Aspie parent - Toilet training my child

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bnky
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23 Jan 2012, 5:19 am

I'm trying to toilet train our son. He'll be 3 in a few months and is, as far as we know, neurotypical.
As his mother works full-time, I am has "primary carer"... so it falls to me to do the toilet training. 
Up till now he's been in nappies, but will wee on the toilet if I put him on it at the time that his bladder is full. Problem is he also merrily wees in the nappy.
To get him out of nappies I've been told to put him in underpants and take him to the loo when he needs it.

"How do I know when he needs it?" I ask. I've been told i'll be able to tell just by looking at his face. Well,I'm an Aspie... so how's THAT going to work??

It was also suggested that I ask him regularly if he wants to go to the toilet. What is "regularly"? I don't want him to become obsessed with it :-S
so, I've now put our kitchen timer to ring every 30 minutes. If this works... will Pavlov's Dog need to sit on the loo every time i boil an egg? :oops:
How have other Aspie parents dealt with this?



Georgia
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23 Jan 2012, 8:03 am

I've taken the easy way out. When the kids were each almost 4, and they could tell us if they were about to go, or already did then we'd start potty training. My husband was much more willing to ask every 1/2 hour or hour, but I really did not/do not want to think about the kids' toileting habits all of the time.

Our fourth child is developmentally delayed, and already 4 + a few months. He has no interest in trying the potty, and doesn't like going into the bathroom alone. I've been researching diapers for older children just in case it takes a lot longer.

I guess it depends on how urgently you want to work on it. Diapers are expensive!


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bnky
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23 Jan 2012, 9:02 am

Thanks Georgia
That does sound like a much better idea. I think my wife decided based on another child (the same age) that our son plays with. He asked mummy if he could wear underpants like his friend... And she seems to've taken this as an indication that our son's ready.
Asking every half hour is just messing with my head ... AND he's also been wetting his trousers between visits to the loo :-S
i'm starting to seriously suspect one or both of us isn't ready :-$



CockneyRebel
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23 Jan 2012, 10:49 am

There's a push for parents to have kids who fit the perfect mold. Potty training seems to be the #1 thing that a lot of parents take a little too seriously and they scold for accidents. I see it all the time, when I'm out in public and it triggers flashbacks. I feel that it's best to wait until your child is ready.


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alwayswrong
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23 Jan 2012, 11:03 am

Watch for peeing behaviors.

Some kids will do the pee pee dance right before they have to go. This can be crossing their legs, crotch grabbing/rubbing, et Some kid will run and hide or stand still before they go. Some kids will also have a change in facial expression. This might seem weird but have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror while you peed or pooped? Watching the changes in body was more effective than facial expression. If my kids were running, they would stop running and get "still" or more subdue movements. It is damn near impossible to pee or poop while moving. Their movement will change before facial expression (late indicator).

Every thirty minutes is to much. However, a day with out diaper and careful watching might show you a pattern to when he pees or poops.

For pooping, having him sit on the toilet after meals for 5-10 mins will help him have success. His body is naturally moving. So if you have a once a day pooper this might be a good strategy for that.

Talk up potty learning. Have you ever told him what you are doing? and when he is big and ready he will put his pee and poop in potty just like mommy, daddy, and big people? When you change his diaper let him know he will learn to put his pee and poop in the potty like mommy and daddy.



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23 Jan 2012, 11:22 am

If your child is ready to be toilet trained, it shouldn't be too bad. We tried a couple of times after my daughter turned 2. After a couple of days, we realised she just wasn't ready and gave up - she didn't know she was needing and was unable to control her bladder, so piddling constantly. Then we tried a few months later, when she was about 2 1/2 (girls tend to be younger than boys, but don't worry, it's not a race). You just decide, right, no more nappies, proper underpants now. There will be mistakes, but keep going. About 6 months later, we decided to stop using nappies at night-time (she had been wearing pull-ups for 6 months). That worked instantly and she has only had one accident (due to a nightmare). Again, boys tend to be slower with this (my friend's son was 5 and that's quite normal).

