I have a 6yo girl w/Down syndrome who is STILL not potty trained.

Laurie - posted on 01/12/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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We have tried rewards, discipline, taking her every time we go, trying to get her to go with her older sister, everything, and nothing seems to work. Does anybody have any other ideas? We've even tried the 3-day potty training system without success. HELP!

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Laurie - posted on 01/12/2009

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I am an OT practitioner. I have worked with children with Down Syndrome, many of which have difficulty potty training due to sensory processing deficits as well as developmental delays. Most seem to be able to train eventually but when they are ready. I found this website that explains Sensory Processing Disorder and gives great information about how to know when your child is ready to potty train. http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.c... Good Luck!

Shannon - posted on 01/13/2009

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HI, Laurie,  Potty training is hard, and it sounds like you've been at it for a while.  Good for trying all kinds of strategies.  This may sound dumb, but based on my experience as a job coach for young adults with Down's, I have found that they tend to be tactile learners.  Many of my clients still experienced accidents into their teens and twenties.  When we would start the day, I'd ask them to feel their pants.  Clean and dry, right?  Fantastic!  Hugs or high-fives (because tactile rewards were best) all around.  Then, thoughout the day, we'd have pants check-ins.  Still clean and dry?  More hugs or high-fives.  Had an accident.  No big deal, just clean up with as little reaction as possible.  The important part is to catch them doing what you'd like to see more of. 

Patty - posted on 01/12/2009

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Hi, I'm a sp. ed. teacher. I agree with Gina a consistent schedule is very important. Does your daughter have any sensory issues? Often children with sensory intergration issues have a difficult time learning to use the bathroom. Since she is 6 year old, I assume she has started school. Does she receive services from an OT as part of her school program? Given her disability, potty training should be an important part of her IEP. I would work with the school personal since they know your daughter and should have some experience in this area. Good luck.

Patty

Gina - posted on 01/12/2009

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Hi, my name is Gina, and I worked with a young girl with down syndrome on potty training.  It took a while, but we started at 5.  She is now 7 and is using the toilet.  She uses diapers/pull ups at night, and has no accidents during the day.  It really comes down to your childs ability, both on a physical and intellectual level, and on the trainer's consistency.  Consistency is key, no putting it off, no being tired, no not being into it.  Same times, same days, 24/7.    That is the most important thing.  Also, watching for patterns, and knowing when your child has to use the bathroom.  Is it a control thing?  The girl I worked with would hold it all day, sit on the  potty, hold it, and as soon as we put her pull up on,  urinate.  That's when you know that it's about control.  Rewards don't always matter, especially if your child isn't ready, or just can't do it.  I would suggest structure, and a tight schedule.  It can be done, if your child has the ability.  What is her functioning level? 

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Carla - posted on 03/15/2014

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Hi Laurie
I have no advice, but came across your post looking for similar information. My down has Down Syndrome and will be 7 next month. I have to say I am at the end of my tether also so sympathise and empathise with you. Thank you ladies for your suggestions and advice, my daughter is 6 weeks post open heart surgery so when to start is difficult as the weather is starting to get cold. I am going to go back to basics and buy a large potty, and reward with chocolate and stickers. I have been successful in the past (she has had 3 heart operations in 7 years). Laurie, your post was from 2009, have you had any success since then? What did you do in the end?

Gini - posted on 08/04/2013

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I nanny a 6yr old with downs and the family and myself are trying to toilet train her. We aren't even sure if she feels the need to go. She doesn't tell us if she's thirsty or hungry so probably doesn't recognize the feeling at all

Ruthann - posted on 01/14/2009

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You could try the potty train in a day method, where you buy them all sorts of good drinks and let them drink it freely. then everytime they pee their pants you take them from every room in the house and back to the potty evertime in between and sit them on the potty and off to the next room, even if they throw a tantrum. eventually they get sick of it.

Ruthann - posted on 01/14/2009

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You could try the potty train in a day method, where you buy them all sorts of good drinks and let them drink it freely. then everytime they pee their pants you take them from every room in the house and back to the potty evertime in between and sit them on the potty and off to the next room, even if they throw a tantrum. eventually they get sick of it.

