Toilet Training ASD ?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 8 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #3925


    Note: SFTAH transferred this from old data base when site was updated, thus date and name lost, all dates 2006 & 2007 changed during changeover to odd dates.My 2 1/2 year old runs to the toilet to have his nappy changed whenever he has a bowel movement and is happy to sit on the toilet with a book. However I don't feel we are really getting anywhere as he is non verbal so far and can't communicate very well just pointing and dragging - We are starting PECS soon with a tutor.Should I just shelve it for now or is it worth persevering? What experiences have others had ?

  • #5030


    I think you are doing very well considering his age!! mine is 6 and stil messes and wets, so well done you i think, if he is going, i think that is good

    Hugs illy

    There is always tomorrow!

  • #5031



    I work for the autism family support team in Northamptonshire and we are often asked for advice or support on toilet training issues.

    the fact that your son is happy to go to the toilet to have his pad changed is really good.

    2 1/2 is quite young for a child with ASD to become toilet trained but that’s not to say he isn’t ready. If we were working with you we would ask you to complete a chart for 12 weeks to see if your child have made the mental connection with how he physically feels and what is coming out of his bottom/willie.

    For example does he show any sign that he knows he is about to wee/poo (just before he wees/poos does he jiggle around, stand still, move to a room on his own etc.) If he doesn’t we would probably suggest leaving it a while before attempting toilet training.

    I know it might sound a bit negative but we wouldn’t recommend sitting your child on the toilet with a book as it may be giving your child the wrong information about what a toilet is for. Generally children with ASD are very routine led and it may be that your child could begin to associate the toilet with a place to read rather than a place to wee/poo.

    We would suggest that first you start by teaching your child that wee/poo starts and ends in the toilet.
    You could try:
    – storing the pads in the toilet
    – putting pads on in the toilet
    – changing pads in the toilet
    – flushing anything ‘solid’ down the toilet.

    if we were working with you at home we would back up all of this by using visual supports (TEACCH based) and working slowly at a pace your child can cope with.

    don’t know if that’s any help.


  • #5028


    Many thanks for the great advice! You are right about the book – he is getting to enjoy that far too much. He does show signs that he knows he is having a bm as he will start to run to the toilet before the event. Wee, I’m less certain about but if not in a nappy will usually touch his penis before wetting.

    I will follow your advice, I realise he is young but don’t want to miss out on any window of opportunity.

    I don’t want to hog all your time in answering questions but another query I have is that he is great at pointing at favourite objects in books and insisting ( by smiles and eye contact ) that the adult tells him the word. Is this a sign that PECS is right for him?

    Many many thanks – I don’t intend to be a ‘user’ of time. I will contribute as much as I can back once I am better informed.


  • #5029



    I don’t want to be negative/pessemistic – but what is the average success rate !


  • #5032


    PECS work well and can introduce in a way they understand. Hand them a "toilet cue" - picture to let them know it's time to go. Use an empty wipe box as an indicator. Lots of autistic chidren develop a fear or discomfort of sitting on the toilet. helping the child become familiar with the toilet without requiring them to actually use it. Practice sitting them on the toilet fully clothed. Let the child play, read, or color while sitting on the toilet fully clothed. They will become gradually more comfortable. Allow your child to sit on your lap on the toilet. As you hold the child, they will be secure knowing you are there to help them and will gradually relax. Practice the procedure using a doll or favorite toy. If your child is able to observe the procedure with their favorite item, and realize nothing bad will happen, over time the unease will go away. Sometimes children don't understand what they are being asked to do. Communication problems can make the discussion of wee wee challenging. The best thing to o may be to use the "do what I do" method. Sometimes the fear of the unknown is the biggest hindrance for us all. use a Walkman or MP3 player to mask some of the sound of the bathroom. Accompany the child into the bathroom to direct them and eliminate unnecessary distractions. Offer a a variety of toys to play with Keep rotating the toys, so it's always something new and intriguing. balls, yo-yo's,The inclusion of a concrete, visual "what happens when I'm finished" piece of information is an important part of this system. For some children this may be looked at as a motivator or even a reward. For many children with autism, it is equally or more important as a clear indication of closure. Task completion is a powerful motivator for most people with autismI have some ready made PECS available

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