A note or three on potty training with Autism (warning the post involves BODILY FUNCTIONS!)

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So, I had all my boys except Zach potty trained by age 3. None of them prepared me for the challenge that potty training a little one with autism is. 1st there is the whole communication thing, how in the world do you go through the normal conversations on how to use the potty, when you feel like you need to potty. None of the norm was even close to an option. At age 4 he started out growing every diaper out there not to mention he was HEAVY! So I reinforced the changing table got a step stool and we kept changing diapers. I researched sizes and got as many sample sizes as I could find and got him into goodnights (even pullups were too small). During this time I would try about once a month to get him to potty train.  He would meltdown at having to go sit on a potty big or little. He wanted nothing to do with going to the bathroom. No amount of talking, bribing, showing, praising, videos, reading, sitting with your clothes on you name it we tried it.. NOTHING worked.

At this point I believed that I would be changing his diapers until someone had to change mine.

Nevertheless every month we tried again some times for a week some times just for a couple of days but we tried.

Then one day at my wits end I decided to try one last thing, I threw away all the diapers, made sure all the towels in the house were clean and put them in an easy to get to location.  Gave him underwear and said Dude it is this or nothing. 1st day full meltdown for HOURS. I set a timer and every 30 mins, and took him to the potty where he wanted to go or not he sat for 2 mins (again with a timer) The other kids were hiding.. he was so pissed (there is no other way to put it sorry for the pun). I did not give in (I wanted to drink an entire bottle of rum but I did not give in). I cleaned up mess after mess. Each time I said “this would be so much nicer if it were in the potty.” Every time he got a shower.

Wash rinse, repeat.

I put puppy pads on his bed still nothing but underwear.

He had a ton of accidents the 1st day.

Day 2 went a bit better he put on the underwear. Less meltdowns. Still he would not potty.

Day 3 Up, shower, I went to get the sheets from his bed to wash and came back to him sitting on the potty! HE WENT POTTY! I did a happy dance, cheered and told everyone I knew. He went 3 more times that day all number 1.

Day 4 He fussed some, had an accident but tried to potty. This was actually working!!!

It took 8 days at home, he finally would pee in the potty not on the floor with very few accidents, around day 7 we got poop to join the pee.

I took him out, he used the potty while out (but had to hide while I flushed the noise freaked him) he would hold the poop until we got home but still this was HUGE! Finally we were free of the dreaded diaper.

Yes he still had accidents. But they became less and less.

If you had asked me at age 5, or 6 or 7 if he would potty train the best I could say was I hope so.

So all the other boys potty trained by 3, Zach was 7 and took a bit more pushing but it did finally happen. He has instructed me in one important lesson, over and over. Everyone learns at their own pace.

Now if I could just get him to AIM!!



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