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potty training a 3 year old with a speech delay - advice needed please!

(27 Posts)
sleepyhorse Mon 29-Aug-11 22:31:19


Am going to start potty training my 3 yr old DS, he isn't talking yet - just uses single words when he feels like saying them. We're not exactly sure what is wrong with him, we thought he might be ASD but when we saw the paed in June she doesn't think this is the case and has chosen to take a "wait and see" approach. I have been putting potty training off for ages as couldn't face the stress of it all and couldn't see how it would be a success considering the situation. Anyway I have now decided to just go for it as he is starting nursery mid September and would like him to be out of nappies by the time he starts.
We have started using picture cards (since going to speech therapy) so I thought we could use the card with the potty on.

Would really appreciate any advice/little tips for anyone in the same situation as us. Thanks!

intothewest Mon 29-Aug-11 22:44:59

Good luck-Don't stress yourself out, September is not that far away. Be realistic about it- he may get the hang of it straight away;but he may not. Yes,use the cards- If he's visual and responds to such things(my Ds doesn't) use sticker charts etc. If possible I would suggest only using the potty in the bathroom(or pop him straight on the loo) Then there is a definite link of'this is where we go to the loo '
It must be a bit diffiult being told to 'wait and see' as I presume you don't knjow haw

chocjunkie Mon 29-Aug-11 22:49:20

sleepyhorse, is your DS using the potty at all? does he know when he needs to use the potty, is he aware of when he needs a wee/poo...?

I tried to train DD (very speech delayed, now 3.6) from about 2.5 years old but initially, it just did not work (DD wouldn't even sit on the potty). when she turned 3, she suddenly became cooperative and I left her without nappy for the first couple of weeks. DD needed lots of reminders would only use the potty when prompted. eventually, I put her in underwear and then also underwear + trousers. we have been training now for 7 month and DD is still not fully potty trained. still accidents and still needs prompting/needs to be taken to the toilet but slowly but surely we are getting there.

whenever she does a wee/poo we give her lots of praise and quite often reward her also with a small piece of chocolate.

we don't use picture cards so no experience there.

good luck!

intothewest Mon 29-Aug-11 22:53:18

Hi- Try again-Didn't mean to post yet-
It must be difficult being told to 'wait and see' as I presume you do not know the extent of his difficulties- For example- Is his receptive communication better than his expressive language.
I would just go for it-but no pressure on him or you !

MrsShrekTheThird Mon 29-Aug-11 23:03:44

have you got loads of (preferably laminated?) potty picture cards - and they actually look like / are photos of the potty? We ended up getting a few identical [cheap] potties, all in convenient corners of the house (scuse the pun) and every time he picks up a card you go to the potty regardless - I'm sure you are doing this already.... also would say as with any child, no pressure, and they really do make their own minds up if/when they want to toilet train.

WilsonFrickett Tue 30-Aug-11 10:15:18

Have you heard of social stories? You basically need to break each stage of the process down into chunks. So, absolutely, start with the pic of the potty that you already have, then use something like this:

My DS was also language delayed and we didn't toilet train till 3.6. I think by all means give it a go, but if it isn't working for you stop and try again in a couple of months.

We took a few days to do it (IIRC it was over the Christmas holidays) and just basically stayed in for 3 days, although I have to say it was the morning where I could see he was bursting but went for my shower anyway, leading to him sitting in wet pants and trousers for 10 minutes that actually did the trick. He was so used to the nappies wicking it away, and sitting wet for a few minutes meant his sensory stuff kicked in and helped him realise that going to the toilet was A Good Thing.

So, patience, pictures, don't be afraid to let him get wet a couple of times, and give up if it isn't working. Good luck!

sleepyhorse Tue 30-Aug-11 13:12:46

Thanks for the advice everyone. Think Im going to brave it and start tomorrow! Better start removing all the rugs in the house then!!! :-)
Also do you reward them every time they sit on potty?
If so what do you reward them with? And how do you make it fun?

WilsonFrickett Tue 30-Aug-11 13:25:27

Reward them with whatever works for them - stickers, sweeties, don't worry about building up a chocolate button habit, you can phase the reward out pretty quickly.

We didn't really make it fun though tbh. It wasn't much fun grin but it got done!

VeraCanSignChocolateAndWine Tue 30-Aug-11 16:44:35

Wilson is your DS continent?

My dd2 (3) isn't yet. But if you find a method that works please let me know. grin

Ps our preschools have accepted dd even though she is not potty trained, so don't worry if potty training isn't successful at first. smile

WilsonFrickett Tue 30-Aug-11 19:08:41

He is Vera, he's 6 now. Was dry from 3.6 when we potty trained, but still regularly had poo accidents till he was 4 +. (The funniest being when he was with his DGD in their local library, but that's another story!)

We tried to toilet train at 3 on nursery's insistence (no DX at that point though) and it was a complete disaster, so I waited. IMO 3 is still young. He wasn't able to pay attention to his bodies' signals and didn't really recognise he was actually wetting himself as he was doing it in wee short bursts...

