If I had to see another diaper again, I was going to scream. Toilet training had to of been our hardest challenge with Bryce. Children are so confused when it comes to this. All a child’s early life they are supposed to pee and poop in a diaper, and then out of no where they’re supposed to forget everything they have learned and use a toilet. It must be so frustrating.
Bryce was almost 6 and still not toilet trained. We had done everything you could possibly imagine and then some. We even went to a seminar hosted by ACT BC (Autism Community Training) called Toilet Training for Everyone: It’s Never Too Late! (available on a their website to purchase as a webcast). In the days event we learned a ton of techniques and tricks to apply in our daily life to help us achieve our goal.
Their are six phases of toilet training, and I’m going to talk about the urination phases, but I highly recommend anybody to invest the time and money and watch the webcast. It is great for people of all ages, stages, phases, autism or not.
Two words: Trip Training.
It involves some math and a lot of patience. First we had to figure out how often to take Bryce to the toilet. For about a week we calculated every time he had a wet diaper/pull ups and then calculate the average length of time that he could stay dry. From that we could determine roughly how often he had to use the washroom and manually take him their every X amount of time. With the support of Bryce’s daycare and school we determined he had to be taken to the washroom every hour and a half. This was a great opportunity to introduce him to saying ‘bathroom’ or ‘pee pee time’ so he could associate going to the washroom with the keywords we used. Based on how often he should have to use the washroom we’d have him sit on the toilet for 5-10 minutes and if he didn’t go, we’d take him off for 5 minutes and continue that until he went.
When he did pee we celebrated like it was the best thing on Earth (which it was) and this embedded in his head as ‘Oh when I go pee, good things happen’. Their was the occausional time where Bryce would be wet in-between times, and we were taught from the seminar to not talk, scold, explain, lecture, to not spend a long time on cleaning him up and to just make a notice of him being wet because he had an accident. This is mostly to not destroy his confidence. Nobody wants to think they failed.
Eventually we decided that Bryce had mastered trip training and moved onto self-initiation where he could pee in the toilet without somebody taking him. This is when you discover the ‘pee-pee dance’ or your child grabbing themselves. The biggest lesson we learned was never to ask “Do you have to go to the bathroom/pee/toilet?” instead acknowledge their behaviour and say something like “Oh, I see you need to go bathroom/pee/toilet!” and just go.
It wasn’t until Bryce was almost 7 years old where he said ‘pee’, went to the bathroom, went pee, and came out. He skipped flushing the toilet and washing his hands, but this was a huge breakthrough. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had. That night we went and bought his first pair of underwear as a reward and ever since that day he never wore a diaper again.
Experts say setting a potty schedule helps teach your child to use the toilet. But how do you keep to that schedule - and minimize conflict between yourself and a stubborn child? Answer: Pull-Ups iGo Potty app.
Here’s a couple of suggestions that are great for any children (mostly boys) for toilet training:
- Drop some Cheerios in the toilet and have your child try to sink them when they go to the washroom
- Put an aluminum pie pan into the toilet and when your child goes to the washroom, it makes a fun sound
- Add one of those 2000 Flushes bar into the toilet tank which dyes the toilet water blue, and when your child pees in it, it changes it to green
- Monkey-see, monkey-do. It is not inappropriate for mom or dad to show their child how to use the bathroom, in fact a lot of children will feel more comfortable with the idea if ‘mommy does it’ or ‘daddy does it’
- Use visual aids to help with the process of using the toilet. Feel free to click on the graphic below to save or print ‘Using the Toilet’ for your own use. (JPG file)
Have any tips or tricks you want to share? Did you use any of the suggestions and have success? Leave us a comment!
Thanks for reading,