how do i potty train my 7 yr old with autism?

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Krista - posted on 05/25/2011

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My son did so much better on toileting a few weeks after starting the vitamins on the DAN protocol, and reverted to hand-flapping/agitation and pants grabbing when we missed for a while. Somehow the B vitamins helped him understand/feel his body's cues. I was so thrilled when he went independently around age 7. I will say, his preschool teachers had used a schedule also, prior to this, so that is a good place to start, also (I am not a schedule person, so it was much better for him to go when he needed to).
If it is an issue of needing him to communicate his need to you, look into sign language, toilet is signed by making a fist with your thumb sticking up between your first two fingers. You hold that up near your shoulder and wiggle it. Sign language is great for non verbal children. I wish you the best.

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Sandra - posted on 06/06/2011

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thank-you everyone for all the great suggestions i will try many of them. keep sending more info.good luck to all of yous sandy

Antonietta - posted on 05/31/2011

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i got a timer at teh dollar store and set it for 15 min when it cowuld rign id bring my son with pdd to the toilet sat him down and repeated (and signed at the begining) thet he needs to peepee and when he would i woudl reward him with stickers that i let him put on a chart on the bathroom wal, i gave hims nibs (licurish) and i did a happy dance and praised him. on the 2nd day it was every 30min to 45 min on the 3rd day it was every 1h30min now i know what he looks liek when he needs to pee. so i take him or remind him every 2 hrs. this was 3 weeks ago and we r down to the happy dance when he pees. sometimes he tells me still has a few accidents when hes too distracted or i forget to ask him or take him. we have yet to work on the pooh.

good luck

Victoria - posted on 05/26/2011

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My son, who is non verbal, became fully potty trained in December. We had a hard time with him pooping in the toilet, but got him to get over the fear. We still use night times at night, but during the day he is fully trained. We noticed that when he had to go he would (still does) hold himself. That was are queue to rush him to the bathroom. For bowls movements we actually had to place him on the toilet and tell him to call us when he was done. We till do this and it has seemed to be working well for him. Now he can sign bathroom and lets us know when we are out that he has to go.

Tanya - posted on 05/26/2011

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I guess every child is different. With my son who will be 4 next month I treated him just like his sister who is not autistic. I took him to the toilet and sat him on it and said "wees" "do wees" etc. He knew what wees were because I let him wander around the house with nothing on and when he stopped to do wees I told him what they were and cleaned it up. I followed that by taking him to the toilet when he started weeing (running with him) and stood him in front of the toilet and said "wees go in there". Once he got to the point of sitting on the toilet, I praised him for doing wees on there. I clapped, jumped up and down and said things like "yay u did wees". During this time he always had his fav. car toy with him. It took him a month to learn that wees went in the toilet and he now goes by himself and wears undies all day without any accidents except poos. He still has not mastered this but if it only took a month for him to learn where wees went, I'm not at all worried how long it will take him to do poos in the toilet. With perseverance and lots of patience it did come very quickly for my son and I couldn't be more proud.

Toni - posted on 05/25/2011

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OH.. A very important detail when potty training children on the spectrum is NOT to use pull ups! They have to be able to feel the wetness. If you are in the car or overnight and you must use diaper/pull ups, put regular underware under the pull ups! If they dont realize they are going they cant stop it!

Toni - posted on 05/25/2011

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I did intensive potty training through Emory Autism Center. We basically spent a week in the bathroom. We pushed liquids and salty foods to encourage more liquids. You want to have a reinforcer - some kind of toy or object that they really want- but only allow access when they are on the potty. I would be glad to give you all the details of intense training but it can be a tough week. Although it is just that... A week! Almost always with intensive, your child is potty trained in a week. t_3_c@yahoo.com

Krista - posted on 05/25/2011

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Sorry, I'm not sure I explained myself above. My son was using the toilet when at school on a schedule, and then when ordered to by me (usually when I noticed he was flapping and agitated). After starting the supplements, he used the toilet without being told, completely independently.

Aracely - posted on 05/24/2011

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hi...I have a 7 yr old son who is moderate/ serve autistic...we have been potty training since last sept. it has been so hard because he is non verbal... but we are seeing improvements in him and its getting easier...We first started with a timer that he could see/ hear...we set it every 30 mins...we did this for about 4 months...and slowly weaned him off timer...even though he cant communicate when he has to go we are seeing visual signs..(for example..pulling on pants is a sure sign he needs to go) its a long process but all i can say is dont give up...i havent i hope that one day he will be fully potty trained...

Marj - posted on 05/24/2011

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Like below why does he not want to go on the toilet??? Is it sensory or a control issue. What will he do it for??? This year I finally trained a student in HS who never wanted to do so before. His was a control issue, so He lUVS thomas the train. If he used the toilet for the entire day as school he gets to choose from 5 different thomas videos and watch it at the end of the school day for 10 minuets. This was done in stages, but worked and carried over into the home and as the family goes to public locations. He know uses the restroom. Find your childs chocolate, find what the issues are and remember a pull up on does not mean he can't use the toilet. My student continues to wear the pull up, he does not like underwear.
Sensory??? Do not care since he stays dry all day.

Marie - posted on 05/24/2011

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7 is the age my son was when he finally became fully trained. The training pants were a challenge but we got through it...start recording his bathroom usage one hour at a time...even when he's dry make him go...that way he has a routine...we were lucky the teachers at his school chipped in and they by law don't have to. Good luck..

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What are your child's specific issues with using the restroom? Does he not know the steps of toileting, or does he have sensory or fear issues? Does his diet cause it to be painful for him to go? Pinning those down will help guide us to some possible solutions.

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