina - posted on 12/08/2010

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My son is five and still not potty trained. I have tried several times and his teacher, who has always prided herself on her potty training prowess, has said my kid has proved her wrong. Sometimes, they're just not ready yet. I've heard from people whose kids were the same way then one day out of the blue when they were six the child just went and never looked back. All kids are different.

Michelle - posted on 12/07/2010

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Thank you for all of these. My son Baden is 5. I have done everything including hiring a professional (single mom and I work full time) to work with him during daycare hours to keep consistency. And I am far from rich. Finally someone from the IU told me to chill. That he would not be wearing diapers in middle school. We are waiting 6 months then trying again.

Stephanie - posted on 12/07/2010

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I used a system of extereme reward and consequence ton help my son be more aware of it. Pick something he loves and hates. For him it was the pool and the shower...so everytime he used the potty he got to go swimming and everytime he had an accident he had to take a shower. I told him he had an accident and had to be cleaned and since he hated the shower it was a big deterrant. I also took him to the potty every 15 min to start and then worked my way up as he was doing better. The key is to find the strongest motivators you can

Megan - posted on 12/06/2010

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My son's coordinator for his school services (also the social/cognitive therapist) told us to give it a try every 3 or 6 months and if it didn't seem to click after a week or two and we were seeing NO progress, to back off for a while. He showed no interest till we tried it again this time. All of the sudden it clicked and in three weeks we went from not being potty trained at all to only occasional accidents. One tool we found really useful was a potty watch. We started at 30 min and took him whenever it went off, then lengthened it to an hour, at that point he started telling us when he needed to go. We also gave him a sticker and some reeses pieces (usually 5) when he went, double at first if he told us he had to go and the watch hadn't gone off. The first time each day he went we put a sticker on the chart and once he had gone every day for a week he got a small toy. The other thing we found was normal underwear felt too much like a diaper and he couldn't tell the difference so we got him boxers and it worked better. He was 4 and a half when we tried again.

Tiffany - posted on 12/06/2010

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I started taking him almost every 30 mins to an hour and making him sit there for a few minutes and eventually he used it. Doing this in repitition I believe he got the idea that this is what he needs to do until one day he started going on his own. He still wears a pull up at night but around the house he wears underwear and will not wet them for anything in the world. One day it was like a lightbulb went off and he started going.

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Diane - posted on 12/28/2010

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It has been years since our potty training days (our son is 12 years old and in Middle School. He was potty trained around age 4 to 4 1/2.) There is a good section on potty training that can be found on the TACA web site at this link: http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/beh...
 
Please note, many medical studies talk about why kids don’t potty train early as a medical issue as well as a behavioral issue. The link above outlines how to train to use the potty behaviorally. You will also want to consider biomedical issues as well, including: allergies, gluten (wheat)/casein (dairy) sensitivities or intolerance, sensitivity to other foods, yeast overgrowth, etc..  You can read about dietary intervention at these links:
 
-    Diet Introduction:
http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/gfc...
-    Ease into the diet over 10 weeks: http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/gfc...
-    GFCF Food List: http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/gfc...
-    Ideas for getting picky kids to eat (s’pecially on this diet) http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/gfc...
-   The NOT ACCEPTABLE list on the diet http://www.tacanow.com/Gluten.htm
-   Tons of other GF/CF info at: http://gfcf-diet.talkaboutcuringautism.o...  
Other great web sites are:
-    www.autismndi.com
-    www.gfcfdiet.com (Site Directory: http://www.gfcfdiet.com/NewpageDirectory... )

Another idea to consider if potty training efforts continue to be unsuccessful: It is possible that your child might be struggling with yeast infestation / gut dysbiosis, which could be preventing him from feeling “the urge” in time to reach the toilet. Our son did not have a formed stool for over two years – just chronic diarrhea. He did not potty train until after his DAN Doctor was able to treat his yeast overgrowth over 4-5 months.

