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how to potty train son with learning difficulties

(29 Posts)
shey Tue 24-May-05 23:12:17

hello, this is my first time putting a message on and I have no idea whether it will work. I have a son aged 3.6 who has a speech and language delay and maybe asd. I am really keen to help him with potty training. Are there any good books or suggestions that anyone might know?

Merlot Wed 25-May-05 08:06:11

Hi and Welcome My little boy is 20 months with global developmental delay - we haven't got to the potty training stage, but I just wanted to say hi.

I'm sure someone will be along soon with some helpful advice, they are friendly lot on this board

beccaboo Wed 25-May-05 08:36:56

Hi Shey, welcome to mumsnet! Would your son respond to a visual timetable? I think some people have used these for potty training. There is also a guide to training for ASD children, it's a little pamphlet, but I'm sorry I can't remember where i got it. Maybe someone will be along soon who knows, or if I find it later I'll post again.

Saker Wed 25-May-05 09:35:36

Hi Shey and welcome

My ds2 is 3y9m and not potty trained yet. He has language and motor delays. I keep putting off starting. I'm not of much help but will listen with interest to any other suggestions. There was a thread touching on this recently here and also here

Dingle Wed 25-May-05 09:39:51

Hi shey and welcome! My dd is 3.5 and has DS. Although she often does a wee on the potty/toilet when I sit her on- she stillhas wet nappies inbetween and it's really telling me she needs to go- we still have a long way to go. Have a look at the other threads mentioned to get you started.

Good luck.

shey Wed 25-May-05 12:47:41

Thanks for the thread links, am reading them now.

shey Wed 25-May-05 12:48:37

Forgot to say that ds would use a visual timetable so I might build up courage and give that a go.

Davros Wed 25-May-05 17:23:22

I'm sure the NAS sells some book or other about toilet training. I suppose my only top tips are the sequence board (timetable) and a BIG toilet picture to introduce initiating. Also lots of special reinforcement used ONLY for toilet training and starting by going on a timer. Its a really tough one but well worth trying to crack as I know several children with ASD who are still not toilet trained at 10 and that's no joke! They are unusual though and most seem to be able to manage it by 4-5, even if you can't ever imagine it. There's also lots of stages that we've gone through like weeing out and about, wetting phases, playing with the water in the toilet (and other things!) so its a long process too.
Good luck and welcome!

Davros Wed 25-May-05 17:24:34

I don't mean the reinforcement on a timer, I mean using the toilet on a timer! We also used potties as the toilets were not always easily accessible, it depends on your home, but weird and wonderful potties that play tunes, look like cars etc can be reinforcing in themselves.

JakB Wed 25-May-05 18:52:51

Davros, I must talk to you about this (sorry for hijack) as I really can't believe DD will ever be at this stage. Am I being too negative?

Caroline5 Wed 25-May-05 21:41:35

I feel like you JakB! My dd2 is now 4 and I've been sitting her on the potty for months without a single result. I can't imagine her ever having a clue. I only started doing it because I was told to do so by her special school, but they've had no luck either! Is it just a matter of persevering and waiting?

JakB Wed 25-May-05 21:45:09

Yeah, I don't know! DD has NO comprehension of toilet matters and has only just begun to request food so I think we are a long way off her telling us she needs the loo! But I am prepared to be surprised.
DD's SALT told us to sit her on the pot in the morning as part of her routine to get her into it, though.

Davros Wed 25-May-05 21:46:12

Its so hard JakB as I don't think you're ever going to know if she's ready. Now I've got DD who is just over 2, its so funny that she brings you a nappy when she needs a change, tells you if she's done a poo etc, she's not aware of the toilet/potty yet but she is "showing the signs", I didn't know what they were before.
All I can say is, if you've got a home prog team NOW is the time to try. I had no idea that DS would be able to do it and quite honestly I seriously doubted it. It took repetition, consistency and hard work, mostly on their part and not mine. I just think that if you don't try you'll never know and you may be pleasantly surprised. If you do try and it doesn't work I don't think you've lost much, certainly for DS he was either going to be able to get it or not, it wasn't going to "put him off" and then we'd go back to it as I don't think we'd have been in any different a position in terms of his abilitiy/awareness, he'd just have been older. It does take time and perseverance though, then I looked back a year later and wasn't even thinking about pull ups etc. I'm not sure what your situation is with your team as things seem to be tough at the moment, but if you get nothing else out of them, try to get this. You know you can phone if you want to chat
I suppose this is the equivalent of challenging behaviour for me, I know everything to do in theory but doing it in practice..... much harder!

