Toilet Training, my experience

Ideas for Toilet Training: A Mum asked recently about training her 3 Year old with Autism, this is what I said: 3 is very young for ASD and my two didn't get started until 4.You have to be ready to persevere with it so make sure there are no holidays, or house moves coming up, or that can set you back.I made a visual social story and laminated the pictures to put in the downstairs cloak room. I also made a little book of steps, and had to get a little explicit with the pictograms.
I downloaded "do to learn" pictures and added in the extra bits with a brown marker. I also used a picture of clean pants, y-fronts for my Boo boy and colored in pink for Brattygirl.The best way to start is with charting, a time chart that you can tick off with a W or P for each movement to give you and idea of when to expect things is a good idea, and take data over a couple of weeks to get the weekend in.Also, think about a large training potty. There is a model in the big toyshops like Smyths that turns into a step and booster seat. You can keep it in the kitchen or living room and they can practice sitting on it in pants and then just nappy.We started with that and moved it slowly towards the bathroom as she got used to it, then into the bathroom and finally put the booster on the loo. If they are at all interested in you when you go to the loo, you can start with the potty in there and do a little duet sitting a couple of times a day.Don't hang around waiting for a movement or wee, if they do one Great! Give them an instant reward, if they don’t, just get up and put the pants back on, wash hands and get on with the day. Don't build stress into the exercise, for either of you.I also recommend the Bear in the Big Blue house "Potty time" DVD. There are a couple of songs on it to learn and you can teach yourself to sing them to keep the whole event fun.Smearing if it happens is a big stress. But the best advice is to remove the child from the event while giving no attention whatsoever (don't give out to them) and then secure them elsewhere while you clean up. They can actually find the big clean up reinforcing as you may not have spent as much time with them up until that point.
Be cool, Toilet Training can create a lot of tension and our children will often realise the power of that control and use it. And train for No 1 and No 2 separately. Once you have the wees trained you can ditch the pull-ups and buy cheap knickers in a pack of 5. We used to cut the side of them when she soiled and throw them in the bin. They were cheaper than pull-ups and she would quickly feel the wet if she had a little accident and stop herself. If by some miracle you get something done in the potty, make sure you reinforce immediately, with songs and praise and whatever tangible reinforcement works. Good luck.xx


And more Toilet Training Advice
Only start when everyone is ready! You could spend 18 months trying to potty train for 1s and 2s (as I did with Boo) or you could wait a year and get it done in 3 months!There will be a time, believe me, when you can walk through a supermarket and not stop to buy pull ups etc. I found myself wandering around Tesco a week or so ago, I had no list and was using the aisles to remind me of what I needed to buy (not a good idea) and found myself in the baby aisle. And then I realised it had been over a year since we had to buy anything. Then I went to the champagne section (not really).Two things to have in the back of your mind.1. Your child may have no way of telling you they need to go? Well, when you do decide on a communication system to augment speech (sign or PECs) the first things learned are requests for things we like. But going to the toilet won’t be one of them, it just isn’t naturally rewarding enough and it won't encourage speech.Go over to "Do to Learn" a free web page and down load a symbol for toilet, print it, laminate it or cover in sticky contact and Velcro it to the light switch outside the loo.That way he will start to recognise the symbol in relation to the room.If you think they know when they are wet?
Well, you could switch to pull-ups and start changing him standing up in the bathroom, rather than lying down.Toilet training is about timing as we all know. Sometimes you have to hold on. So if you give him a very comfy booster seat and a little bit of extra attention when you change him in the bathroom, then maybe he will start to associate it with squeezing out a little pee when he is in there.
If that happens, try and have a tangible reward hidden in a dressing gown pocket on the back of the door to hand over, with praise. But if he doesn’t, he still gets loads of chat and attention and it isn’t a big deal.
They can go back into the pull-ups and leave the bathroom happy as you are just training to enjoy the bathroom. If they associate that with going to the toilet then you are less likely to get the little accidents around the house that can happen when they learn to take their nappy off.

I ended up having to buy dungarees with very difficult buckles to stop my D.S. from marking out his territory. Accidents will happen, particularly when the equipment that god has given them resembles a fire hose, but just recite to your self, accidents are no big deal, do not react.

When they get it right, and then call in the brass band and cheerleaders.

Oh, and one more thing, other people always lie about toilet training, so don't beat up on yourself. There is a delay for our kids, but you know yourself when you are stuck in traffic, once you get past that slow intersection, you put the foot down and fly!

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