Toilet training with Autistic child of 4

Lindsay - posted on 04/09/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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Our special son who is autistic has big issues with our toilet.

His reaction to the toilet is screaming tugging away and will not have his nappy changed in the toilet.

We have tried toilet training for about a year but still to no avail.

Any advice on this subject will be gratefully recived

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Corrine - posted on 04/17/2009

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It is difficult, I played a large part in getting the oldest child with autism potty-trained by five. At first, we focused on him peeing in the potty. We would put him on the toilet every hour or so, whether he wanted to or not. Sure he threw fits, but make your child sit somehow. We rewarded him with his favorite candy if he went pee. At first it became a game because he would try to go just to get candy! Later, the pooping became an issue. This was tougher. We would keep an eye on him, he wore pull ups, and if he was starting to go, make him sit on the toilet. If he had already gone and we missed it, then we still made him sit, and even put some of the poop in the potty in order to help him understand what was supposed to happen. Again, reward him if he goes. The thing is, his diet is so restricted he doesn't go often at all. Eventually, he does go, but still has trouble because of the inability to go often. He doesn't have any accidents now, wears underwear all of the time, and only occasionally are there small skid marks in his underwear. Trust me, patience, time, making sure others he is around such as school, daycare, relatives, all know what is expected of him and what to do. Let me know if you have any questions! I would be happy to further discuss things with you.

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Lauren - posted on 06/07/2012

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I would try to encourage him by doing things he enjoys near, then eventually, on the toilet. Bribing with food too is a useful trick. That's how I got my son started on the toilet. Also, I know with mine he is deathly afraid of the big toilet, but using a potty chair was easier. I think when their up on the big one they feel they'll fall and not in control. He got over his fear with that faster. I hope that helps, and good luck!

Karen - posted on 06/06/2012

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My PDD-NOS child is 4 years and 8 months. I have been potty training since he turned 2. I would pretty much do anything to get this accomplished, but we are making strides this year. He will at least comply when he is taken to the bathroom, but no matter what the incentive (they all work on the short term) he still will not find it important to tell me. Tried pull-ups, underwear, buck naked, potty watch, 3 toilet seats, books, stickers, movies, and favorite treats, nothing phases him on this issue, but like I said he is changing all the time so I will keep up the good fight and wait it out!

May - posted on 04/23/2009

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Thank you for your comments and any help that u have given. Good luck with all the problems or little hurtle that may come up. We will be thinking of everyone.

Trish - posted on 04/20/2009

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Potty training is so different with a child on the autism spectrum. I have 4 children, one with autism and happy to say finally completely toilet trained at 7!!! It will take awhile but it will happen eventually. We found something that helped - obviously the 'reward' for going potty is not new to anyone, but everytime my little guy went poopoo on the potty we took a trip to Target and bought a squishy (one of those squishy turtles or lizards) and it became a ritual that he would pick out the next one that he wanted. As long as we stopped everything to take him and make him feel special it would work - believe me I would do anything to potty train him!! lol If i had bought a bunch of them and just handed it to him it wouldn't have had the same effect. He is old enough to understand that the trip to Target was a big deal. I think our solution was the timing/age and finding something that really motivated him. We even started saying 'we poo-poo for squishys'. You will find something that works and I am happy to say after about 20 squishys - no more trips to Target :)

Cara - posted on 04/19/2009

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my son is 10 years old and autistic and still will not go potty at home. my son did a coulpe of times at school. but, now won't do it. we've tryed books and toys. my son did the the same thing with the screaming and pushing. my husband is a chef and bought a cook timer from work and you can select mintues and seconds. we tryed it for a little while. but, still refuses. i wish i knew how to help my son and your child. try to see if you can get a timer or a clock and try that. it's hard and i understand what you're going through. the funny thing is that my son knows to go pee in the potty and he has done it in school. but, just wants to go pee in his depends. they understand and know what you're saying and they just want to ignore us. from,cara.

[deleted account]

hi my name is wendy and my son isnt potty trained and he is 6 been in preschool for 3 yrs they can not tell you that he can not go to anything because he has diabilities there is sooo much help out there i have a child advocate for my son and they can't tell you no my son is going to kindergarden next year and they will help with the potty training so never let anyone tell you no!!!!