My daughter does a toilet dance, her bum sticks out, that's all. You will get to recognise your child's own way of reacting to a full bladder and you might be lucky enough to have a child who always tells you, without having to be asked. Even now, my daughter (6yrs) often has to be persuaded to go to the toilet, if she's engrossed in something. I still have to remind her to use the toilet before we go out too and she's often adamant that she doesn't need. But, she is extremely strong willed and probably has Aspergers (we're awaiting full assessment).

Just chill. There will be accidents, just bear that in mind. Give loads of praise and try to ignore the accidents.

Good luck.


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23 Jan 2012, 11:31 am

Each child is different. I worked in a preschool for several years while in college and potty training in the 2 and 3 y/o classes was a primary issue.

Sensory: some children are more sensitive to diapers, wetness, feeling like they need to go BM and bladder. This makes them easier to train. Once they realize the potty relieves their discomfort of all the above, they seem to potty train almost overnight. Other children have poor sensory functions and have no clue they need to go until they are going. This may be different for BM and urinating as often kids realize the BM much easier than the urinating. Some kids don't like the feel of the potty or have a fear of the potty, so they do better on small potty chairs or a small seat on an adult potty. Other children do better sitting backwards on the potty giving them something to hang on to. For most children I worked with, pull-ups set them back. They almost all did better in those thick potty training underwear. Messier, but more effective. Also many children take longer to be dry at nap time and at night time, so they may need a diaper/pull-up during these times.

Ready: if they are dry for long periods of time, if they are interested in the potty, if they can relate the wet feel to urinating. If they go someplace to have a BM.

There are many methods. One mentioned is the no-clothes method, great on summer days or if you have tile/linoleum floors. Give lots of drinks, keep a potty nearby, and rush them to it whenever they start to go. Lots of praise. There is the timer method, sit on potty after meals, if they wake up dry, and an hour after they drink. Hope for luck and lots of praise when they go. I am sure others can mention more.

What I did: Daughter - she was a social potty training girl. She liked to go in the bathroom and use her little potty when mommy used the big potty. At day-care, I sent her in panties and she loved going potty with all the other girls. It seemed to transition to home fairly easily. She was not interested in potty training until she was in a class where most of the other children used the potty. Son- absolutely no interest in potty training, hated sitting on the toilet. Detested the small potty chair and the small potty seat, finally tried sitting backwards, he was okay with that. After several failed attempts, decided to do the candy thing. Kept M&M's in the bathroom. He got one for sitting on the potty, one for urinating, one for BM, et cetera. Hated to do that, but it worked. At first he would run to the potty and sit on it with no clue what to do just to get the candy. Finally he understood the urinating part and would run to the potty to pee. Then I started only giving him the candy for urinating, not just sitting. The BM took a long time as he did not seem to feel it at all until it started.

There are lots of books on pottying, both for parents and children.

What not to do: don't stress, don't yell, don't punish, don't scold. If you are getting stressed, take off a couple of months and try again.

This is all I can think of now. Hope some of it was helpful.

~Erica



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23 Jan 2012, 12:52 pm

I agree with Eureka-C: you're an Aspie, there are loads and loads of books on this subject, as it's one that all parents stress out about. Head to your local library and do some research! You'll be amazed at the amount of resources on this subject. While you're there, get gender-specific potty books out for your child - the famous one is "Once upon a potty," but there are dozens of them. There are also videos - my son liked Bear in the Big Blue House Potty Time with Bear. It may also help for you to think about it differently: it is your child who needs to figure this out, not you. You are merely making sure your expectations are clear and that things are as easy as possible for your son, but you don't need to do it for him.

Can he take underwear up and down by himself? Is he doing pretty well with BMs? If so, you may want to switch to "training pants" for a while - they're cotton underwear that's a good bit thicker and more absorbent than regular, some of them even have waterproof covers. http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-all--Water ... 65&sr=1-15 (Cleanup of a BM in these is not recommended, though, so try the disposable version if you're still working on that.) The idea is to provide sensory feedback of wetness (which diapers don't really offer.) It relies on the child being uncomfortable when wet, so he'll figure this stuff out more or less on his own. They do NOT provide a lot of protection for clothes, but will help prevent puddles on the floor, or at least reduce them.

