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Advice on potty training 3yr old DS with ASD please!

(20 Posts)
lottytheladybird Mon 01-Jul-13 19:22:47

We're going to give potty training a go this summer with our 3yr old DS. He has a speech delay and isn't showing the 'normal' signs of being ready to be potty trained, but we thought we'd give it a go anyway and see what happens. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me? How did you potty train your DC? How was the experience? How long did it take? Thank you!

salondon Wed 03-Jul-13 11:48:04

We are in the thick of it at the moment. If your son isnt showing the physical signs of readiness then I cant say how to go about it. But if he is dry for 45min-1hr, goes to a specific spot for poo/wee, makes a funny(LOL) face before he has to go, then you can try.

For us desensitizing our child was important. She used to scream (still does sometimes) when taken to the toilet. Helpful people on this forum and our ABA consultant advised us not to to faff about the potty and go on the toilet directly. We did a task analysis sheet and did one step at a time. She used to get a cheerio for doing whatever our target step was (e.g. going inside the bathroom and coming out, would win her a cheerio if that is what we were working on. Later than became sitting on the toilet for 2 seconds etc. etc)

As of now she doesnt tell us. We take her to the toilet (and sign 'toilet') on a schedule.

Keep him nappy free if possible.


Ineedmorepatience Wed 03-Jul-13 14:23:42

Agree with salondon have just toilet trained a LO at work who was showing no indication of being ready. You need to find a strong motivator ( food usually).

Very small steps and loads of praise and dont rely on them telling you for ages just build sitting on the toilet into the routine.

Good luck smile

MummytoMog Wed 03-Jul-13 17:27:01

We really struggled with speech delayed DD, gave up a couple of times (although one of those was definitely my fault for using pull ups during the day) and finally succeeded when she was about 3.5. Basically we just went cold turkey - she only got a nappy on in the evening (in which she generally chose to poo, although the corner of the living room also received a deposit or two) and for the first week she just had accident after accident. What worked for us was (rather bizarrely) wrapping a blanket around her while she was on the potty. She wouldn't go unless there was a blanket wrapped round her. This phase lasted about two weeks, and we would put her on the potty every hour. Suddenly she didn't need the blanket and after about another week, she started taking herself to the potty without being prompted. We found once we stopped prompting her, she had no accidents at all. So took us about five weeks from full time nappies to going all by herself with no help and no accidents at all. She would however go for hours without wetting her nappy, and was quite clearly capable of holding her bladder, I think she just had problems letting down. DS in contrast seems to be able to force himself to wee which seems odd. maybe it's a boy thing. I don't understand how their bladders work.

tacal Wed 03-Jul-13 23:21:54

Good luck, I hope it goes well. It took me 7 months with my ds, from age 3 to 3.7. It was awful because he did not want to do anything in a toilet or a potty. He would happily sit on both but would not do anything in them. He would sit on the toilet for ages then as soon as he got off it he would pee on the floor. I eventually got him to pee in a 'happy pee' thing I bought from Amazon and from that moment on things progressed. For a long time pees went in the happy pee thing and he did poos in a potty then he moved onto using a toilet when he was ready. I did not know about ASD and sensory issues at the time, if I had done maybe I would have approached things differently. What mummytomog says about wrapping a blanket around her dd makes alot of sense to me. That may have helped my ds feel more secure.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 04-Jul-13 07:57:02

give it a whirl and don't stress if he does not get it for ages. reward effort.

sammythemummy Thu 04-Jul-13 09:34:06

I havent read everyone's responses so forgive me if Im repeating anything. We recently (April) toilet trained my very speech delayed dd who had just turned 3. I was seriously dreading it due to her poor language but gave it a go ayway. We went cold turkey straight away, I found this the best way for us. Day one was horrible, she weed herself in the morning and afternoon. We kept putting her on the toilet every 15 minutes and tried to keep her on the toilet for as long as possible. We used books, singing but the most effective way was using our tablet and letting her watch stuff on Youtube.

My dd loved this sing along potty training video on youtube (forgot the name) which reassured her that it was a normal thing and not a punishment from mummy!