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 21:46:53

You are JakB. Ds1 did it at age 4. There is a book about toilet training children on the autistic spectrum (its good as well)- no longer have my copy- It basically said the same as Davros. You start by timing them- I think we popped him on the toilet every two hours. When it coincides with a wee/poo lots and lots of praise- then after they've gpot the idea introduce the idea of them requesting a trip to the toilet.

Once toilet trained during the day he was dry at night within days.

of course toilet training doesn't stop them weeing on their matresses/ your sofa/ the carpet/ the garden on purpose. Grrrrr grrr grrrr grrr.

Davros Wed 25-May-05 21:47:42

Ooh, posted at EXACTLY the same time!

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 21:49:38

JakB- ds1 only really requests for food at the moment (and garden), but when it was novel he was quite keen too request for toilet. Now he takes himself off. Forget the requesting for the moment (I tried to introduce it with toilet training and that was a maistake) and just get her to sit on there- so lots of whatever holds her interest to keep her sitting there for a reasonable length of time.

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 21:49:59

JakB Wed 25-May-05 21:50:14

Very, very interesting! My mum is mega keen (she's slightly obsessed with toilet-training IMO) so we may as well try it. What have we got to lose? Will talk to the team next week.
I always think, though, that my DD must have more severe learning difficulties than any other child
I need a slap

JakB Wed 25-May-05 21:50:58

ps Did you reward with praise? Or food too?

Davros Wed 25-May-05 21:54:16

Oi, mine's got more severe learning difficulties than yours, shall we have a fight ?
We used any good reinforcer, mostly food, but really have to reserve it for THAT program only (which I've always found hard). Be careful with a well-meaning grandmother though, the older generation can have a lot of naff ideas about toilet training etc, will she follow the diretions of the team? In which case she'd be useful. And you can't have anyone on your team who objeccts to arse wiping, I don't have time for those people anyway, esp with young kids. I have known a supervisor and other ABA tutors who won't do it, in which case they need to look for another job.

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 21:56:03

Mines bottom of the class in an SLD school nah nah na nah nah, (well mid-bottom I think- hes' the fastest runner as well I think!)

JakB- my mum was obsessed with it- and I left her to do most of it. She was fantastic at keeping ds1 sat on the toilet long enough to catch a wee- and she kept on persevering. In the end it clicked with him overnight.

JakB Wed 25-May-05 21:57:34

LOL!
My mum is v cool and follows directions TO THE LETTER (she says she is on 'the outskirts of the autistic spectrum' . So that's cool. We don't give DD crisps anymore in therapy and they are VERY MOTIVATING so could use those?
And I totally agree about the arse-wiping. There was a therapist working on another programme who wouldn't change a nappy. I think some therapists think that because they've 'trained' in psychology or whatever they're too good to do it. I agree, if you work with kids, it's par for the course...

JakB Wed 25-May-05 21:58:36

So synchronised this evening!
Well I'm hoping DD is currently top of the autistic league so she gets a bloody place in this school.
Will talk to my mum- reckon that combined with crisps it could be a winning combo

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 21:59:41

We rewarded with praise and chocolate buttons.

To get ds2 trained (he was a lazy git and would fetch me anything to change his nappy but when I suggested sitting on the toilet would say "no thank you mummy I like my nappies") I used pyramid cat tokens. Didn't bother with the "I am working for" PECS card, but ds2 liked getting a velcro pussy cat. (ds1 couldn't give a stuff about things like that and we haven't introduced a token system yet).

Davros Wed 25-May-05 22:05:36

Token systems work very well with DS but he must know what's at the end of it and be reminded, e.g. equivalent of little JakB's crisps. I would definitely use crisps, the most r+++ thing you can think of!

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