Anyone Potty Train an Autistic Child?

So my 3yr old daughter has just recently got her formal diagnosis of Autism (opposite end of the spectrum to me with Aspergers) & so far potty training has gone completely out of the window. She sees her potty as a 'ride on toy' & our toilet as a 'water play basin'. As such we are still in nappies & I am becoming more & more uncertain on how to teach her to use the toilet.

So are there any other mums & dads on here that have had to teach an Autistic child to use the toilet? At what age did you do this & how did you go about it? Any help & tips would be welcomed. Thanks in advance.

7 Replies

  • Dear Springsong ( that's a beautiful name) this is a hard question to answer because all Autistic children are different. There's the possibility she may never do it. My son,who is now 30 yrs. old, didn't learn until he was six. Let me tell you that changing the diaper of a 6 year old is something only a parent can do. He is pretty self-sufficient now, only needs help shaving. Sometimes all it takes is time and patience. Good luck!

  • My daughter was nearly five and a week before starting school it suddenly clicked. It will happen you just need a lot of patience and understanding.

  • hi springsong.It is not an easy thing to do i have a son it might be slighty different with boys i dont know.With my son i refused to put a nappy on him it is a bit messy for a while and i used to find bits of poo in different rooms of the house but he got fed up with being dirty so used the toilet in the end,dont make too much fuss about it i also found an offer of a reward helps,we still use this method now for homework and stuff.I have a reward chart with stickers on the fridge so you choose things they either find difficult or just dont want to do and he gets a sticker for each thing over the week which earns him a reward of say a small toy or a trip out obviously you gear to their likes and dislikes and how big a deal it was for them to achieve.Hope this helps as it certainly has made a big difference to us even if it is for putting on their own clothes etc

  • very difficult. with my son we used picture boards. know it might sound wierd we constantly use picture boards. so for example a picture of the toilet he reasponds realy well to this although we still arent fully there. good luck!

  • A friend of mine has a daughter with a similar diagnosis to your daughter. She did not even attempt potty training until her daughter was around 4.5 years. Her daughter is now 8 years old and not dry at night. She just relaxes and says "it will happen when it happens."Another friend has a non-autistic son who was only dry at night at 15 years old! They are all different-some take longer than others! x

  • My son's 5 on Saturday and we finally got him potty trained just recently. The way we eventually sorted out the number 2 problem was to cut a hole in his nappy and sit him on the toilet. After a few times doing this (with chocolate reward), we put him on the loo without the nappy and voila - first proper poo on the loo! Now the problem is getting him to wipe, that's taking a while to sort out . . .

  • Hi hon,

    I didn't push it, just used the pull ups, at nursery school they were fantastic and encouraged him to copy the others, eventually I think he was six, he just said no, not for school. Night times got there when he wanted to have a friend stay over!

    Really think its patients and time hon.

    Take care gentle hugs love Sheena xxxxx :-) :-) :-)

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