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Another potty training question!!.......

(12 Posts)
Helen2boys Wed 25-Aug-10 08:34:37

OK-over the summer hols time with my DS1 (3y10m, possible ASD) is precious and I am trying to exploit opportunities to work on his speech and language, encouraging eye contact, building his confidence, playing with him, making him feel generally that I
am interested in him!
After a year now of persistent attempts at potty training, all eventually abandoned, on the advice of the paediatrician, I have kept him in pull-ups now since May and am "trying to build toilet time into his routine". Impossible when he runs away from the toilet and won't even entertain the idea of sitting on it! Time and energy gets wasted on that
This morning I decided to get him in his pants, deal with the accidents and take him every 15 mins or so to try to get him to comply. DH says I should stick to concentrating on play and not put pressure on him. He says we need to wait for signs he is ready. He reminded me that potty training is not our priority right now. True.
My question is:
AM I EVER GOING TO SEE SIGNS HE IS "READY"? or am I going to have to just condition him in the way I described above? Every time I've spent any time trying to go all out to potty training, he has ended up really really upset and distressed and I've felt he's gone backwards in other areas I'm trying to help him with. My poor little man! What do you think?.....

Marne Wed 25-Aug-10 09:14:37

Hmmmm, its a tough one, dd2 was not really showing signs of being ready (was not dry for more then 20 minutes, was happy to be wet but could take her pull up off if she wanted too). We tried a number of times in the past 18 months to toilet train her and go nowhere. We tried again at the beggining of the summer, we took her nappy off (but no pants), sat her on the potty every 30 minutes until she went. She got it straight away (which was a shock as before she didn't want to know), she's now dry at home (the odd accident) but we struggle when we take her out as she does not ask to go. Dd2 is 4.5 and is starting school next week (hopefully in pants).

In a way i agree with your DH, concentrate on the speech and language skills (as this will also help with toilet traing in the future). He's still very young (alot of ASD children are still in nappies at this age). You could cary on putting him on the loo (while waiting to go in the bath etc..) but with no presure to do anything. I started putting dd2 on the loo whenever she was upstairs with me but only if she was happy to do so (didn't want to push it).

Dd1 was a night-mare to toilet train, we did not know she had AS when we were toilet training and i feel really guilty for pushing her. She would shake with fear when placed on the potty and did not use a toilet (without a training seat) until she was 5.

silverfrog Wed 25-Aug-10 09:34:28

it is so difficult, isn't it?

I would say, if it is causing your ds so much stress that he is regressing in other areas, then I'd leave it for now.

dd1 was in nappies until she was 4.6 or so. she had been going ages between wees for a while by then, but we cuoldn't get her to understand what to do/when to do it.

(not helped for us that there had been an attempt at potty training by her nursery, which really, really screwed her up. she still won't wee at school to this day (she is now 6!)

every time we tried, she would just hold on and hold on - she has the bladder of a camel, and can hold on all day, and wait for her night nappy. this was not the habit we wanted to instil in her (she eventually started to restrict drinking so she would n't need to wee!), and we left her in nappies.

when we did finally train her, it was more of the same, but we were confident she had more language to at least try to understand what was going on. we were also more comfortable with her general progress, and our attempt, although unsettling for her, didn't cause problems in other areas. she still went through the holding on stage, and it took us a while as she would only wee once a day, so if we missed the opportunity, we had to wait until the next day!

but she got there, and has been dry for 18 months now. poos are another matter, as is weeing at school (she will use the toilet at school if I am there)

slowly, slowly, is my motto. and if it is causing lots of stress, re-group and try to gently work on the bits that are the biggest stress.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 25-Aug-10 10:54:40

Message withdrawn

catski Wed 25-Aug-10 11:11:48

I agree with your husband. <Dr Greenspan> Focus on the foundation skills and the skills at the 'top of the tree' will follow. < /Dr Greenspan>.

For what it's worth, my son never showed any signs of bring ready either, but we were forced into trying as his new nursery said they wouldn't take him in nappies. Maybe you could give it a go every few months but with the expectation that it probably wont work - I don't mean that to sound pessimistic but just to try to enable you to be a bit more bright and breezy about it if it's not going the right way.

Helen2boys Wed 25-Aug-10 11:35:51

I love this board - you are
all so supportive and I'm glad I found you. I feel so down this morning, when I checked back in I needed to not see zero response. Thanks xxx
will respond properly later suffice it to say have tried every half hour today do far and had tears every time we get close to the toilet. I feel awful! He has days he seems more autistic than others and days he seems almost normal, too...

silverfrog Wed 25-Aug-10 11:55:47

do you know what he is scared of?

will he go with you into the toilet when you need to go?

is he worried about no nappy?

about making a mess?

about the height/slipperyness/coldness of the toilet seat?

about the noise his wee makes in the toilet?

aout the flush?

abut just not knowing what to do?

sorry to fire so many questions, but these are all things we had to tackle with dd1. and not all of them are htings we thought would bother her, but they did.

