potty training my autistic son

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Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2009

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I disagree with the pull-ups NOW, but of course back when I was training my autistic son, I used them. And here's why I disagree with them....

First off, they are glorified DIAPERS. The difference is...with a regular diaper, the child can feel they are wet and alert you to the problem. With pull-ups, it draws liquids AWAY from the skin, and being that your child is on the spectrum, he probably already has sensory issues, either HYPO or HYPER sensitive to sounds, touch, smells, etc. If your child is hyposensitive to touch, he may not FEEL the urine in his pull up, therefore not being able to tell you.

The next thing is...if your child is on the spectrum and has sensory issues, he may not KNOW to go. He may not have that "feeling of urgency" quite yet, and that will come with time. I would look into a good occupational therapist, one who specializes in sensory integration dysfunction, and see if they can help with touch.

My husband also used the "fruit loops" game, where as he would toss a handful into the toilet and physically show my son that it's a game. "Shoot the Fruit Loop", he'd say. My son found that HYSTERICAL and would try his hardest. It's hard for a mom to show their son how it actually all works :)

Next...just be patient. Your child being on the spectrum is already struggling with anxiety to some degree. Everything is too hard, too bright, too loud, etc...make it fun, make it easy. Not a chore. Good luck!

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Susan - posted on 07/09/2012

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I'm having the same problem with my 9 year old boy.
He'll be dry almost all nights but during the day he thinks he is suppose to go in a pull-up (we get them thru his doctor for free). I've had even set him on the potty knowing he has to go and pouring warm water over him for 30 minutes before he would go and that only happened once. Not sure what else to do

Constance - posted on 06/05/2012

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My son has PDD-NOS as well I been potty training my son since he was 15 months had him in pull ups at 18 months worst choice I had made when he was 2.5 we got him out of pull ups and into the cloth training pants they are extra thick compared to the underwear. that helped so much had fewer accidents . Now he is in underwear but he only will go when you tell him to go and struggles when you have him go he tells me I already did . He still has a long way to go with his sensory he doesn't know when he needs to go and he doesn't mind sitting in his pee underpants and he will play where he messed all over the floor if I didn't know he went all over the floor . My son was in daycare for 8months and they really helped him alot with his potty training .
I suggest using the cloth training pants Over pull ups they can feel it so much more then pull ups too much like diapers . Hope this helped !!

Jennifer - posted on 03/13/2009

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My daughter has PDD-NOS and is 3.5. I am going to be working with the school to try and potty train her. I am so worried and not even sure I am up for this except she is so big and heavy. Plus, it makes daycare difficult because no one will take her. The Huggies make her break out in a rash. I've tried the 7th Generation and they are okay but don't let her know when she has gone. I'm thinking about trying cloth diapers or training pants - does anyone have a suggestions?

Chantal - posted on 03/12/2009

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my son was about 3 and a half, when the therapist (ABA) decided to put him through a program to potty train him.  i tried to save the instruction sheet for it but i lost them and they would not give me new ones. anyway, what they did was, put the therapy table and chair in the bathroom, my son would ware only tshirt and underwares and they would make him drink a lot of water and get him to sit on the toilet every 15 minutes or so for a few minutes.  when he would pee in the toilette, he would be rewarded, but if he had an accident, they would clean it up and just move on.  therapy was only 4 hours a day so i had to continue on my own in the afternoon, it's a very intensive program but within a month he was totaly trainned.  when he get consistent result, you start fading the prompts and after a while longer, you start moving the therapy outside the bathroom door.  took him a while longer before he decided to poop on the toilet though,but he felt more comfortable pooping in a little potty for the first few months.

