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Potty training for children with Autism

You know your potty training when there is a toilet in the kitchen and candy in the bathroom.

adorethemparenting.com

 

Toilet training can be a tricky time for typically developing children, but for children with Autism or other disabilities, this can be even tricker.

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You know your potty training when there is a toilet in the kitchen and candy in the bathroom.

adorethemparenting.com

 

Because children with these disorders tend to have sensory issues, communication and self-regulation difficulties, they may not respond to social approval and can become dependent on prompts which may prevent independent initiation.

Toilet training for children with autism: our 5 top tips

Toilet training younger children can be a challenge: ASD or associated neuro-developmental problems may make the successful transition from nappies to underpants even harder. Luckily, with the right input and support, the majority of children living with an autism diagnosis are able to become toilet trained in time. We've put together a list of five effective strategies to follow in order to enhance the success of your toilet training efforts. In addition,

 

read on to discover details of the intensive toilet training course Autism Adelaide has an offer. Developed by experts, the three-day course provides the tailored support needed to enable children living with autism to manage the leap from nappies to underpants.

1. Timing matters

Children living with autism are no different to neuro-typical children in that the age at which they are ready to give toilet training a try varies enormously. There are both mental and physical criteria which need to be satisfied before toilet training stands a chance of success.

How do I know my child is ready?

Physically, children should be able to stay dry for at least an hour, as well as be able to pull down and pull up underwear competently. They also need to be able to stay on the toilet long enough to poo or wee (a minimum of sixty seconds). If a child is unable to do any of these things, they're probably not ready for toilet training.

There should also be some signs from the child that they are interested in toilet training. These may include: taking an interest in how parents or siblings use the toilet; making it clear they're uncomfortable in a wet nappy; or indicating that they are wet, or need to relieve themselves.

2. Break down the process

Toilet training is usually most effective when it's broken down into stages, with each stage receiving suitable praise or a reward when it's accomplished. Note that if your child finds change difficult, it may be more appropriate to break toilet training down into fewer stages (for example, rather than training to the potty first, then progressing to the toilet, skip straight to the toilet, using a booster step and training seat).

3. Visual aids and social stories can help

Visual reminders of what to do next, as well as social stories to enable children to learn how best to manage using the toilet, can work really well. There are plenty of examples online or you can customise material that's geared to the needs of your child.

4. Make the bathroom environment as reassuring as possible

For children who suffer from sensory overload, the bathroom can be overwhelming. Simple adjustments to temperature, flooring or decor may make it a more welcoming place. These can be tailored to a child's individual preferences and triggers - some children may prefer a booster step with a softer (washable) cover for them to rest their feet on, for example.

5. Accept that toilet training may not be a linear process

There are all sorts of reasons why children may begin the toilet training process, then regress. Starting toilet training too soon, illness, anxiety around the next stage or additional stress in another sphere of life can all be enough to temporarily derail toilet training. Taking a break and then trying again in a few weeks can often work in these circumstances.

Toilet training for children with autism can frequently be achieved successfully, provided the child has the necessary physical ability to use the toilet.

IF YOU WANT TO GIVE YOUR CHILD'S TOILET TRAINING A BOOST, AUTISM ADELAIDE'S INTENSIVE, PROFESSIONALLY DESIGNED AND ADMINISTERED THREE-DAY COURSE COULD BE THE PERFECT SOLUTION. GET IN TOUCH TO FIND OUR MORE.

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Autism Adelaide would like to acknowledge the following organisations for their contributions and resources to the Autism community.

We have found the delivery and content on their website to be informative and easy to read and are an excellent resource for unbiased and current opinions.

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Up to 65% of children with autism do not develop the skills to communicate effectively

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CONTENT UPDATED: OCTOBER 2020