I think a very series of very small steps is needed - agree with star. try getting him to go up to the toilet door and touch it. make a game of it. make it stress free for him.

then opening the door,

going inside

staying inside for a couple of minutes (fully dressed, no mention of using the toilet)

sitting on the toilet (fully dressed, maybe, with nappy on) - lots of talk about toilets being where wees and poos go.

then sitting on toilet with trousers off, but nappy on

etc etc.

do you know when he is most likely to wee? getting that connetion can be the hard part. dd1 could tell us everyhting about going to the toilet, but until we actually managed ot catch a wee in the toilet, she didn't really get what she was supposed to do.

another poster on here (maybe coppertop? apoligies, CT if it wasn't you) trained by putting her boy into pants for a couple fo minutes at a time, at a time she knew he would probably stay dry, and then slowly increased the time he was wearing pants, while talking lots about wees in toilet etc

if this is causing so much stress right now - pause, re-group, and try another route smile

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 25-Aug-10 12:40:20

Message withdrawn

silverfrog Wed 25-Aug-10 13:35:25

that's another "yes" form us too.

dd1's first attempt at potty training was when she was 2.6, because her nursery deemed it was the irght time hmm

that went horribly worng (can't think why!) and led to dd1 holing on for hours and hours, and restricting drinking.

we backed off for over a year. just concentrated on other stuff

second time we tried, dd1 understood a little better, but was clearly not going to get it anytime soon. I had d2 just beginning to crawl abuot, and investigate kitchen cupboards and stuff, so wasn't in a position to devote loads of time to it, so we backed off for another 9 months or so.

then, on the third attempt, she got it. she was 4.6, and I'd noticed a few times she was waking (or at least, I was waking her) and she had a dry nappy. so I thought I'd give it a go - after all, who doesn't wee first thing? but we were back to holding on for hours.

this time, though, there was a change. she seemed ot be trying to wee, but couldn't work out which muscles she needed to use (coudl see her contracting tummy, and shifting around). so we stuck with it, keeping as close by the loo as possible, and encouraging her to drink as much as possible (a tricky one for dd that - she was drinking maybe 200ml a day at this point) - we seemed to be living in the loo at one point!

and then, one day, she managed it (well, she started weeing, and we shoved her on the loo) and, tbh, she hasn't looked back since.

very occasional accidents, but once she got it (took maybe 4 weeks), and understood how to wee, she was dry, and has been since.

Helen2boys Wed 25-Aug-10 22:53:34

Got time to respond properly. You have no idea how much I appreciate your responses xx I have to be very careful not to be all negative because I feel like I have tried everything, although obviously not properly.

Marne - interesting point you make about DD1, because I started to train DS1 this time last year when I hadn't properly started putting all the pieces together. I feel bad, because it does seem to me that him not "getting it" in the past means he doesn't think he can now.

Silverfrog, on one attempt to potty train DS1, he was doing the same too - holding it in. We had been giving him so much to drink, he was definitely in agony holding it in. You are right though - he is still stressed about it and I am thinking really hard about what to do from here. As for what he's scared of? He has no way of telling me, really and I cannot figure it out. I worry it's that he knows DH and I have both been frustrated about this in the past. Terrible, I know. I also think he just wants things to stay as they are, he is very resistant to doing anything that constitutes growing up. Any kind of pressure to do something he hasn't instigated leads to distress.

Starlight, communication is the big problem, yes and it;s the big sign that he is ready - that he;s asking / telling. He's just not doing that at all about anything. We're working on that. I've found it hard to convince him he's going to get a treat if he does sit on the toilet, he seems to think I'm giving him a glimpse of something he isn't allowed, just to tease him. Keeping the language as simple as you have suggested is the only way to communicate that point. I am much much more patient in general - this has really improved over time. It is frustrating the constant refusal but I cannot let him know I am frustrated.

Catski, you're right about the lower expectations. Worth bearing in mind.

Thanks again for all your ideas and hints about what has worked for you. I have decided that for now I'm going to keep gently encouraging him and as soon as he has at least sat on the toilet a couple of times and is happy, we'll go for it again.

CrunchyStarlight Wed 25-Aug-10 23:21:06

You can 'train' him to understand the concept of reward, by giving him a much easier thing to achieve.

i.e. tell him to touch the door handle of the toilet. Show him by touching it yourself, and then telling him to. He won't understand the point so you'll have to get his hand and put it on, giving him a sweet instantly.

Then you can say 'touch handle' and prompt him physically and give a sweet, until he'll do it when you say.

There will be a few steps in between but eventually 'sit on toilet'. You'll have to put him on, but as soon as his legs hit the seat, he gets a sweet. So he knows then that if you say 'sit on toilet' then if he does it he'll get a sweet.

Not saying it will all work find and dandy from the off. It might take work and patience, but you do need some basic communication and understanding first before you can have any chance imo.

sc13 Thu 26-Aug-10 12:02:10

Some very good advice here. We are at the stage where he will do whatever he needs to do in the toilet if you take him (including at regular intervals), but communicates he has to go only occasionally.
Am concentrating on other things at the moment - I hope think that as he gets better at communicating in general, then that will come along.
BTW obviously nurseries and schools cannot require a disabled child to be dry - it's discrimination

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