Yeast Infestation

Yeastie beasties are a bear and can pop back up at any time. Yeast treatments include:

1) Prescribed drugs including: Nystatin, Ketakonozole or Diflucan
2) Low carbs, low sugar - I highly recommend using natural sugars including maple syrup and honey and cut the sugar in recipes in HALF. (Note, on the TACA site, these recipes are ALREADY CUT! Don't cut them again!) Also, low sugar includes watching intake of fruit and fruit juice (another form of sugar). We diluted his juice gradually over time until his juice was 1 part juice to 4-5 parts water. He never noticed.
3) SCDiet - http://gfcf-diet.tacanow.org/specific-ca...
4) Probiotics (We get them from www.kirkmanlabs.com or our local health food store.)
5) Natural yeast fighters Lauricidin www.lauricidin.com , Grapefruit seed extract, Olive Leaf Extract (both available from the health food stores.)

Many kids on the spectrum are fighting the yeastie beasties and yeast overgrowth will make autistic symptoms worse (and change sleep patterns.)

I highly recommend from www.gsdl.com or www.greatplainslaboratory.com a COMPREHENSIVE STOOL TEST. This test needs 3 days of stools collections and it will tell you what and how much yeast is in there INCLUDING WHAT WILL KILL IT AND WHAT WON'T (from the list above.) Many times people use one of the remedies above and later find out that the yeast their child has is resistant to that yeast inhibitor. I do the comprehensive stool test at least once if not twice a year on my son, and find it valuable for yeast, parasites and bacteria detection.

The SCDiet is definitely the least invasive of the pick and I know many families who do this diet. It is recommended to modify SCDiet to also avoid GLUTEN AND CASEIN as part of the diet.

You can try the yeast inhibitors above (ONE AT A TIME WITH A DOCTOR'S CARE) first and then try these other approaches if it does not work. In addition, maintenance to keep yeast at "bay" is something you will need to consider and Lauricidin and Probiotics are what many parents swear by (of course, working with their DAN Doctor).


I hope this information helps you.

Diane in TN, just a mom, not a doctor nor autism professional, helping my son recover from autism.

Ilene - posted on 12/15/2010

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Potty training someone on the spectrum is NOT THE SAME as potty training a Neuro-typical kid. I have 3 children -- my elder son is NT and our training him was as one would expect. Once he got it, it was done. My younger 2 kids (g/b twins) are both on the spectrum.

My daughter is trained -- in fact, she's unusual because she pretty much trained herself in about 2 weeks, including nighttime when she was 3yrs4mo, but she does have issues with BMs. Her problem is more that she doesn't want to stay on the toilet long enough to release. But she can't stand the feeling of having it on her (which is why she was so easy to train in general). But she tends to withhold until she can't any more -- because of that, if we're watching, we can see the warning signs and get her on the toilet before she expels (sometimes). If we miss, we clean her up and tell her next time....

Her twin brother isn't ready. He's not even close. They will be 4 in January and we're just leaving it alone for now. There are more important things for us to focus on. If he goes to kindergarten in diapers, he won't be the first. I'm hoping it won't come to that, but training him is just not worth it right now.

What training our daughter taught us is that you have to wait until the child is ready. If they're not ready, you're fighting a losing battle and in the end, this is one area that our children have 100% control. If they refuse, there's really nothing you can do about it.

I know this may not be what you want to hear. But it's what we've learned.

I wish you all the best of luck!!!!!!

Bridgette - posted on 12/15/2010

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1. in potty training area Autistic children are late bloomers. My son was peeing in the toilet at 5 (sitting down) and finally at 7 1/2 years he just realized its easier using the toilet than a too small pull up. My son had that too but he likes and eats more rice. (As for flushing the toilet he is almost 9 and sometimes flushes his poo.) Tell people that they need time and he will when he is ready once he gets the concept it will make his life easier there will be no problem. ( I also warned him at 7 1/2 that as of the end of that summer i would no longer be buying pullups and bought underware. After my sister vacationed here with her son he dumped the diapers and used underware.