Karen - posted on 03/10/2009

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i have to agree on not using the pull ups i used them with my pdd and hdhd child and he is 12 and still not potty trained not the pull ups dont fit him i hae to put him in under ware and hope he just dont have a problem in school and in his back pack everyday is extra cloths and it couses problems when the kids pick on him he is also very abusive at times and that is a problem... he has seen many drs and theropist and still butter but not trained all the way... he is obsesed with money so we have a goal that we worked out that he gets money wekly for all days with no accidents so far that is working great but i have noticed he works harder when he wants something to buy then when he really dont care.... good luck to us all

[deleted account]

I strongly second the above book recommendation. I used it the for the first time last summer to train my then 3 year old nuerotypical son, and it was easy as pie. In January my daughter's teacher and I began serious work on my 5 year old autistic daughter, who is in school all day. I let the teacher lead the way, but we were surprised to find the book worked for her too. We thought we'd have to let her sit on the toilet wearing her pull-up and go in it, then gradually cut the pull-up away in pieces with a scissors until it was gone and she was using the toilet without a barrier. She had had previous episodes of extreme anxiety about the toilet, which is why we waited this long in the first place. But on the first day she went without a pull-up she started "dancing" and the teacher took her, and she got a little upset at first, but then she just went. She needed a lot of encouragement since she had anxiety about the toilet, but it worked like a charm. We did give her tangible encouragements too. I used a wipe-off marker and drew a happy face on the bathroom mirror each time she had a success. She was really anxious about pooping, so she actually got a barbie doll the first time she did that. But after that things went smoothly. I still wipe her with baby wipes because she doesn't like the feel of toilet paper, and sometimes she's afraid of the loud flush in a public bathroom. She still wears a pull-up at night because she does pee in her sleep. She had an accident during nap time at school today. But the teacher strongly believes that this will disappear gradually on its own.
This will not work to actually do the job, because I had them for 2 years before my kids trained, but for encouragement I also wrote a social story with each of their names and photos of them going through the steps on toileting. They still love them and read them on the toilet. Another thing you could try to help is a PEC chart showing the steps. Again, we had ours for two years with no real progress, but it's a start, and it gets the child comfortable with the toileting steps and environment. Also, if your child is wiggly or doesn't like sitting on the toilet and "waiting" during the training stage, you can "pair" the toilet with something he really enjoys doing. You have to be careful that they don't end up sitting there too long, but you could play a favorite game, sing a favorite song, etc. I was thinking hard to come up with something for my son for this, but I finally went out and bought a portable dvd player and played a short cartoon for him each time he sat, so he was sure to sit long enough to make something happen. At the beginning I was even carrying the dvd player around when we went out so that he could do it in a public bathroom too. My daughter didn't do this since she spends so many hours at school, but she is also more responsive to verbal praise than my son (the nuerotypical one needs the rewards, go figure).
Definitely read the book, all my advice is bits and pieces that made the book's advice work for us.

It's not easy, but it's a great accomplishment when you're done!

-from a mom who did it twice in 6 months

Sandy - posted on 03/09/2009

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Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or other deveoplemental disorders



By Maria Wheeler.



 



This is a very good book.  i got my copy from the library.   I have ASD boys they are almost 5.  One has been in total refusal to use the bathroom.  I now added the potty to the picture schedule about 4 times a day.  As long as he goes through the motions of sitting there I was happy.  We started this about a week ago, today he went on his one, just once, but it is a start.

Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2009

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I agree. I was giving a different perspective on it. The "glorified diaper" comment actually came from a pull-up representative.

Melanie - posted on 03/09/2009

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my child has responded very well to the pull up, every child is different. and I was highly suggested due to sensory issues not to let him wear normal briefs and wet him self as that woud be a complete overload (shock) for him. I was just posting what is working for my tot.



:-)

Melanie - posted on 03/09/2009

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Hi



I use Huggies pull ups that alert him when he's wet which helps alot , alos Pre-K 's rigorous schedule has been a big help. Consistensy is key.



My son has a ways to go especially with going poopy on the potty and being a restrictive eater but when your lil guy pees for the 1st time it is exciting !!



1 more thing I did, the very first time my son pee'd on the potty I said "ready, set and then we said GO !!! together and he peed !!



 



Good Luck :-)

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