The half-hour question is one way to help, but I don't think it's necessarily the most effective way - IMO, that method is more about reducing the amount of laundry for you than teaching your kid to recognize when he's about to go. If you aren't able to observe "signs," talk to your child about how he might feel: full, jumpy, pressure on his lower belly, etc. Ask him to tell YOU when he feels that way.

If your child can put on and take off pull-up disposable diapers, you can also offer the option of him putting one on himself to have a bowel movement as an interim step. As you clean him up, you can then talk about how when he's ready, he won't need the pull-ups anymore and can go in the potty.

Good luck! Most kids do figure this stuff out in their own time.



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23 Jan 2012, 1:48 pm

I'm an aspie currently (successfully for pee at least) potty training my 3 1/2 year old autie. He has no visual cues, isn't bothered by soiled cloth diapers, was scared of the toilet until recently and doesn't tell me when he needs to go - but when I found he was at least willing to sit on the kiddy potty that's when I decided he was ready. Videos are a good idea, we have the "Bear in the Big Blue House" one someone mentioned and "Elmo's Potty Time". For about the first 10 days I did the no diaper no pants thing that was already mentioned always having the kiddy potty near - it doesn't sound like you need to go to those lengths though. You could tape a potty chart somewhere near the bathroom and get a bunch of different fun stickers and let him put one on the chart for a reward every time he goes in the potty. Instead of filling him up and trying to make him pee just remember to ask him if he wants to go to the potty first thing in the morning after he wakes up, shortly after meals or after he has a big drink, before leaving the house, before getting into the bathtub and before bed. There's a bit of a learning curve switching to cloth but getting rid of disposables may help too, you can put flushable liners in cloth diapers and trainers that can help make cleaning up poopy accidents easier.



bnky
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01 Feb 2012, 4:29 pm

Thankyou all you lovely people for the helpful, insightful replies.
Our son has now told me: "i want a nappy. I'm not ready for bigboy pants." I've told him that that's fine and that when he's a little bigger he can try again. That seems to've taken all the pressure off and now, while again wearing nappies, he's taken to telling me whenever (mostly) he needs to go wee in the toilet. Poo is still a mystery:-S
I'll certainly re-read this thread when we try again.
Thanks again :-)x



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01 Feb 2012, 8:01 pm

I'm an AS mom with 4 NT kids. Here is how I potty trained them.

I usually put underwear on them and nothing else and kept the potty in the livingroom. (We had hardwood floors, so no worries about carpet) I would sit them on the potty about every 30 minutes, but before I did that, I would give them a little juice (maybe an ounce or two) ten or fifteen minutes before. Then I'd have them sit on it for a few minutes. When they went it was a big "yay!" When they didn't it was no big deal.

When they had accidents I would immediately take the underwear off and sit them on the potty.

Of course I would explain all this to them when I did it. I told them when I gave them the juice "Drink this, so you can pee in the potty in a minute" I would also always remind them to tell me if they had to pee, and ask them if they had to pee.

Pooping in the potty was a lot easier. I'd notice the times they would usually go and try and have them on the potty for that. Made a big happy deal out of it too when they did it. They never got punished for not making it to the potty or not telling me they had to go.

Something like pullups disposable training pants are a horrible idea during the day for a child being potty trained. At least at home they are, when you go out, they are needed. Pullups feel too much like a diaper for them and when they get busy doing something they will just go. They need that feeling of going in underwear that will signal to them "Oops, wrong thing!"

It takes a while, and sometimes you try for a few weeks and nothing happens, so just give up for a few months and then try again. Some kids train earlier than others too. My youngest was 4 before she finally potty trained. She refused. She knew what to do, knew when she had to go, but just didn't want to do it and told us so.

When they are dry all day, still keep them in pullups at night. When the pullups are dry in the morning, then you can start putting on underwear at night.


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