Louisa - posted on 12/14/2010

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our son never used the potty as he found it very uncomfortable - he cant sit cross legged for long and I dont think he had the hip mobility for the potty so we had to wait until he was ready to start using the big toilet
also bribery was the only thing that helped - at 3.5 years he got an icecream everytime he did a number 2 on the toilet - the usual sticker chart had no impact ( up until that point we'd had no2's on the floor far too many times to count as he didnt want to use the nappy but didnt understand tolilet /potty - he used ot sneak off and remove his napppy - which was horrible) - hes now just day time nappy free at the age of 4.5 and the only reason hes got rid of the pullups for no1's is that hes realised that none of the other kids at school wear them
really good luck with it , its a hard journey

Carrie - posted on 12/09/2010

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Carla--It takes time. Try reading potty training picture books to your daughter while she is sitting on the potty. Also the potty seat might be uncomfortable to her. Try a padded seat, much more comfortable.

Jennifer - posted on 12/09/2010

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Don't push it. My son Wyatt was not trained until he was almost 7. My daughter started and he followed her lead. Everytime you go take him with you and talk about what is going on. "I am using the potty." The pics system also was a big help. As far as the bowels try watching his diet. Wyatt would eat a ton of popcorn and get the scoots. Good luck.

Carla - posted on 12/08/2010

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I am having the same thing with my daughter. She will sit on it but she will not use it.

Carrie - posted on 12/08/2010

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I started my son who has ASD and ADHD daytime potty training at 3 on his own potty. He didn't like the potty, so we bought him a Cars potty seat with a comfortable seat to put over the toliet. I kept taking him every couple of hours. Rewarding his tries and progress and we also read him lots of kids potty training picture books and he watched potty training movies with Elmo. Then his dad taught him to pee standing up and used Cheerios as targets. We got rid of the diapers and switched him to pull ups when he turned 4 and told him that his pull ups were not a toliet and to tell us when he had to go potty. We used a visual schedule with him. We bought him underwear and let him practice in them after several accidents, he started telling up that he had to go to the potty. Then he started staying dry and this wasn't until he was 4.5 years. At his preschool, he noticed he was the only kid in pull ups and he wanted to wear underwear like the other kids. So the teacher and the assistants helped him with that goal at school. When he turned 5, we enrolled him in ABA therapy for potty training and we started using the techniques at home within 3 months, he was using the potty by himself and wearing underwear during the day. This was also a goal we had made at the beginning of this year and we were so proud he fullfilled this goal. He'll be 6 next month, and he started wearing underwear at night and so far so good. It took him 2 years to daytime train. He has severe constipation and we've gone to several specialists and nobody has helped so we started giving him fiber and acidophilis pearls. He's on gf/cf diet and we've removed allergens from his diet. We also will no longer allow him to hold his bm for more than 3 days. If he can't get it out, then we use a glycerin suppository. Now, he's having a bm every 3 days which is better than once every 8-12 days. We also used a reward chart and visual pictures that we posted on the wall of the bathroom. We praised and tried not to discourage. I think it's takes a lot of time and maturity on the child's behalf. The doctor told us that my son probably wouldn't be potty trained until 9 and she was off by 3 years. Let me suggest to you to try hiring a ABA potty training specialist, change the diet--what the child eats and drinks and how often, implement fiber and probiotics and fish oil or flax oil, and read some potty training books for children who have autism. Good luck with your son and I hope my post helps you in your endeavor. Don't give up. Be persistant and consistant and your son might surprise you. My son certainly did.

Teresa - posted on 12/08/2010

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Hi. I had similar problems with my son, who is now 15. I finally broke down and got him the pull ups, especially for night ware, as he sometimes even moved his bowels in his sleep. I then took him to the potty about every 30-60 minutes, which was hard, as I had to work too. A urologist gave us medication to decrease his nightly urine flow, but we did not use it very long, as I was concerned with side effects, but it may help. He also told me about a pad that has an alarm that goes off when he woould urinate in bed to help him learn the sensation. I have also heard of pull ups that absorb only a certain amount, letting the child feel the wetness. Time and more patient time was needed. Good luck, my friend!

