I was asked yesterday about tips for "Potty Training" for her (ASD) son. The imagines were cringing as I thought back. Even though it was years ago I still remember being grateful that journey was "OVER," it was a total nightmare.
*My Parent Perspective suggestions on potty training*-
I remembered listening to other parents in my center base programs who had the same concerns with no clear results. I went to workshop after workshop which were very few in my area at that time. I traveled in my old burgundy van as one would say, "it's was on last leg of traveling" but we always make it to our destination and back with a lot of prayers, to sit for a hour or so to listen, take notes on how to train my son to "pee-pee and poop" in the toilet. I remember being asked to leave this one workshop, the one time, I didn't have a baby sitter and my little person did exactly his "normal." You can imagine his energy being thrust in a room full of strange parents looking for the same "quick fix" on potty training. Being the prepared mom as I thought, I had my black bag of quiet activities and snacks that was all short lived. After he assembled his new lego designs, mastered his block puzzles, colored and trace in several books, and ate his snacks, he wanted nothing more to do with this sterile environment workshop. So, of course, he explored the room, hummed "off" tune, chattered to his toys, all while pulling for my attention. After, I exhausted all my energy the workshop instructor asked me to leave so others may learn without disturbance. Fortunately, my friend's husband stepped in to offer to take him out for a much needed walk.
*You should also be emotionally ready as there will be some set backs and clean ups in the early stages:
I listened to the wisdom of "regular moms" suggestions with no avail, he was not having no part of the "potty". You know the one where they tell you, "put him on underwear when his bottom gets wet enough he'll learn to release himself in the potty," or the one, if you put one or two "Cherrios" in the toilet for him to aim, it will be a game for him... Needless to say, a whole bag was dumped in the toilet days after. I recall fecal smearing everywhere on the walls, floor, his potty seat, and of course on him: hair, legs, face, clothes you name it - it was there waiting to be cleaned.
*One thing for sure is be consistent:
I recall having 4 different types of potty chairs to ease his boredom. He had one with steps that attached to big toilet. One that made noise when some elimination hit the bowl. One with gadgets attached to occupy his time while sitting, and then old faithful - no bells no whistles just a toilet seat.
I always gave up after a week or so into it because I couldn't handle the daily clean up. It was easier to give in and put the Pull-Ups on.
*The toilet team:
When you decide to start toilet training, have a meeting with everyone involved in your child's life. This might be the grandparents, teachers, babysitter, friends - anyone who may be spending extended periods of time with your son or daughter. Decide what language you will be use around toileting. I decided the process of words were toilet and all body parts were called by their anatomically correct name.
Everyone should use the same statement when it's time to go such as, "It's time to use the bathroom, "You have to go to the bathroom."
Many people make the mistake of thinking toilet readiness is related to chronological age - it is not. I have spoken to parents who tell me the age ranges from: 4-24, the greater the development delay, the greater the toileting delay tends to be.
Some signs of toileting readiness I learned:
**gets a diaper when needs to eliminate
** goes off to a quiet spot for toileting
** asks to be changed when a diaper/pull ups is soiled
Learning to use the toilet will not look the same for each child/young adult...
One thing is for sure when they are ready - they're ready...