It can be hard work to potty train a normal, healthy child. It can be much more difficult to do when that child is Autistic. They may not understand what we want them to do. Following are some suggestion that will be helpful when potty training a child with Autism.
1. Don’t try to potty train the child before her or she is ready to be trained. The books may say that a child should be potty trained at two, but your Autistic child may not have the ability for you to do so. Are you sure that they know when their diaper is wet or dirty? Does their diaper stay dry all night?
2. Can your Autistic child undress and redress themselves? If they don’t have the skills for this, potty training may be much harder. This can also lead to your spending a lot of time cleaning up and scrubbing carpets. It would be better to wait until your child has the skills to easily undress and redress them selves before you try to potty train them.
3. A reward system can be helpful when potty training. You can give them some type of reward if they use the potty, or try to use it. The reward can be a toy or a treat. Everyone who works with the child should know that the rewards are to be given for their potty efforts.
4. The child should not be punished for accidents. Use the times when your child has an accident to remind them about what the potty is for. Again, you should be sure that anyone who works with the child also knows not to punish accidents. Mixed messages will make it more difficult to accomplish your goal.
5. Be sure you know what your childs schedule is. You can easily learn this. Pay attentio to when your child’s diaper is dirty during the day. Sit the child on the potty at these times. Try keeping a journal to see if you can discover a pattern
in when potty time occurs. By doing this, you will know when to focus most on potty training.
6. Don’t give up too easily. Be sure not to give up if your child does not catch on quickly. It often takes several weeks to learn a new skill. It will just be more confusing to the child if you keep switching between using diapers and trying to get them to use the potty. As in many other things, consistency is a key factor for potty training. Of course, this is true for all children not just those who are Autistic.
Remember children with Autism often take longer to learn a new skill. Do not let the potty training cause you to stress out. When your child is ready It will happen much more easily. If you become stressed the child will know it, and that will make it much harder for them to relax when trying to use the potty. It’s possible that it could make them want to avoid potty training all together. Relax, the time will come when your Autistic child will not be in diapers.