Potty training can be difficult for any child but when they have an Autism Spectrum Disorder it can be even more challenging. My son was nearly five before we were completely pull up free during the day and it took a lot of planning and time to get him to that point. Here are some tips when you are thinking about getting started with your child:
Be Realistic. Try to block out what other parents tell you about how long it will take or when they say something like, “Just put on some underwear. That’s what I did.” Focus on your child and what their needs are. They should be physically and emotionally ready before you start training them and just because my son was four doesn’t mean everyone’s will be. Some might be three, others seven and that’s okay.
Reach Out. Make sure that your child’s school or daycare knows what you are starting and that everyone is on the same page. Everyone should be acting as a team in this and trying to keep things as consistent as possible.
Creating a Potty Routine. Whether a potty schedule with pictures is something that might help or a timer to “remind” them to try to use the restroom every so often, try a few methods in the beginning until something sticks. Once it does keep it consistent and share with the rest of your team (school, daycare, etc.)
Make it Fun. For my son we tossed a few Fruit Loops in the toilet to make aiming easier and when we first started we played a “potty song” when it was time go. Be sure to offer praise and small rewards for a job well done.
Keep it Low-Pressure. If your child doesn’t seem to be catching on or is excessively resistant, take a break for a while and then try again. Even when they are diaper free, there are bound to be accidents from time to time. Don’t sweat it too much and if it does become a reoccurring accident try using the schedule or timer again for a while.