[deleted account]

ummmm lindsay hi i am wendy my son is 6 and will have nothing to do with potty training ...they tell me he's just not ready for it ....you will know when he is ready is what they tell me........but heck he's gettin to big for 4/5 t pull ups

Brandy - posted on 04/18/2009

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my sister has a 4 yr old son who is autistic

he too was horrified of her toilet

they live in the country so finally she gave in and let him pp

outside off the porch

however, he still did not want to poop in the toilet that came with time

he had an older brother that helped too

now he thinks it is ok to pp anywhere in parkinglots

at church in parking lot

at any store or public area as long as it is outside

so it too has its drawbacks

Tiffany - posted on 04/18/2009

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I also have a four year old son with autism and have been tryin to potty train for awile now, he will go pee on the toilet but its a struggle and the poopin he will not do on the toilet he runs and hides behind his bed!

Shelly - posted on 04/16/2009

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I just bought a potty seat with a tray on it from an online company called natures business. It was very pricy but this the only way that I can make him stay on it. He can have snacks and do a puzzle and watch TV till he goes

Sarah - posted on 04/16/2009

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hi my son has just started being looked at for autism but is only three and i have been trying to pottytrain \. i am starting to think that i am trying too early. as they haven't said for certain that he is i keep trying to do things as i did for my other children. he doesn't feel the need to go on his own. he gets upset on the toilet but is too big for the potty. he also loves water and i have started just letting him wash his hands to get him to the toilet. i have tried puting him in pants for the morning ang taking him at set times of his routine to the toilet and slowly he has been getting more comfortable and less upset. i then usually have to change his clothes and put him in a pullup for the afternoon. i think that the routine of going at certain time is helping but he is really not ready i have been trying because i wanted him to be ready for nursary in september.

Cathe - posted on 04/16/2009

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I stayed home for 2 weeks..I offered tons of fluids and food..I had a potty in every room..and just every 10 mins..would offer the potty...and no pull ups,, underwear..were used..I also used sugar free candy as a my reward system,,fruit snacks,,or a preferred activity..it worked well! we still had accidents,,but what child doesnt? Hope this helped a little.

Nicola - posted on 04/16/2009

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Hello i got my autistic son clean by taking a photo of my toilet, as he learns much better visually. i use to sit him on the toilet every 15 mins and show him the photo, it took him a week to understand it, but got there in the end. then every time he needed the loo he would get me the photo!!



his still in nappies at night, his 6 and half now.

Maria - posted on 04/15/2009

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This is going to sound strange,but have you tried a potty chair in front of the television?? I have known parents who have done this and it has worked...mainly he just sat on it and watched tv, he went to the bathroom and the rest was history!

Ann - posted on 04/15/2009

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Does he know he's wet or dirty?  That is the first issue and question.  If he is not acknowledging that, he might not be ready.  Did you try a port-a-potty in a different room or take something away that he loves and use it as a reward if he even sits or goes near the potty/toilet.  I'm big on ABA it works wonders.  Good luck and don't give up.

Christine - posted on 04/15/2009

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OMG.. My son (PDD NOS) will be 4 in two weeks, his 2 yr sister (not with ASD) is starting to train. He is not interested at all, meltdowns on the toilet, Elmo potty seat, portable potty...you name it. I want him to go to "mainstream" nursery school in the fall and they need him potty trained. I do not want to hear that we must wait until 7 *sobbing*. AGGHH. Can't wait to hear the suggestions of other moms.

[deleted account]

I have a 3.5 yr old autistic boy and he is just now getting the hand of the potty. We baught him one on the potty seats that you take on and off the real"potty". It has Deigo on it and that is a great motivation for him.

I made a journal of when he went for about a week and then just put him on about 10 minutes before he normally went. Even if he just sat there we would put a sticker on a chart above the toilet and used our PECS with the routine.

He will now go pee if he has to. He will not request the bathroom but complies when I take him there. He has done nothing else but i am sure that will come in time.

When he is sucessful we do a happy dance, big claps, sticker and a reward of one pretzel.

Hopes this helps.

Jane - posted on 04/14/2009

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I just want to say that I am so happy to see other mothers going through this...I am trying potty train my three year old son with autism, and it is so hard.  I feel like I am wasting my time.....but I just need to keep trying and keeping it fun for my son.  I just got him an elmo potty training DVD....cute, but a little too conversational for him.  He needs something with more music, and visuals with simple language.  If anyone has any suggestions, please lemme know.  I also have a little book by the toilet of a cartoon going to the potty.  He likes to look at that while sitting on the potty.  Then he gets a reward for sitting on the potty, one m&m.  I am not a fan of candy rewards, but this really motivates him.  He has not gone in the potty yet.  He knows the sign for potty and can say potty.  When I ask him if he wants to go potty, if he doesn't want to, he will sign "all done" and say all done, then we just skip it, because I want to keep it positive for him.    Anyway, it helps to know that others are dealing with this, especially when I get remarks from people in my family about my son not being potty trained yet.  They have NO idea what it is like. 

