Question from a parent: Potty Training

Recent Activity Forums Kids Question from a parent: Potty Training

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    • #1800
      A.L.L. Official avatarA.L.L. Official
      Points: 133

      We received this question from a parent. Please share your tips below!
      If you have questions you’d like answered feel free to start a new thread.

      I need tips for potty training my 5yo non verbal son.

    • #1802
      lesliestebbins avatarlesliestebbins
      Points: 28

      Hi– I would advise a couple of things — first – do you have a way to effectively communicate with your son? Like using pictures or hand signals or some way to get across things to your son? And, does your son realize when he has become wet – and can he tune in to his body enough to be aware of this? If yes (and even if not quite) it is probably worth trying potty training. Number one thing is use REWARDS – and they need to be rewarding to your child. We used M&Ms with our daughter – we would pull out a bowlful after even some minimal success with the toilet and she got to choose. Also – switch to underwear – but make it fun underwear that your son might like to wear — but it also will make him uncomfortable if we wets himself. Also – figure out how your son can start communicating when he needs the toilet – maybe with a picture of a toilet. Ideally – if you are using Applied Behavior Analysis with your son — that is a good way to go – it is not as hard as it sounds — but it will help you figure out timing, track data on when he succeeds and fails, and help figure out next steps. Let me know if you have specific questions? I’d be happy to help.

    • #1804
      HopefulMom7 avatarHopefulMom7
      Points: 12

      From what I can remember in having trained my own son and the other “au-some” kids I taught, you need to have them on a fluids schedule. About an hour or so after giving him a beverage (and something substantial at that), you set him on the toilet. Then when he goes, you literally applaud his efforts: clap, hoot and holler, point to the stuff in the bowl and go, “Yayyyy, you did it! You went in the potty!” You may even wish to draw up a star rewards chart. If he uses the toilet, give him a star for that day. Then if he gets, say, 5 stars by the weekend, give him a reward like Marco’s pizza, a favorite outing, etc. Here’s the hard part: You may need to put him in old-fashioned cloth diapers with the plastic underpants over the cloth (to make him uncomfortable whenever he goes in his pants). While they’re wearing Pull-ups, it’s not that uncomfortable to go that way. But when they can feel the wet, now the comfort factor kinda goes out the window! Whatever you do, be sure you always speak positive to him: “That’s ok. I’m sure you’ll make it to the toilet tomorrow…” etc. Hope this helps!

    • #1803
      altmanmsa avataraltmanmsa
      Points: 1

      I just got this Potty Watch for my 6 yr old two days ago and he is now running gleefully to the toilet every time the lights flash. I have it set to flash and it plays a little tune every 90 minutes. Wish I would’ve known about it two years ago!


    • #1806
      chloefay avatarchloefay
      Points: 6

      From my own experience in working with two children through potty training, maintaining a schedule is important. Checking the bathroom every half hour at first, then as they become more aware of what it feels like to need to use the bathroom, checking very hour, then eventually they are able to monitor it themselves (this is very simply put, but of course takes time).

      In the bathroom, I’ve found it really helpful to include visual cue cards showing the bathroom “routine.”
      First, pull down pants and sit on potty.
      Go potty.
      Wipe. (“Dirty” vs. “Clean” is something that I work on extensively to help promote independence in wiping once they reach that point that they can use the bathroom themselves). Kids seem to pick up on the “dirty” and “clean” quickly. I usually provide a visual of doing 5 “Wipes” than a piece of CLEAN toilet paper versus DIRTY toilet paper and have them differentiate what they see.

      Then, washing hands routine. (Visuals work wonderfully for this as well, if you don’t already have a routine in place.

      *Once child I’ve worked with in particular had difficulty staying seated on the potty, so they would bring their iPad into the bathroom to watch while they did their business. This kept them on the potty for an adequate length of time. If this is not an option for you, I’d suggest adding some books or plastic, washable toys in there.

      *Only one family that I’ve worked with used a reward system for when the child used the bathroom. It can absolutely be motivating, but if you do do a reward system, I suggest being wary of making it too “high preference…” the goal is to congratulate the child and keep them motivated, not want to use the bathroom because they know they’ll receive a candy every time 🙂

      Good luck!!!

    • #1808
      Dicoff avatarDicoff
      Points: 1

      I recommend checking out Mary Barbera online. She has great training available and podcasts. She is a mother of a child with Autism and a BCBA-D.Good Luck.

    • #1809
      dktigert avatardktigert
      Points: 1

      I agree with all the previous suggestions.
      Making a picture routine for how to go
      Having a time schedule to go (hourly at least in the beginning)
      Reward performing the routine (not necesarily the go)
      Get really excited about the go
      Stay positive

      Make a big deal of big boy/girl panties with their favorite characters on them. Remind them when they finally get the hang of the potty they will get to wear them.
      Use plain white underwear otherwise. Put the plain underwear between skin and pull up. This allows them to feel wet but keeps your floors/furniture dry.

      Hope this helps. Good luck.

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