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Autism news: How I Potty Trained My Son
April 30, 2019

“Is my child ever going to be potty-trained? Will he be wearing pull-ups as an adult?” I used to wonder while my son was still school-aged.

I had tried every method and system I could find, but with no success. I am well-acquainted with the frustration and, yes, even pain of dressing my son in pull-ups while other kids his age had been toilet trained years before.

If that’s you too, then let me give you a few hints that might help you get started with toilet training.

Since I’m currently knee-deep in the process of reorganizing my site, I’m not able to post new articles for now. And I haven’t had the time lately to finish that book on potty training that I had planned on writing.

If your child isn’t yet potty trained, I know you may not want to wait until I get that book published. So I’m going to tell you what worked for us.

The main principle behind what we did is really important because of his autism--we took our time, working through each step slowly and gradually. It took a year or two, but that's what I had to expect when dealing with autism.

As you know, kids with autism usually don’t like change, especially the kind of drastic change required to start using the toilet instead of a diaper.

So the best way to train them, in my opinion, is to move through each step so gradually that it doesn’t seem to them like any change at all.

At first, my son wouldn’t even sit on the toilet. So I pushed his bottom down on the toilet for a split second, and then let him get up.

In response, we practically threw a party for him, praising him for sitting on the toilet. And I immediately gave him a piece of candy as a reward, even though he had not chosen to sit there. (Back then, candy was a legal option in his diet.)

From there, I gradually introduced each new step, and stayed at each level for a while to allow him to get used to it.

For example, when he was ready to start learning to actually use the toilet, I put him in regular underwear, but only for one to five minutes each day. Then I watched him closely during those five minutes while staying near the bathroom. If he looked as if he had to go, I rushed him to the bathroom.

We did that for about a week or two. Then I gradually increased his time spent in underwear until he was spending all day in underwear.

And this is very important: I always gave him a reward that he really liked every time he wore underwear and every time he sat on the toilet.

Once sitting on the toilet was normal for him, I then required him to eliminate in the toilet to get the reward.

When he was almost completely trained and using the toilet consistently, we faded the rewards. You can read about how to fade rewards at the link I've posted at the end of this message.

That, in a nutshell, is how my son was toilet trained.

I hope to get that book written as soon as possible so you can learn more details about what we did and what worked.

But hopefully, this can get you started. And who knows? It may be all the information you need to get your child trained.

I hope this helps. If this works for you, please let me know. I’d love to hear about it!

Warm Regards,

Kay Donato

Discover Autism Help, LLC Click here to learn how to fade rewards.

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