Potty training austisic non verbal 4 yr old boys?

Heather - posted on 04/23/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Any suggestions?? I am tired of changing diapers and I know he can do this!! :) Please help!

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Sharon - posted on 04/25/2009

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Hi, I have 2 boys with Autism who are both toilet trained.

I began by putting the potty right next to the kids ie: near TV then slowly began moving it towards the "big toilet", each time they used it appropriately.

It took about a year but was successful eventually.

Anyway...good luck with it all!!

Selina - posted on 04/24/2009

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Hi Heather,

My son is now 6 non verbal autistic. I tried toilet training him from the age of 4 because yes diapers become such a mission.I tried filling him up with fluids and sitting him on the potty but still no results. he just wouldn't go. I tried rewards or bribes they didn't work either. This year he has started using the toilet only for wees. He started doing this after watching the children at his school (which is a special school) go to the toilet. they use a toilet timing method and here is the thing I never tried..they put him on a real toilet. Isaac still will not use a potty at all so maybe you can try using a toilet instead. When he started using the toilet in his first term of school I was frustrated that he would do it so easily for them yet not for me when i had tried countless times. Also extremely excited that finally the diapers were going. When I asked his teacher she said that sometimes they just need to learn things at their own pace. Which is very frustrating for us. Also if you have an older or younger child that wont protest too much. If they would be willing to go to the toilet while he watches then recieve a reward. This lets them know the purpose of the toilet and that it is ok. My son never responded well to the reward system so I wasn't lucky enough to be able to use this method. (he still doesn't ). But things do and will get easier a lil bit at a time. I hope this is useful for you.

Angela - posted on 04/23/2009

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Have you tried a reward system? It doesn't have to be food/candy based. Letting him have time on the computer, playing a game with him that he loves or taking him somewhere you know he will like such as the park, play cafe, library etc. This worked with my autistic son. I made a list he could choose from and whenever he used the toilet he got to choose something from the list. Sometimes he would go to the toilet when he didn't need to. He'd just sit there for a while then get off, pull his pants up, wash his hands (no flush necessary) and take me to the list and point to what he wanted. It was often the play cafe. It got a little pricey but it was worth it to get him out of nappies. Hope this helps :) If it doesn't work then he's just not ready and you need to hang in there until he is. If you have older children get them in on it. Make a list for them too and make a big deal about thier 'toilet treat'. Only the children who use the toilet/potty get the 'toilet treat' (or 'potty treat') so it's better with older children not to use the play cafe and other outings until all children are using the potty or the toilet. Accidents shouldn't be punished, try to brush them off. All successes are celebrated. Have a 'potty party' buy a potty in his favourite colour, or let him choose the potty that you buy. There is a children's book called Potty Training for Boys that you could read with him. You can order it through the Total Learning website www.totallearning.ws It costs Australian $14.95 and you can find it in stores aswell. It's published by DK books.

Karen - posted on 04/23/2009

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Hi Heather, I am a mom of a now 6 year old Autistic child. I had a hard time with my Justin too at the age of 4. I used mathcbox cars to potty train him. I went out and bought those little matchbox cars. These were what he liked at the time. He was also non-verbal at the time but understood everything we said or asked of him. In the beginning I would keep the cars where he could see them but could not reach them. I would tell him if he went potty on the toilet he could have a car (as a reward). It took a lot of patience but it ended up working out after a couple months. But I would also bring him to the bathroom like constantly trying to catch him at the "right time". I eventually put underwear on him too and explained to him he was too old for pull-ups and he needed to be a big boy and use the toilet. Of course he had accidents but my hope was that he would feel yucky by peeing his pants and then opt to use the toilet. It was really just me, not a lot of help from dad. When he finally went on the potty I made a huge deal of it for him and also gave him an extra treat of a lollipop (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Organic) of course. I won't lie, it was frustrating, but now he does great. Hang in there.....it's tough but if they can stay dry through the entire night then they are ready. The biggest part I think is that autistic kids don't like the "change" and I think that's why it takes them a bit longer. Hope this helps....

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