I don't think this will be everyone's cup of tea, but I physically demonstrated her by peeing in the toilet myself and praising myself loads.

By the end of day 1 she weed a couple of times in the toilet, gave her chocolate buttons (shes a chocoholic) hugged her loads, let her see the urine and said "wee wee, say bye bye to wee wee" she repeated the name and learnt that it was a wee that she needed to do in the loo.I stuck a nappy on her at bed time. Day two, same thing but no accidents, just me needing to have a lot of patience to put her on the toilet every 20-30 mins. By day 3 she totally got it! She would run to the toilet and scream "mummmmmmyyyyy" hysterically lol.
A couple of weeks later she started being dry in the night as well, all on her own she would wake up crying in the night and I would take her to the toilet where she would wee and go back to sleep.

Pooing is still a struggle for us, shes started holding it, but i sit her on the toilet using the tablet and wait till she does it. Hopefully she will get over whatever fear she has.

All the best lotta

lottytheladybird Sun 07-Jul-13 20:20:04

Thank so much for telling me about your experiences. Today was day 1 of potty training and it hasn't gone well at all. In the run up to today, I let my ds sit on the potty and training seat a few times. He seemed quite intrigued by it at the time, but he's been really unhappy about sitting on the potty/training seat today.

I put him in pants and spent much of our time in the garden. He wouldn't wee in the potty or loo. I then put him in pull ups for his nap, when he then weed and pooed straightaway. I put him straight back into pants after his nap, but again, he wouldn't wee or poo the loo or the potty. He then had an accident.

Any tips on how to get my ds to actually eliminate in the potty/loo would be gratefully received! I've tried pouring water over his willy, as recommended by 'The Potty Journey' book on potty training for special needs children, but it hasn't worked.

I'm exhausted! It's going to be one loooooong struggle, isn't it?

tacal Sun 07-Jul-13 20:39:41

My only advice is to stay positive. Hopefully your ds will try using the potty/loo soon. What about a dvd? My ds liked the elmo potty training dvd and he did his first pee in the potty after watching it. Unfortunately it was only one pee in the potty then a few more months of accidents and holding it in, but we got there eventually.

salondon Mon 08-Jul-13 09:33:48

lottytheladybird - This happened with us also. Its quite disheartening and physically exhausting.

I was told to just keep trying. Kept taking her to the toilet and hoped that we will catch a wee or poo. She still naps and sleeps in nappies and also when out and about.

We did a 2 week desensitizing program. Where she used to get a reward for simply sitting on the toilet. And when one day we caught a wee on it, the circus came out. She was rewarded massively.

Just keep doing it. I am not even ashamed to say that I have very little to do with whatever training she got(She is fully prompt dependent as of now. doesnt tell and if left alone, wees or poos in her knickers). All credit goes to my mum, nanny and tutorsblush

lottytheladybird Wed 10-Jul-13 09:26:47

My ds seems to be doing what yours was doing - peeing within minutes of getting off the loo. Very frustrating! How long did your ds do this for being he peed in the loo?

tacal Wed 10-Jul-13 22:35:34

lotty - it went on for months. My ds was determind he was not peeing in a toilet or a potty.

Eventually he peed in the Happy-Pee I bought from Amazon. He used the Happy-Pee for about 6 months before moving onto the toilet for pees. I think the reason he used the Happy-Pee is because it was easy for him to use standing up. I dont think he wanted to pee sitting down.

Maybe if you do not have any success with your DS sitting down you could try him standing up?

Good luck, I hope it goes well for you and your DS.

chuckeyegg Thu 11-Jul-13 09:12:58

We managed when DS was 4 almost 5 in the summer. He was dry in the morning in his nappy so I was whipping it off quickly and he would stand and wee in the toilet.

I also got him a seat with sides for the toilet so he felt really safe. We had a few false starts then I took his nappy off and took him with me to the dustbin and said that's the last one. It worked for us but I recommend a waterproof sheet available from fledglings.

Here is the toilet seat.