[deleted account]

I have a six year boy on the autism spectrum and he still isn't toilet trained for number two's, unfortunately I have no idea what to do!  I've heard that 9 years old is the magic age for this :(  He doesn't seem to be aware that it's coming out and then he enjoys the 'cosy' feeling of it in his pants!

Angela - posted on 04/11/2009

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From what I have heard 7 is the age when most Autistic children become fully potty trained. Don't give up though repetition is the key. My son was potty trained a few months before his 7th birthday. Just make sure each experience is not a fight or upsetting to him, that I believe makes things worse.

Lindsay - posted on 04/10/2009

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HI YES WE TRYED THAT WE GOT A 8 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WITH OUT ASD HE WILL WATCH HER BUT WHEN IT COMES TO PUTTING HIM ON THE TOILET HE SCREAMES.

Tracy - posted on 04/10/2009

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Is your son an only child?  I have a 5 1/2 year old daughter with aspergers and she did not want to go to the toilet either but I took her in every time her older sister went to the bathroom and everytime I went.  We would have a celebration for her sister everytime she went and one day Megan just decided she wanted to do it as well.  She still has a pull up at night as she just seems to sleep through and not wake up when she has to go but she never has accidents during the day.  Good luck and don't give up.  By the way my son (3) who was just trained (he is not ASD) would have a terrified reaction when I first put him on the toilet and I did the same thing with him.  I would take him in with me when I went and started letting him flush so he could be a part of the whole process with out him having to do it himself untill he was ready to try.  

Lindsay - posted on 04/10/2009

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Quoting May:



I really do not have any real ideas about potty training because i have a 4 year 10 month autistic son also who is not toilet trained but he has no problem going to our washroom only to play in the sink loves water, he wears pullups and has no problem some days will set only the potty but other day he does not but we have just put a tv in his room and if he wants to watch it he has to go potty, along with sleep in his room that seems to be working a little bit - but we have a major problem at bathtime he will not get in the tub but loves the swimming pool any other water source except the tub any ideas - thanks hope to chat soon






HI THANK YOU FOR YOU MESSAGE MY SON LOVES WATER ASWELL HE LIKES GETTING TWO CUPS AND POURNING THEN ONE  TO ANOTHER SO WE GOT TWO CUPS FROM A KIDS TEA SET LET HIM PLAY WITH THEM IN THE BATH KNOW HE LOVES HIS BATHS I HOPE THIS HELPS

Lindsay - posted on 04/10/2009

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Quoting May:



I really do not have any real ideas about potty training because i have a 4 year 10 month autistic son also who is not toilet trained but he has no problem going to our washroom only to play in the sink loves water, he wears pullups and has no problem some days will set only the potty but other day he does not but we have just put a tv in his room and if he wants to watch it he has to go potty, along with sleep in his room that seems to be working a little bit - but we have a major problem at bathtime he will not get in the tub but loves the swimming pool any other water source except the tub any ideas - thanks hope to chat soon






HI MY SON THE SAME HE LOVES WATER BUT HE WILL HAVE A BATH MY SON LOVES POURING HIS WATER IN TO CUPS AND BACK AGAIN SO WE LET HIM DO THAT IN THE BATH I HOPE THATS A BIT OF HELP FOR YOU THANKS FOR REPLYING TO ME

Cherie - posted on 04/09/2009

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Our son was finally potty trained at 7 and 1/2 yrs. old.!!! WhooHoo!! Just keep trying-maybethe small potty chair idea would work? Does the sound of flushing scare him? Or is he afraid that he will fall in?

Maria - posted on 04/09/2009

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Don't give up!!! My daughter is 5 and 1/2 and just now is toilet trained! Just keep going, if they are terrified of the toilet, try a potty chair...and maybe find another place to put it beside the bathroom that is still "private" The way we finally accomplished it was taking away the diapers and pull ups and just put her in underwear (and carried disinfectant cleaner with us all around the house!) We also brought change of clothes if we had to go somewhere. We would practice sitting on the potty chair every hour or so, we would sing a song to get her to sit on it long enough...I hope it helps, I know it is a struggle and you want your child to be able to do this self-care. Good luck!

May - posted on 04/09/2009

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I really do not have any real ideas about potty training because i have a 4 year 10 month autistic son also who is not toilet trained but he has no problem going to our washroom only to play in the sink loves water, he wears pullups and has no problem some days will set only the potty but other day he does not but we have just put a tv in his room and if he wants to watch it he has to go potty, along with sleep in his room that seems to be working a little bit - but we have a major problem at bathtime he will not get in the tub but loves the swimming pool any other water source except the tub any ideas - thanks hope to chat soon

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