VeraCanSignChocolateAndWine Tue 30-Aug-11 20:27:06

Thank you Wilson. Just re-read and meant to ask sleepyhorse the continent question. Oops. blush

However very useful information Wilson, reassures me that we are doing the best thing by waiting a wee bit longer. (no pun intended well maybe a little one wink )

Think I might try at half-term or Christmas break, she'll be 3 1/2 then, shes getting more aware but isnt quite there yet. And doesnt say or sign toilet, although i generally let her watch me on the toilet and tell her the appropriate words. She'll pick them up eventually.

Chocolate buttons reward maybe, she hates has a phobia of stickers.

CardyMow Tue 30-Aug-11 20:49:43

I potty trained DS2 before he was verbal, with a combo of a picture of a potty and our own, made up, sign for potty. He was dry in the day by 2y10mo. He wasn't walking OR talking then. Still find it amazing that being non-verbal and not walking (he was crawling then) that I managed to potty train him. He said his first word at 3.5yo, walked at 3.7yo. Now he's 7.10yo, and although his 'syntax' is a bit...odd...he never sits down OR shuts up!

In fact I had a conversation about that with one of my friends today, we've decided he's making up for the time he didn't do either!!

WilsonFrickett Tue 30-Aug-11 23:21:32

Very bright girl LittleVera. Me an DS also have a sticker aversion grin

Take your time - I have to admit to being a bit smug on this one as many NT friends 'rushed' it (IMO) and were still having lots of accidents, night nappies, etc. DS nailed it first time and it was probably one of the first times I really listened to myself as a parent and refused to do it to someone else's schedule. Yay me hands self a sticker

VeraCanSignChocolateAndWine Wed 31-Aug-11 01:21:16

Oh Wilson, does that sticker aversion also cover plasters? Dd screams her death scream (Deep rrraaaww sound) when someone even shows her one.

ArthurPewty Wed 31-Aug-11 09:55:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilsonFrickett Wed 31-Aug-11 10:47:48

Nursery needs a chat about reasonable adjustments Leonie. I know there are limited changing facilities etc but they need to understand that there is an issue behind lack of toilet training. If you rush it, it won't work (IMO).

If she runs screaming from a toilet then she's not ready to use it, is she? sad. As I said above, DS was well over three and even then not really clean till 4.

Vera DS not too happy with plasters but I am quite fond of them, particularly if it's a Mr Bump one grin

sleepyhorse Wed 31-Aug-11 11:49:46

Oh dear 1st day of potty training not going well at all - does not want to wear pants and refuses to sit on the potty...has wet himself twice so far - does this mean he isn't ready or should I give him a bit more time to get used to the idea?

ArthurPewty Wed 31-Aug-11 11:54:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilsonFrickett Wed 31-Aug-11 13:24:37

Oh sorry Leonie I really didn't mean to add to the pressure sad

Sleepy not wearing pants not too much of an issue today (unless you want to, I dunno, go somewhere grin) I would give it a couple of hours and then see how you feel. It did take us three solid days to make any progress, but I was able to engineer that so we didn't need to go anywhere.

ArthurPewty Wed 31-Aug-11 13:36:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ANiceCupofTeaandASitDown Wed 31-Aug-11 22:19:50

I am in pretty much the same situation, DD is 3.7 and has severe speech delay and potential ASD. I have not even attempted to potty train, as although she comes to me or DH when she has done a poo (most of the time), I am in no doubt that she is not able to communicate that she is about to go. She starts school on Monday (yikes!) but luckily the school have been very supportive and said to just put her in pull-ups and see how she gets on. Told them she has been in nursery for a year and not once done a poo there - they said this would appear to be a conscious decision and that is really why they were happy for her to go in pull-ups. Not sure what happens if she changes her mind on that front!! smile I am going to wait until I think she seems able to communicate to me that she needs to go. (sorry - long post!)

pigletmania Wed 31-Aug-11 22:25:21

My dd 4 has speech delay, and I stated potty training at 3, and she is clean and dry now during the day. What helped was having a relaxed approach. I made a potty book (like the potty training stories you get for children), with pictures of our bathroom, dd on the toilet, flushing the toilet, pulling up pants, washing hands, etc and made up a story to accompany the pictures. DD loved her potty book and it certainly helped, plus chocolate buttons when she did a wee/poo in toilet or told me she needed toilet and made her take off her pants and help clean up when she had an accident.

pigletmania Wed 31-Aug-11 22:26:25

dd has also developmental delay of 2 years, and Autistic type traits, and after using all these technieques was able to be dry within 3 months.

ANiceCupofTeaandASitDown Wed 31-Aug-11 22:31:23

pigletmania As your dd has speech delay, how did you get her to express to you that she needed the toilet? My dd is just this week starting to use PECS with a little bit of success, I am wondering if this may be the way to progress?

chocjunkie Wed 31-Aug-11 22:59:05

ANiceCupofTeaandASitDown. my DD (3.6 with severe s&l delay and asd traits) is not telling me when she needs a wee. we therefore have a potty on every floor (2, that is) and if DD needs a wee she will just go to the potty though she needs frequent reminders and sometimes, when she refuses to use the potty, we just have to take her to the potty/bathroom. she can say "wee wee" but won't use it to tell us when she needs one :/

sleepyhorse, DD did initially refuse the pants as well, so we started training with a bare bottom... then moved on to underwear and finally to wearing jeans etc on top of her underwear... maybe worth a try?

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