Amanda - posted on 12/08/2010

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i am at the same place with potty training.. my son is 4 and i feel the same way when it comes to using the potty and i feel he doesnt know either..

Addie - posted on 12/07/2010

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My son regressed several times drove me crazy what made me crazier is when I started dating someone new he came in and basically said hey men use the potty and that was it he did the same with my younger son!! Sometimes just changing the messenger makes all the difference we are now trying to get him to tie his shoes and my brother is the shoelace Whisperer its been two weeks and he can tie his shoes enough to keep his shoes on, he is 8 now good luck to you

Rachel - posted on 12/07/2010

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I had trouble with getting preschool and daycare to get on board with me, with the idea being that if he didn't ask, then he wasn't ready. Problem was that he was underalerted to the need to go and had low verbal skills. So what I did was took my spring break and decided to make it unconvenient for him to go in his pants. There was no judgment of good or bad, I just put him in underwear and offered the bathroom to him every half and hour and let him sit for just a few minutes. When he did have an accident, I simply took him into the bathroom and required that he change himself. He would have to take off his wet or soiled pants and underwear, use a washcloth and wash up if he wet, take a full shower if he had a BM. On the third day, he was doing the potty dance and when we went back to school, I simply didn't send in pull-ups. He had no accidents at school, and would have six at daycare (for a week) before they decided that just taking him to the bathroom, whether he asked or not, was a good idea. Regarding Jaydon's issues with loose stools, there is something called megacolon. What happens is that the child is actually constipated and the loose stool is actually going around a solid bolus (the constipation). I would use some prune juice or Miralax (depending on what your doctor says) and start potty training in earnest when you know he is not constipated. He may be avoiding because going BM is uncomfortable. Good luck.

Jessica - posted on 12/07/2010

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My son started Kindergarten and finally was out of pullups. I tried everything. He wanted to go to the casino to the kids game thing, so i put a note up that gave him $20. If he had an accident he lost a dollar. If he went in the toilet he got the dollar back. he went down to no money, but went back up quickly. when he had gone for a month or 2 with no accidents, I took him to the casino and he has been fine ever since. He still wets at night sometimes, but I will take that over pulluop all day any day. He was 5 1/2. also, i felt he didn't know when he had to go, but eventually it worked.

Thea - posted on 12/07/2010

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It must be every frustrating for you but you are not alone :-) Does he have any interest in watching dvd's or to look at a computer, if so try to download a toilet story or the sesame street website has a potty training story with Elmo. You could place visual pictures next to the toilet that tells a story. You could drag him into the toilet when you have to go and tell your story as you do your business. Does he go to a childcare centre, viewing other kids is a really good opportunity. Kids with autism are generally really visual so giving him opportunity to "view" the action will help in sink in. Do it over and over and it will slowly sink in. When you have a warm season, let him go bottomless in the house and dont yell at him over accidents. Just overemphasise your hands in the air and say "Uh Oh..you had an accident, that should be in the toilet". If you get a sign of improvement anyway then reward with something cool (like a chocolate smartie) and continue to do that when he gets something right (cause and effect). As for his bowel issues, maybe see a medic about it. My son is a huge milk drinker so his is not really hard either. I have just got him weeing into the toilet however he feels he needs to hand-shove his number 2's up the s-bend (so gross). But its better than before and slowly progressing. Hope this helps somewhat :-) Thea (Gold Coast Australia).

Karen - posted on 12/07/2010

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My Jaydon turned 4 in September, we used a combination of visual schedule to keep him going every 30 to 45 minutes, reward and sprinkling warm water on his wee wee to generate the sensation to pee. He has been successful for nearly a year now. Our bowl issue is different, he only poos when he its sleeping, we are trying a stool softener to change his schedule.

Katherine - posted on 12/06/2010

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Do you do ABA? That's the most effective way. It's discrete trial training and that's how most of my kids learned.

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