Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
teen urinating and pouring liquid on floors/carpets
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teen urinating and pouring liquid on floors/carpets

My 15 yr old girl, who was diagnosed with sensory integration issues when she was about three, is urinating on the bathroom floor regularly and on the carpet. This began when she was 9. We really need to find help.
We moved when she was 9 then shortly after she began this. We have done everything we know to do. It seems she does it to get attention. When she sees it disturbs us she grins and laughs even after discipling her. We have been consistent with correcting her but she continues.
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From your description, I’m not sure if your daughter meets the criteria for an autism diagnosis, I’m also not sure what your current discipline consists of. However, if the behavior’s continuing, it’s probably not working too well.  This sort of behavior is very treatable.  The fact that these are “on purpose” rather than accidents is actually a very good sign.  It means she’s aware of what she’s doing and is able to control it.  The next step is a matter of getting her to choose to only urinate in a toilet and not on the floor.  Consistency is key, and I think you know that already based on what you’ve written.  The thing to do now is to be consistent with a new set of contingencies.  The best way of approaching it is to make it really, really worth her while to use the toilet rather than pee on the floor.  Something special that she can earn each time she urinates on the toilet, that she only gets for urinating on the toilet, in combination with something big she can earn for going all day only urinating on the toilet can be a great way to go.  If you feel like she’s doing it for attention, minimize the attention that gets for her and maximize attention for urinating on the toilet.  Make it no big deal if she urinates on the floor, ignore it as much as possible, but make it a REALLY big deal when she urinates on the toilet.  You can set up practice trials for her where she goes and sits (even if she doesn’t have to urinate), and you then provide reinforcement.  Lots of exposure to success can be really helpful.  You could also set her up with a token or sticker program where she’s earning a weekend outing or some bigger reinforcer for longer and longer periods of time with only appropriate toileting.  Find ways to reinforce the appropriate behavior like crazy.  If you’re still having trouble, I suggest looking up a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in your area who can help.
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
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