Toilet Training - Autistic child

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Ravenp
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01 Oct 2012, 5:15 am

Hi,

I have a 6 years non-verbal autisticchild.

I've been trying without any success to get him to use the toilet for number 2.

Would apprecaite any help \ ideas. I'm desperate. My husband and I are splitting up and I need to get my child to function a bit better so that we can manage on our own.

Never posted here before so I hope this is enough information.

Thanks.
Raven



ASDMommyASDKid
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01 Oct 2012, 6:09 am

What have you already tried?

Have you noticed any specific obstacles? (For example our issues had to do with our son not wanting to interrupt what he was doing to go, and also having sensory issues with the output. ) We still have issues to where he won't #2 in a different potty, also.

We used incentives (sticker chart and short term plus longer term awards) and social stories that I wrote for our specific issues.

Not to upset you, but if you are making disrupting changes, you may also see backsliding. Kids often (esp. spectrum kids, I think) can backslide on potty training when things are disrupted.



Last edited by ASDMommyASDKid on 02 Oct 2012, 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Verinda
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01 Oct 2012, 5:25 pm

It took me a whole year to potty train my son, he has aspergers. I ended up using bribery, a handful of jelly babies if he sat on the loo and stayed there till he'd finished.

I'm sure bribery isn't quite the right way to go about it but when you're desperate you'll try anything, and it did work for us.



nostromo
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02 Oct 2012, 4:27 am

Ravenp wrote:
Hi,

I have a 6 years non-verbal autisticchild.

I've been trying without any success to get him to use the toilet for number 2.

Yep thats exactly our situation. We tried for ten days in a row without a break, in the toilet pretty much most of the day, and it didn't work.
The truth I think my son is not ready yet, and didn't understand what we wanted from him. We had everything setup, and experts helping and guiding us, but no.
We'll try again shortly in Summer (its spring here).
Sorry, thats not very encouraging, but I know we'll get there, maybe just not as soon as we would want.



MomofThree1975
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02 Oct 2012, 11:08 am

My son is 3 and has communication delays. We tried a lot of thing and it didn't work. His in home teacher at the time suggested that we put him in a brief. She would then say, let's use the bath room and immediately take him to the bathroom. We also gave him lots of water and fruits to increase his urge to do #1 and #2. Whenever he did it successfully, we have him a lot of visual praise and smiles, etc. Almost immediately he took to it. I think something just "clicked". He went from wetting himself if he was upset to being potty trained almost immediately. I don't think he understood what we we telling him until we showed him.

I hope you find the thing that "clicks" with your son.



Ravenp
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02 Oct 2012, 11:29 am

Thank you for your responses.
I've tried to bribe him, I've tried the sticker tenchnique which was highly recommended to us
and hanging around the toilet all day long... nothing seems to work.

I have no idea how to handle this.



Eureka-C
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02 Oct 2012, 12:09 pm

Ravenp wrote:
Thank you for your responses.
I've tried to bribe him, I've tried the sticker tenchnique which was highly recommended to us
and hanging around the toilet all day long... nothing seems to work.

I have no idea how to handle this.


does he display any interest in the potty/bathroom/water/flushing the toilet?

Have you tried underwear? pullups? how does he react?

When you say "bribe" what do you mean?

Does he like stickers? Does the sticker chart work for other behaviors?

Does he know when he needs to go, show any signs that he knows it is going to happen?

Does he go at any specific times of the day?

Have you had any partial successes?

Does he have any fears/sensitivities associated with the bathroom or bathroom sounds?

Is he cooperative sitting on the toilet? How long?

Can you give us a longer post to give a picture of what you have done, what works, and what doesn't?

There are so many potty training questions on this site and so many different reasons why it is difficult for different children on the spectrum. It is like a mystery where you have to sort out the clues.

Also, you might try searching past posts for potty or potty training.

Have you sought professional help? like OT or anything? Has the school tried?



BobinPgh
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03 Oct 2012, 2:54 am

From what I hear from people working in day care, Pampers and Pull Ups are not such a great idea is you are trying to potty train your kids. Turns out that they absorb so well the kids don't know they are wet/soiled and they do not want to give them up. One girl (don't think she was on the spectrum) had an outburst when she had to wear "big girl pants" and told my neighbor that "You're Mean!" and bit and spit and had tantrum. So get your kids into cloth diapers and "big boy pants" and even if he gets mad, he will more likely get trained.

Unfortunately, this happens on the other end of life too. My uncle Howard was 80 years old and started wearing Attends. My mother often took care of him and when she tried to dress Howard, he said "Oh, I just want to wear Attends" . "YOU CAN"T JUST GO AROUND IN A DIAPER!!" Turns out that seniors often become incontinent because they or the staff want them to wear Attends and don't take them to the bathroom. Because they don't feel wet in them.



