As parents most of us are always eager to start our kids on a toilet training regime, but starting before the child has displayed their readiness is likely increase the delay the success of the whole process due to a host of other problems such as undesirable toilet behaviors and high frustrations levels for the parents as well.
It is highly recommended that you first assess your child’s readiness skills before you begin with exercise.
Here are some guidelines that may help you get on;
- Age- This is something to certainly consider before you start your potty training exercise, in most cases it is recommended that you begin with the exercise just after the second birthday but for special needs children such as those suffering from down syndrome the best time to begin is at the age of 3years old.
- How good is their bladder control- Is your child able to fully empty their bladder and remain dry for at least 2 hours within the day.
- How predictable is his stooling patterns- You need to observe if your child has a predictable pattern on which he follows in his stooling. This can help you as you go on with the training to gauge the time intervals between his toilet visits.
- Motor skills- Is your child able to independently walk himself to and from the bathroom, is he is able to carry out simple tasks such as picking up objects or toys from the floor. This is very important to observe with child suffering from down syndrome as they tend to be susceptible to hypotonia or weak muscle tone which often times poses a threat to their training.
When training your child with special needs it is very vital to keep an eye on their developmental skills more than the chronological age when considering a potty training exercise, the training is heavily dependent on their motor skills and communication too.
Because of their limitations, training a special needs child can be very difficult challenge as they may have a lot of issues that needs you to address, such as not being physically able to reach the bathroom themselves or not being able to undress themselves too. You would need to get yourself special potty chair and any other adaptation to help you and your child.
Tips that you help you train your child with developmental skills.
Using the potty a bit more frequently is one of the best ways to train your child with developmental skills, at first you will need to make him sit on the potty at least once or twice every hour then thereafter you can ask him ” want to go potty”? take him there even if you still say no to the potty. But just don’t force him too much because you don’t want him to become too hostile to the exercise.
You will need to observe his behavior surrounding the whole process, if he finds it too demanding then take to the potty a bit less frequently. Keep a monitoring chart to help you gauge the times in which he needs to use the toilet then maximize on that.
Another helpful tip is to visualize the toilet visits, let him watch his father or any other family member use the bathroom. Use narrative or describing words to explain the whole exercise so he fully understands what is going on. Remember along the way of potty training your child may experience a few accidents and also regression too. Don’t worry so much this normal and all a part of the journey.
Use positive practice to help you overcome his accidents.
If he soils himself talk to him firmly about it, then take him to the bathroom and show him the potty clearly explaining to him what he the potty is for. Slowly go through all the potty steps with him at least 5times starting with when you walk him to the toilet, lowering of the trousers and sitting on the potty, then take to the place where he had his accident and explain to him that this shouldn’t happen again.
The right time to seek help for your child if he is still having difficulty with the toileting exercise.
Sure enough the potty training a child with special needs require a bucket load of patience and lots of time on your hands too it is still very doable. But if you are experiencing some resistance from your child with the training exercise then it may be time to rope in the professionals. If your child has a considerable amount of motor skills challenges it would be wise to also work with an occupational therapist too to help eliminate the potty delaying probems.
Regression is often very common in children with down syndrome, in turn leads to a lot of accidents along the way. The best way to deal with this is find out what the root cause is and nip in the bud.
Potty Training regression, what really causes it?
Regression can happen to most potty trained children, it is normal what you need to do is ask yourself a few questions to help understand what the cause of it may be. The first question to ask is check to see if your child was fully potty trained to begin with, because a fully potty trained child should not be having an accidents as they are now fully aware of how to go about their toileting routine.
Are they not feeling stressed or even overwhelmed? Try to find out as much as possible if there are not issues at school such as bullying that may be affecting your child and causing him to wet his pants when he had being doing well previously, once that issue has been dealt with correctly then your child will be back on the bandwagon.
You need to take your toddler to see a doctor so he may be able to rule out any other underlying issues that you may not be aware of. Does he easily get distracted and could just be ignoring the cues signals that tell when he has to go to the toilet.
Is he afraid of the potty, many kids with down syndrome suffer from anxiety when faced with the unknown. So you may need to help your little one to try and overcome these fears by reassuring him that it is ok to use the potty . Stand by his side and give words of encouragement such ” now that’s a good boy for using his potty”.
Toilet or potty training regression can be quite frustrating and annoying dealing with the clean up and possible back to diapers, but luckily it is very short-lived and in a matter of weeks or even days the issue may be resolved.
Although in process unto addressing this issues try to avoid punishing the child for any mistakes that may happen, you don’t want your child to see that you are very disappointed him. Rather say to him oops we had an accident, now let go sit on the potty”. You want your toddler to feel empowered rather than defeated and fearing what will befall him for this mistake that has happened.
Always give him gentle reminders, because as you know children are easily distracted which is why most accidents happen when a child is fully engrossed into whatever activity he is doing. So be sure to intersect his playtime to take him for a bathroom visit on the potty.
Also try to encourage him to start off at the potty before he goes off to play and have him go before bedtime as well.
Try giving him incentives to stay dry, little things like letting him have an extra hour watching his favorite cartoon or show or letting him pick the dessert for after dinner go a long way in empowering the child into doing good.
Practice changing him in the bathroom a lot more often because kids will often associate the bathroom with peeing and pooping so if he sees his potty the more often time, he will then become accustomed to using his potty. remember kids thrive on seeing the familiar.
Change him in a standing position once he is able to stand on his own two feet, this will help to encourage him to learn how to pull down his own pants. keep the language simple, and make sure everyone around the house uses the same words too, if you have taught him the words pee and poop that everyone around he should continue to use those words to avoid confusing or overwhelming him with too much information.
Other issues that may affect your child suffering from down syndrome and possibly delay his potty training.
Problems such as gastro intestinal infections can be very common is children suffering from down syndrome because often times their abnormal body structure can cause their organs to develop differently to those of other normal children. This problems can present themselves at birth or even at a later stage in their lives.
obvious signs that the is a problem with the gastrointestinal tract include unwarranted diarrhea, if you notice this with your child then quickly take him to the doctor for a proper diagnosis. Constipation is another issue that affects children with down syndrome mainly due the fact that they have very weak or underdeveloped pelvic or colon muscles making passing of stool to be a big challenge but if you speak to your doctor about this problem he may help you sort it out with the help of soft or mild laxatives to push things out.