Most parents with autistic kids look for ways on how to Potty Train an autistic child. The primary reason behind the autisms of many kids is a delay in their cognitive development. As a result, they have communication challenges and even get comfortable with specific routines for kids and may fail to show signs that they need to use the toilet. They are most anxious about toileting and may not understand any question related to whether they want to use the restroom or not.
Children with autism have verbal communication problems, but even with nonverbal communication, not showing any signs of potty dance, crossing signs, or anything, making it difficult for the parents or caregivers to get them to the toilet.
Training autistic children about toileting can be quite stressful, and even training them with potty is more stressful and can take more time. They can master the motor skills only with patience and a good structure around.
Several factors can contribute to these challenges faced by a child diagnosed with autistic, including hyperstimulation of sensory nerves and multiple issues. It will take many trainings to get them to use the potty.
It is good to know that there is no age at which you cannot potty train an autistic child. First, ensure the child is not having any urological conditions that can make him wee on his body, feel pains when he wants to wee, or other issues related to the urinary tract.
There are signs that autistic children display to know that they are ready to be potty trained. But do you have to wait till they are ready? For the primary time before they start showing these signs, you could still use diapers for them to wee and poo till they can conveniently use the potty.
Here are the signs that an autistic child is ready to be potty trained;
- They show that they feel discomfort for wetting the diaper or soiling it up and try to pull it off or stand before you to show you how bad he is feeling.
- They often try to follow you to the toilet or try to imitate you in attempting to use the bathroom.
- They will try to force you to the bathroom or toilet to change their diapers for them and not in the room.
To Potty Train an autistic child successfully, there has to be extra effort put into the planning stages. Sometimes it can be frustrating, training a child who is slow to learn, unlike other healthy kids, so you will need to be extraordinarily patient with the child.
According to research, potty training for autistic children involves three essential stages: the planning stage, setting upstage, and the implementation stage.
Setting up stage
This stage involves getting everything needed for the potty trained. You will need to do a lot of research on how the training has been done and everything necessary. Here is the list of what you can get for practical potty training.
- Potty seats… you can get the colorful ones and different ones to use as the child transitions.
- Get the child’s favorite color of under-wears of those with different characters on them to change when it’s time to use potty to make him feel comfortable.
- Wipes and timer.
- You can soft-drink for children as well to aid bowel movement.
- Materials to create charts or pictures to show different signs either to use potty, eat, sleep. These will help the child improve on motor skills.
- Get different toys and materials to play with to get the child entertained while on the potty.
- You can get different storybooks or tapes on potty usage for the child and either play them or give him the book to get them prepared or know what to do.
The setting up stage is when you set up everything you got to Potty Train an autistic child and get the child to see them prepare his mind ahead of the activity.
You can prepare a separate bathroom or toilet for the child but ensure it’s an elegant and clean place to prevent the child from infections of a different kind.
Display the charts or the designs that will direct the child to the toilet. Make them attractive and inviting enough for the child.
Place the potty where the child can quickly locate it and use it, ensure it is not tightly covered, or else the child may wet the diapers before even opening the potty.
Place the wipes and the timer around there where the child can easily find them to use.
Displace a visual sequence on the wall where he can easily read it and have fun.
Place the toy basket around where he can play with them as he uses the potty.
The Implementation stages
This is the potty-training stage for the child. It is essential to know that this stage takes time depending on your consistency and friendliness. Most autistic children get frightened and may not be opened to learning due to the scary face, scolding, etc., so ensure you create a friendly atmosphere for them to loosen up and learn.
You will need to create a flexible structure by setting the time, the day of the week the child will have the training but ensure it falls when the child doesn’t have a load of activities to attend to like school activities for full concentration.
The success of the training all depends on the trainer. You must come up with a healthy plan, structure, and system for effectiveness. Also, create a rewarding system where you can always reward the child’s excellent performance and obedience.
Also, find a means of following up and monitoring the child’s progress to know when and how to transition or change the training kits.
Start by reading the toileting storybooks and listen to the tapes together to prepare the child’s mind, make the moment fun, and get him excited about the training. Promise the child different gifts if he cooperates with you during the training.
Teach the child a song that involves saying “bye-bye to diapers” and “wetting his body” and make him change his mind about it. You can be creative at this stage by drafting our words of affirmations about confidence and boldness and declare the words together as often as you can.
This will boost the child’s confidence, and he can overcome the anxiety and timidity stopping the child from expressing his emotions. Use free language and make him understand why staying without diapers is essential.
Show the child every material you have gotten for the training, the toys, the charts, the potty, and other things, explain the importance of each of them, and show him how to use them.
Create a sign on the paper for the child to show you when he is done peeing or pooing to raise him and clean him.
To Potty Train an autistic child, follow these instructions;
- On the set date for the training, ensure the child eats fruits, vegetables, or fluid substances to have water to pass out for effectiveness.
- Set the timer for 20-30 minutes interval. Ensure you have changed his clothes to the underwear of bright color.
- Once it’s the set time, take the child to the bathroom, place him on the potty and give him the items bought to play with, let him feel relaxed and joyful for sitting down there.
- Give him the charts or paper where all the signs are drawn to show you when he is done to avoid oversitting.
- Repeat the process until it’s time to go to bed, then put on the diapers.
Note that sometimes the child may wet the diapers in between the set time; you don’t have to be harsh; you can correct the child gently and with a calm voice till he gets it right, which he will do eventually if you dint relent.
The autistic child needs special attention because they learn slowly compared to others due to their delayed development. They can’t understand both verbal and non-verbal communication as they may need the training to do certain essential things right, one of which is toileting.
Having an autistic child can be demanding and stressful because you have to be present to get everything done for him. If you hire a caregiver, you must ensure she is a very patient person and ready to condone every mess.
You can train Potty Train an autistic child to use the potty instead of wetting the diapers but ensure they are ready to learn by showing readiness signs. These include the show of discomfort with wetting the diapers, trying to pull the wet diapers off, and even dragging you to the bathroom to remove them for them.
In potty training an autistic child, you must plan well before starting the training and ensure that you get every needed item ahead of time. Build a strong structure and, most importantly, be patient with the child.
- 50-morning routines for kids
- Daily Positive Affirmations for kids
- Powerful Affirmations for Confidence and Self-love
Finally, get attractive underwear, signs, wall sequence, wipes, and other necessary items needed to Potty Train an autistic child before starting. Note that the child may mess up and wet diapers in between during the training, but be patient and don’t be harsh if you want to retain his interest in the training.