TNell - posted on 01/13/2009

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I worked with a Downs Syndrome girl on potty training because her mom was very frustrated at the lack of progress.  She was with me for a week and a half while her mom had to be out of town, and I agree consistency is the key.  The whole time she was at my place (except at night) she was in undies.  The first few days I helped her clean up any messes, letting her know that went in the toilet.  After that I had her clean them up when I knew she could have made it to the bathroom.  About half-way through her stay with me she started going on her own without even telling me she had to go.  From what I understand she is completely done now...but she was also ready for it at the time we started.  Another thing was when she made it  we all praised her and had rounds of high fives, even calling people she knew to tell them.  Good luck!  I know you will do fine with your child!

Tonya - posted on 01/13/2009

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Hi Laurie,

My name is Tonya, and I have a son who is 7 w/ Down Syndrome and he will tee tee in the potty but not the other. It took about 2 years for him not to tee tee in his underwear. I completey agree w/ Gina. My son started a special ed. program at 3 yrs. imed., I was told not to send any pull ups only underpants. They took the kids every 45 mins. to the potty. When he came home I cont. the every 45 mins., during the summer months I would gradually increase by 15 mins. every week. It took about 2-2 1/2 years of that 24/7 BUT it works!! :) My son still sleeps in pull ups but most of the time he dose not even wet the bed at night. My Ped. Dr. told me not to push training him when he has to do #2 untill his feet touches the floor. However, that is because of his heart. Straining to much if his feet is not on the floor. CONSISTENCY is the key. Most of all the mothers I have talked w/ have said their children w/ Downs have not fully been potty trained untill between the ages of 6 to 8. Your not alone. Just have alot of patience and get a routine and stick w/ it . At times when he was stubborn I would tell him if he would use the potty #1--he could have a gummy bear & #2 he could have a (small) sucker. He still hasn't gotten to #2 and still has not forgotten what he gets when he dose do it.Don't give up! Stay focused!

Kylie - posted on 01/13/2009

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Hi,

I'm also a spec ed teacher and agree totally with Gina. With a little girl I used to work with it took us until she was eight to have her totally trained. We ended up using a half hour system over a four week period. We would take her to the toilet every half hour and on the back of the toilet we had a chart on which we marked a tick or cross for each bodily function. This way were able to track the times of the day that she urinated or did a Number 2. It took a lot of consistency and we didn't skip any of her toilet times. Good luck

Angie - posted on 01/12/2009

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I have a son with Down Syndrome, he is now 9. He was not fully potty trained until he was 7. He is very stubborn at times and definitely put up a fight when it came time to potty train. It seemed like it took forever for him to become potty trained and at some points I thought he might be in diapers forever. One thing I did was try to catch him at a time when I knew he had to go potty for sure like right away in the morning. If we could get him to actually go on the potty we would make a huge deal of it. We would throw a little potty party for him. He loved the attention. I also would suggest if you are at home and you can put underwear on instead of pullups to do that. If she can actually feel the wetness going down her legs it will be uncomfortable and she won't like it. The diapers are so absorbant that when they go to the bathroom they can't really feel it. I hope this helps a little. Hang in there and keep in mind she will do it. I honestly couldn't even imagine my son being potty trained. Once he figured it out  I never had to buy another pullup. He hasn't even wet the bed. Patience. Good luck.

Danielle - posted on 01/12/2009

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Don't give up hope.  We are just experiencing success with our daughter who turned 7 in November.  she has a rare chromosome disorder called Alfi's syndrome.  We have had little successes in the past but then she would refuse to go and asked for diapers.  Anyway we had issues that I won't go on and on about.  She has now been going on the potty for over a week.  We do use a pullup or diaper at night but even those have been dry or close to it.  Hayley loves to use the computer and her sister got a Nintendo DS for her birthday that Hayley would love.  Her daddy told her he would buy her a DS if she was totally potty trained.  We also give her computer time for successes.  She has taken the lead so we have no melt downs in the bathroom. 



What you wrote about your experience so far sounds so familiar.  Good luck and try to stay positive.  I know it can be hard.

Evelyn - posted on 01/12/2009

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I've just read the previous post. Hello I'm a Special Educator for about 7 years. I've work with all ages and what she suggested was right on the $$$$. Consistency and structures like creating a routine and sticking it through... as well start documenting or recording her times or create a log that might help with your routine every thing takes time and must be tried for a while not a week or two but for a month before you dismiss it.  I really hope you it works out for you and your child.



Evelyn

Donna - posted on 01/12/2009

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i was havn trouble with my little boy he was doin great until he got constipated once and then refused to go the toilet weve percervered for months and the only thing thats worked is we bought him some spiderman underpants and because he loves spiderman he goes the toilet and we then make a big fuss of him with lots of praise all children are different but if shes got a favorite charachter give it a go good luck!

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