How To Train An Autistic Boy.

Getting your child fully potty trained is not an easy process, it requires a lot of  inventiveness and imagination from the parent executing it. Tolerance is always key when going through this process with your toddler. Having said this potty training an autistic boy is yet another encumbrance. But don’t despair it is very achievable!

For starters you need to assess your little’s level of readiness inn terms of using the toilet for doing his business. If he has a fascination or seems intrigued by the toilet and wants to use it for peeing, then there is light at the end of the tunnel you can use this as your stepping stone!

You can then start him on the potty or even toilet seat, let him explore until he is comfortable enough to begin the full regime. You will need to beef up your literature on potty training so do get books from your local library or book store to help you along. This can also help to certify his feelings and emotions about the entire process of potty training, more especially if he can connect with all the characters in the book.

Getting him to visualize the process first before going into full swing of things will help him to reflect internally about the entire thing before he can actually be comfortable to go alone this new challenge. It is worth mentioning some books that you need to checkout to help you with this new process; Once upon a Potty Book (for Boys) The Potty Book For Boys, Potty Time (By The Usborne Book Range), Potty Time With The Bear (In The Big Blue House) I Gotta Go music video.

Try creating a social story for your little man. What is a social story you may ask?  a social story is a short yet simple but customized story that you can fabricate for your Autistic boy to teach them the skills of potty training and also certify his feelings too. Read this story to your son multiple times on a daily the you can decrease the frequency of this reading once you notice that he is now showing an interest and understanding of the process.

Be sure that your story has simple and easy to understand language, have pictures, symbols and signs to help him quickly and easily grasp or conceptualize the message you are trying to communicate to him. Another method worth exploring would be to ask dad to be the role model, this ultimately means adapting an open policy rule where you can allow your little one to watch daddy as he goes on with his business in the bathroom.

Play pretend if you are uncomfortable with giving your toddler front row seat tickets to premiere your toilet debut. Remember kids are very impressionable so allowing them to watch is a quicker way to get them to try out new things, because they always want to be like their super hero.

Monitor his bathroom times, we all have some sort of routine for our pooing times especially, so be sure to keep a close eye on your son so you can establish some sort of a pattern. Once you have established a simple pattern or routine this will help you take him to the bathroom at the right time, and he will most certainly not resist going to the toilet because the urge will be there and the need will be too strong!

Keep the rewards flowing, if he makes an attempt to poop in the toilet on his own be sure to shower him with praise to encourage him to keep up this good behavior. Like we had mentioned earlier on that patience is key, so try your best to remain calm at all times. If he doesn’t make an attempt at using the toilet try not be to upset, remember this is a learning curve for him so days will be good while some not so good, all in all he will master this challenge.

Just continue to shower him with good praises such as ”Good try, Next time my boy” just so you don’t lose the momentum that you both worked so hard to achieve. Try as best as possible to find out what the motivating factor for your boy is, and keep those things flowing to keep your little man motivated at all times. May be have him watch his favorite cartoon during toilet training time just to bring in the fun factor and keep him encouraged and amped up to continue using his potty or toilet seat.

Having your toddler using the bathroom can be a precious and beautiful moment for you and your toddler. It can be an extremely daunting task  though. But worry not you can try out different proven strategies to make the potty training all a breeze for your autistic boy.

Here are some signs to help guide for your Autistic boy’s readiness for beginning his toilet training journey.

Kids with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) generally show the same signs as any other developing child, the only difference is that with them the training may take a little longer than with any other child.

These are some signs that your boy may be ready;

  • He can tell you through gestures and signs that his diaper is wet or soiled and needs a quick change.
  • He is able to follow simple instructions such as he understands when you tell him to ”sit down” for an example, is able to pull down and up his pants without any assistance.
  • He has no bowel movement problems, i.e he has regular formed poop.
  • He can exercise a good measure of bladder control i.e he can stay dry for at least an hour at a time during the day.

Having observed the above signs, it is always advisable to seek help from your pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical issues you may not be aware of, this will ensure that the potty training schedule goes unhinged.

Preparing your autistic boy for potty/toilet training;

The preparation steps for training your autistic boy are pretty much same as with any child learning a new developmental skill. The only major difference would be the fact that your boy would require more teaching and some strategies for them to be comfortable enough to adjust to their new skill.

An important tip though to always keep the communications lines open because potty training is largely dependent on clear communication lines plus working together as a team with your child. Make the training a series of smaller goals as opposed to one big goal.

Familiarize your toddler with the toilet first, what it is used for, how to use it and when to use it, then later on you can start with your training process.

Autism Spectrum Disorder, toilet/potty training strategies you may want to try out;

Remember that toilet training can be quite the challenge for your little person so will need to go at it step by step. Start breaking down the whole process into basic tasks of your training and teaching. Don’t forget that each child is unique so what works for another child may not necessarily work for your child too, so throwing in a combination of approaches to your training regime may be your best bet.

Shower him with praises and rewards;

Your toilet training routine will need to be backed up with some words of encouragement as well as rewards for it to be a success. Your types of encouragement words and rewards can be as such:

  • Always use very descriptive words like, Oh wow Charlie, very good for sitting on the toilet honey.
  • You can also use non-verbal gestures such as clapping your hands for him for every well executed job or you can give the thumbs up as a way of signaling that he is doing a good job.
  • Have a good behavior chart and every time he uses the toilet correctly add a star to the chart, do this for every job well done then may be at the end of the week you could get him that much desired toy.
  • Prepare him one of his favorite meals as a way to appreciate his efforts towards a job well done.

Worth noting though is that you should always plan your rewards before you actually start with the whole training exercise. You also have to fully and clearly explain to your child what the reward is all about and when he is most likely to receive one. Also don’t overdo it with the rewards because this can make your child feel self-conscious if he hasn’t done right and not received a reward.

It would be a good idea to share your reward ideas with your son too, then gauge from his reactions for each, which tickles his fancy, because most kids with ASD may have no interest in star charts so you need to fully understand what your son really loves and use that for successfully keeping him encouraged.

 

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About the Author: Sheila Jones

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