The factors that need to be taken into consideration when knowing if your child is ready to be toilet trained is the following
- how your child behaves at home such as compliance to problems, meltdowns, etc.
- If self soothing & self-stimulation is an issue then potty training is going to be difficult
- Can your child communicate their need to potty
- Does your child notice when he potties in his pull-up
- IS your child able to sit for 15 min by themselves
There are many other factors that go into play when it comes to potty training. However, I have learned from my experience, from the boys coaches at HCC, and from my current book that these factors are crucial and play a major role in the child's toilet training process.
The first step in toilet training a child with autism is the Schedule Training process. This is where Trenton is still at both at home and at HCC. He is on a great schedule at HCC with his coaches and he does a great job with going to the restroom at his schedule time and doing the routine that they do with him. Trenton's brain can work so much better during structure time. Trenton's autism does not allow him to cooperate during unstructured time. Trenton's brain isn't like a neurotypical person. If he isn't in structure time, then he goes into sensory overload very easily and things come at him from all angles. If you have ever watched any of the sensory videos that I have posted then you know what I am talking about. Lights, noises, movement from people all enter in his system much differently than mine and yours. Therefore, it leads him to have very difficult behavior which leads to very difficult times when he is not in structures therapy. With that said, toilet training isn't going very well at home. We are much farther behind in the process than where he is at HCC. Nonetheless, another big indicator in training process is that it is just Mommy at home. There are needs that both boys need met and I can't meet every need and issues that arises with autism to my fullest. Therefore, both boys suffer but as you all know I give well over 100% to my boys, so we do the best we can!
After the schedule training process comes the time when we start shaping independent toileting. This is where the training starts to become more simple. Basically, this is where he is not prompted to go to the bathroom. Even if your child is wiggling and squiggling and showing every sign of having to go to the bathroom, resist the temptation to prompt him to the toilet. The reason is that the child will become dependent upon the prompt and you and it will delay his learning to go on his own. Now, this is very difficult to break with severe autism.
After the schedule training process, comes the intensive independent toilet training process. The purpose here is to build generalization. Of course we want our children toilet trained but we also want them to be able to do the same thing in any bathroom, other than the one that they learned in. This too can be a big problem with kids on the spectrum.
After one year we are still in the very beginning phase of toilet training Trenton. With the severity of Trenton's autism, I have heard everything from don't expect him to be fully trained till he is around 10 but I have also heard 15. One way or the other, it is going to be a very long process. It has already been one year and we have a very long way to go!
I have changed up a few things at home with his toilet training. I have invested a lot of time and money to help Trenton with this. It is a very important thing in life. One of my top goals for him in life is to be toilet trained!!
Keep up the hard work Trenton. Mommy is doing the best that I can in this process with you.
To make toilet training fun for him, I decorated my bathroom off the master bedroom. It is a Sesame Street bathroom. He loves it! It is basically his bathroom now. He also has a new gadget that he only gets when he is sitting on the toilet. To make toilet training more appealing to a child like Trenton, a lot of thought and hard work goes into it. Trenton is unable to sit still for 15 min. Therefore, he has to have something that will engage him for at least 15 min while he sits on the potty. Trenton's number 1 issues in not being able to be trained is that he can't sit still. I was asked the other day if Trenton ever stopped moving and the answer is No. Therefore, how can he be trained if he can't stop moving? Well, its very difficult. I am hoping this all helps. It is a huge help at HCC. He gets the ipad at HCC during potty time and that keeps him engaged long enough to urinate.
We have a great team at HCC who is helping us. I just know we will get you trained on day Trenton! Keep on working T-man! Mommy loves you!!