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How do I potty train my autistic son who is non-verbal?

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Asked by Lindsey1115 at 2:14 PM on Dec. 2, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • Us e the PECs.. I started with a schedule scheduling a bathroom time after each meal, first/last of each day, and before and after nap. It may seem like alot but its potty traing. My daughter is still hit or miss but hopefully we can capture the times she makes it and weed out the times that are unneccessary

    Answer by vsrillo at 5:53 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • My sister in law works with autistic children, she had to potty train a little boy on day and what they did was put in a video of a little boy being potty trained and had it on all day, he was also next to a potty all day with no diaper. Everytime it looked like he had to go they put him on the potty by the end of the day he had it. I don't know if that helps.

    Answer by mommygirls2 at 6:46 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • It takes time, patience, and perseverance. Different things work for different children. I just had to say "we are gong to do this!" and move forward with it. Yes there were many accidents. Yes it's no fun to clean up. But changing diapers is not too much fun either.

    Answer by MamaOfB at 9:10 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • If your son knows a little bit of sign language (or even if he doesn't) you can teach him the sign for "poop" "toilet" or "pee" (look it up in an American Sign Language book/website) and use that sign along with scheduled times to go to the potty- like vsrillo said. If you say we need to use the bathroom/potty now and use the sign, then take him to the bathroom to practice eventually when he has to go HE has a way to tell YOU.... -he will use the sign! And then you can help him go- but that gives some of the decision making/control back to him, which is important- especially with kids who are non-verbal. They still have an ability to "talk" just in different ways.

    Answer by hannahk at 4:34 AM on Dec. 3, 2008

  • We used the video AND book called "Once Upon a Potty for Boys". He loved that video (watched it all day long) and we were not too squeamish that we actually put his training potty in the living room, his bedroom, wherever he may have been watching it. He was fully trained (including nighttime) by 3 1/2. It took about 3 months total. We used pictures of potty, and what goes in it as well so he could point to it.

    When he would sit on the big boy potty, I would sit across from him and play games. Turned out, the bowel movement was scary for him (he didn't like the way it felt). For some unknown reason, I started counting to him in Spanish which kept him occupied that when he had a BM he was too busy to notice the sensation. It can be done, with alot of patience, a sense of no expectations, and alot of love.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:18 AM on Dec. 3, 2008

  • My friend has a non-verbal autistic child who will soon be eight, and he too is not potty trained, but trying. He goes to an awesome school who also work with him on that. Like some other ladies have said, you need to set a schedule. I sugget waiting to flush until he is out of the room though!

    Answer by 1sttimemom512 at 7:35 AM on Dec. 3, 2008

  • my friend potty trained her autistic son with his younger sister by taking away diapers and just putting hte lil potty out and demonstarighting and understanding they WOULD have accidents on the floor but she trained him in 3 days. they told her because of his verbal delays... and other issues.. he would never be potty trained so it can be done if she did it with him... ya know how eveyr kid is different but he has a lotta struggles and he could master it. good luck!

    Answer by AmaliaD at 11:49 AM on Dec. 3, 2008

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