Ravenp
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03 Oct 2012, 4:40 am

does he display any interest in the potty/bathroom/water/flushing the toilet?
== He loves flushing the toilet and playing with water and hardly has any misses with number 1. He will go on his own to the bathroom when he feels he needs to. Regarding number 2 when he feels he needs it he will either go in his underwear or take everything off fast and go. He refuses to sit on the toilet and on a potty.

Have you tried underwear? pullups? how does he react?

When you say "bribe" what do you mean?
===By bribe I meant chocolate... works with lots of other stuff to a certain degree but not with that.

Does he like stickers? Does the sticker chart work for other behaviors?
=== Stickers dont interest him at all. I dont think he understands the concept.

Does he know when he needs to go, show any signs that he knows it is going to happen?
=== Yes, he knows when he needs to go and so do I but there's no way to get him into the bathroom for it.

Does he go at any specific times of the day?
===Usually in the late afternoon but no specific time.

Have you had any partial successes?
=== Only with number one :)

Does he have any fears/sensitivities associated with the bathroom or bathroom sounds?
=== Except for the fact that he wont sit on the toilet seat, nothing really.

Is he cooperative sitting on the toilet? How long?
=== Nope. He wont sit for a sec.

Can you give us a longer post to give a picture of what you have done, what works, and what doesn't?
=== The only problem is with number 2. At night he sleeps without a diaper and doesnt wet the bed. 90% of the time he gets to the toilet on time for number 1.
I've bought quiet a few different training potties and have tried the regular toilet and he just does not understand the concept of sitting on the toilet for number 2 or cannot.
However once number 2 is done he will rush to me to clean him and to flush it down the toilet...

There are so many potty training questions on this site and so many different reasons why it is difficult for different children on the spectrum. It is like a mystery where you have to sort out the clues.

Also, you might try searching past posts for potty or potty training.
=== Will do so for sure :)

Have you sought professional help? like OT or anything? Has the school tried?
The school cant help as he only needs number 2 in the late afternoon when he's at home. So its really up to me.

Help!! ! :(



ASDMommyASDKid
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03 Oct 2012, 11:26 am

So he has only peed standing up then? He was not successfully using the potty to sit on at any point? That may seem like a stupid point of clarification, but we had the opposite problem with #1 where DS didn't want to switch to standing. As far as number 2 goes, DS will only sit on his tiny potty, and won't switch to the regular one. So I know what you are dealing with, with the rigidity of trying something new.

If your child has never sat on a potty that explains a lot of the difficulty I would think because he doesn't understand why he needs to sit. I would work up a social story with pictures. I am pretty sure they make clip art/PECS stuff showing the kid sitting on the potty. That is what you want; so he can see what is expected but in picture form.

The other thing is I wonder is if they make potties that double as a regular chair. You know, so that the top part that you lift is solid, so he can get used to it as a regular chair first. I do not know if they even make that, but if they did, it might help. I did a quick search and only found links to pricy stuff on ebay, but maybe someone else will know of cheaper possibilities.



Ravenp
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03 Oct 2012, 11:38 am

Hi,

From the very beginning he only agreed to pee in the toilet standing up. I've tried story telling with pecs but without any results. He knows number 2 goes in the toilet - after he finishes going he will take me to the toilet to flush it away...

I've looked for special potties too but unfortunately to-date havent found anything useful.



Eureka-C
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03 Oct 2012, 1:53 pm

Have you tried breaking it down into smaller steps?

For Example:
Goal: To sit on potty
step 1 - enter bathroom
step 2 - approach toilet
step 3 - take down pants
step 4 - face away from toilet
step 5 - touch toilet to back of legs
step 6 - sit on toilet (brief)
step 6 - sit on toilet (count of 5)
etc.

The idea is that he cannot learn to use the potty until he learns to sit on the potty, so it is no use really trying to jump all the way to the end.

Some kids do better learning only one step at a time and getting a reward - to flush the toilet/play in water/a fav activity each time they are successful with the step until it becomes easy, then and only then add the next step.

Other kids will allow themselves to be walked through/guided through all the steps, but will not do it on their own. For them you can walk them through all the steps until you think they learn it, then just leave off the last step and reward them for completing the last step on their own. As they get that down, leave off the next to last step and so on.

It also helps to have all the steps with pictures in the bathroom so you can point/touch each one and say it as you do it.



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03 Oct 2012, 1:59 pm

My kid (age 4) will take us to the bathroom only AFTER he's done it, sometimes he will say "change diaper" or something like that.

Gonna start the hard-core potty training soon and see what happens.



BobinPgh
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03 Oct 2012, 7:08 pm

Wreck-Gar wrote:
My kid (age 4) will take us to the bathroom only AFTER he's done it, sometimes he will say "change diaper" or something like that.

