That time is here; yes, this is the moment you have been dreading for the last couple of months- it is finally time for you to toilet-train your child with autism disability. Autism potty training doesn’t vary much from regular potty-training. The only difference is that when you are training an autistic child, their stress levels are more likely to shoot up two to three times more. Not only do you need to use therapeutic techniques for training them, but parents also need to have patience and perseverance in abundance in order to succeed. Listed below are some simple tips that all parents will find useful for toilet-training an autistic child:
Check for readiness
The first thing that you should do is assess your child to see if they are ready for toilet-training. The typical rule is to start at 18 months for every child, but it doesn’t apply to kids suffering from autism. Their readiness can depend on their developmental capabilities. This can only be done by observing the child because you need to see if they can imitate others, focus on things and are able to communicate with you.
Do some planning and preparation
You need to bear in mind that you need careful and meticulous planning for teaching your autistic child to pee and poop in the correct place. The cognitive and communication skills of your child will be different because they are autistic, which means that you have to make some extra effort in order to get a positive outcome. You can introduce toilet-training with the use of therapeutic techniques. These involve making a social story on the topic or using video modeling or visual cues.
In the case of visual cues, you can make picture cards that outline the process step by step. If possible, you can also take actual photos of another child. Show these photos to your child in the exact sequence they need to be followed. They should be placed somewhere where it is easy for your child to see them like at the back of the toilet door. Video modeling requires you to make a video and add voice prompts to it like pull down your pants. There are ready-made videos available in the market and you can use one that explains everything in simple yet precise words.
Start teaching and be patient
Now, it is time for you to start the actual process of toilet-training. Familiarize the child with the washroom or potty and tell him that it can be used anytime he feels like pooping or peeing. You can also set a schedule for when they will use the potty, but this can only be done if your child at a specific time. Use both verbal and visual cues for guiding your child, but keep things simple. If your child refuses, don’t force them to do it. You have to be patient even if it is very frustrating. The key is to be consistent and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of normalcy and control for your child.
What should you do if your autistic child constantly refuses to participate in toilet-training? You need to give them a break and take one yourself. Try again after a couple of weeks. Stressing the child and yourself during the process is not going to help anyone. The only thing you have to remember is that potty-training an autistic child can take longer than a normal kid. It will take the time to adjust because their communication and cognitive skills don’t operate the same way, but they will learn.