Be as relaxed as you can if it doesn't work leave for a few weeks and try again.

chuckeyegg Thu 11-Jul-13 09:14:40

Does he see you and his dad using the loo. I also recommend this. smile

lottytheladybird Thu 11-Jul-13 19:23:18

Did you stop at all in all those months? It's now day 5 for us and still nothing but accidents. We think we might give it one more day, then stop and try again later down the line. I got dh to show ds him peeing whilst standing, but ds didn't want to stand in front of the loo, he still wanted to sit. It was worth a shot though.

How long did it take you to potty train your ds? Ds is more than happy to sit on the loo most of the time, but just won't eliminate! He sees both myself and dh using the loo all the time. We don't get any privacy!

marchduck Thu 11-Jul-13 22:25:33

lotty, from when my DD was aged about two, I had been trying at intervals to get her used to sitting on the potty, with stories, rewards etc. My poor older DS was like a performing monkey, constantly demonstrating the potty and toilet. It didn't work for her though; she was perfectly happy to sit on the potty at regular intervals, but she wouldn't do anything. I would try it for a couple of hours at a time, but would then have to stop to do something else. As soon as I put a nappy on her, she would eliminate.
It was my mum that got her trained, just after her third birthday, when she had very limited language. I work p/t and my DM looks after her on some of the days. I dropped her off as usual, and the first thing I knew of it was when we picked her up and my mum said she had used the potty twice - unbelievable! Basically, my DM had taken off her nappy and hovered by her side all the time. DD eventually started to pee. My DM, with hawk-like reflexes, got her onto the potty and said " pee coming". Cue massive praise for DD with the wee bit of pee that had ht the potty. Same routine in the afternoon, and it happened again.
By the second day, DD was able to say "pee" as soon as she started, again with my DM was plonking her on the potty. I kept it going the rest of the week, and by the end of the week, she was able to say "pee coming" and take herself over to the potty.
I wish I could take the credit grin, but it was definitely my DM that got it sorted. All DC are different of course, and what works for one won't work for another. DD could have watched DS peeing in the potty until the cows came home; but unfortunately, it meant nothing to her at all. Likewise with me sitting her on the potty at regular intervals; she was quite happy to do it, but she had made no connection between that, and her actually using the potty. Definitely the key for DD was the concrete experience of peeing in the potty herself. It was very labour intensive for a week; basically my DM and I had to be right beside her all the time - but it did work, for her.
I kept a pull-up on her when we went out for about a month after, but she was always dry. She is 4.5 now and has had about two accidents since.
Hang on in there - you will find the way that works with your DS. All the best

chuckeyegg Fri 12-Jul-13 08:32:37

It took over a year from my initial try. I didn't push it with DS if it wasn't working. If DS got a bit stressed and then I would just put the nappy back and leave it for a few weeks. Summer holidays are great when they can be at home and relax.

We also had a visual instruction of all the steps. Both in pictures and written this really helped. I lamented a couple and we had them in both our toilets and they had a copy at school. I got these from the autism advisory service.

Best of luck.

lottytheladybird Fri 12-Jul-13 08:50:26

marchduck, thank you for sharing your experience. I think you're right, it won't click with ds until he actually does a pee in the potty. Until now, he's mostly sat on the potty seat on the loo as opposed to the potty, as he was not keen on the potty. However, we're going to try and catch his pee in the potty today!

tacal Fri 12-Jul-13 09:45:31

lotty - I tried on and off for one or two weeks at a time, then I would give up for a while. It was stressful for ds and a lot of work for me cleaning up after the accidents. Good luck catching a pee in the potty today!

salondon Fri 12-Jul-13 10:53:43

Ditto marchduck Basically, my DM had taken off her nappy and hovered by her side all the time. DD eventually started to pee. My DM, with hawk-like reflexes, got her onto the potty and said " pee coming". Cue massive praise for DD with the wee bit of pee that had ht the potty. Same routine in the afternoon, and it happened again.

Mine is still fully prompt dependent and I am getting tired of playing hawk but I am certain we will get there

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