Gonna start the hard-core potty training soon and see what happens.


Please do, the environment will thank you, especially if you are using Pampers!



VtMomBear
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05 Oct 2012, 3:24 pm

nostromo wrote:
Ravenp wrote:
Hi,
I have a 6 years non-verbal autisticchild.
I've been trying without any success to get him to use the toilet for number 2.

Yep thats exactly our situation. We tried for ten days in a row without a break, in the toilet pretty much most of the day, and it didn't work.
The truth I think my son is not ready yet, and didn't understand what we wanted from him. We had everything setup, and experts helping and guiding us, but no.
We'll try again shortly in Summer (its spring here).
Sorry, thats not very encouraging, but I know we'll get there, maybe just not as soon as we would want.


This was our issue too with our Aspie/HFA DyS*, who is verbal.

We had gotten him to the point that at a little over 6 he finally recognized the feel of needing to pee.
But NOTHING would get him to pooh on the pot.

It didn't help that would hold it all day while at school, or all day when we went somewhere.
At home it was a poop-freely zone.

We could keep him on the pot with books and/or his Leapad for ages with no result - never failed that because we were doing it "on schedule" he would pooh his pull-up 5 minutes to nearly an hour later.
We talked about how our dogs poop over the ridge in the brush because that is their potty.
We emptied his pull-up into the pot and showed him that is where it needs to go.
And of course we did all the recommended scheduled potty times, making sure he was fed same amounts from day-to-day at same times to see what his natural schedule was and pop him on the pot at that time.
We went thru the whole step-process that Eureka-C shared.
Had him run around naked from waist down - yeah. Right. That did not fly with the kid who MUST WEAR CLOTHES AT ALL TIMES (except the tub).
We were even told to try a food-elimination process, starting with dairy (I never got *why* it was felt that could be helpful), that was a no-go, DyS will NOT go without his milk!

We had him wear normal underpants instead of pull-ups, that worked at school for the above reason.
Asking him to try to pooh at school did not go over well either - thank goodness they do two-deep attendants for the students that need assistance because he would pull "OW! OW! OW! OW!" every time they asked him to try.
At home normal underpants just were not an option.
I tried, but they made me vomit - really. So don't judge me for using pull-ups where DyS could clean himself after, Mom needed to help when it happened in cloth - it always leaked thru and was a HUGE mess.
I know my limits and poop messes are just not something I can physically (or mentally) handle.
And the worse they are the faster I lose tolerance - we joke that DyS is so sweet because he poohs all the evil out of him, his are truly that bad!

We tried SO many other things too that it seemed fruitless.

Then a new Dr was recommended to us in nearby Burlington, VT (PM me if you'd like her info), one who specializes in incontinence of all varieties.
This was after a couple of years of trying so hard to get an answer about where we could get help.
When I finally spoke to her the head of the nearby University's "research center" dealing with kids with LDs who need help with pottying said "Get (this) book, it takes a couple months to go through its process. It it doesn't work, go thru it again, and if it still doesn't work then call us." And then she hung up. I was lucky to get that far with her; she happened to be the one to be the one to pick up the main phone after several weeks of as many un-returned calls.
Then there was the no-dairy crack-pot the school brought in - very nice lady but no-dairy wasn't the only really odd thing she pushed, felt like she had another agenda - talked to DyS's team at school and told them I didn't think she would work for us and spelled out why.
Then - HALLELUIAH - we finally found a place that could! YES! Then after going there for the initial meeting we found out that they couldn't help us though because we weren't on state aid.

We went to this new Dr - our last resort - and at the appointment went with her into the (very home-like and cozy) exam room and talked about DyS's pottying issue.
DyS would NOT be part of the conversation, every time he was welcomed to join-in he talked about his current Lego projects.
So we talked as if he wasn't there as he was starting to get a little distressed, he looked at one of his DK books while we talked and *seemed* to ignore us.
She asked about other things he enjoyed, such as TV shows - told her how as a family we loved watching shows like Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, and How It's Made.
She then described the bowels like being a set of conveyor belts that move the food and turn it to pooh when our bodies get what they need.
And how when more things are put in the top conveyor belt it would fall down to the next one and so on until it needed to leave the factory, and that the factory doors need to be opened at the right time.

He went home after and pooped. on. the. pot. for. the. VERY. FIRST. TIME!

There were a couple of accidents in the next couple of weeks, and much laughter when he ran to the pot to only find he needed to fart - but that was it.
(And then the incident where he pooh'd in the boys' big sandbox and buried it. Not the same as peeing on a tree, kiddo.)

He just needed pooping explained in the kind of imagery that his little engineering professor mind could understand.

Maybe that's the key, find what the child's mind can focus on and combine it with the kind of learner that they are - am sure that's easier said than done in many cases.

* DyS = Dear youngest Son