From learning new routines to knowing when it’s time to use the toilet, to being able to manipulate clothing, the potty training process can take many years for some children with autism to become experts. Keep in mind that children with autism are all very different and master skills at different times.
Some children have developmental delays and may not realize he has to go potty or maybe your child is non-verbal and is not able to tell someone when the bathroom is needed. And children with severe ASD may not have the cognitive and motor skills to use a toilet—making the task more of a challenge. Remember patience is definitely key.
Here are some tips and things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about potty training your autistic child.
Potty Training Tips for ASD Children
1.- Avoid Comparison:
Remember that comparison is the thief of joy, and only leads to frustration. We all have been in situations where some parents experiment breakthrus before we do and that is absolutely okay, just remember that they are on their journey and you are at yours. For some children learning something new will take them a couple hours, but for others it might be a couple months, and its all okay, you are doing your best and that is something to be celebrated.
2.-Start at Your Own Time:
Your child needs to be ready both emotionally and physically. For some children, the physical challenge of pulling their clothes and sitting might be a lot, be patient and make sure that he is independent enough to carry on with this.
3.- Consistency is Key:
You need to be consistent. Once you determine your child is ready. Once you get everyone on board – teachers, caregivers, grandparents – whoever. You need to be consistent. So even when you’re out and about on the weekends, even if your child has a pull-up on (just in case), take them to the bathroom, ASD children NEED routines so you need to stick to the plan even if you don´t feel like it.
For some ASD children mastering the potty training can take up to two months, for others up to two years, and it’s all WONDERFUL. Remember you are not on a deadline or a race, building habits take time and building them in autistic children might take a little longer but it will be worth it. Make sure you celebrate each milestone.
Potty training is messy. There will be accidents. Accept it and laugh it off whenever possible. Maybe you won’t laugh at the moment, but one day you’ll look back and laugh.
At World Stem Cell Clinic, we believe that that having an informed parent –in an effort to empower him and his family– is the only way to for us to deliver optimal healthcare. Visit our website to find out more about our services and let us be part of your journey. You are not alone!