My son, who will be four next month (July), is STILL not potty trained. I have four children so I know how to do this! lol But he will just not budge. I do know that with Autism, it can be a great obstacle for a child, but he will be starting PreK this fall and I want him trained before then for sure. I know this may not be his plan though! LOL Does anyone have any suggestions on this? He will sit on the potty chair with no problem whatsoever and will sit there for a long period of time as well. Yet, as soon as he gets underware or a diaper back on, he will go right in there immediately. It's as though he feels that he is not supposed to go in the potty. I have had my other children sit on the potty chair and go right in front of him as well and praised them like you wouldn't believe, but still it does not register for him or something. Please let me know if you have dealt with this as well and ways you overcame it. I have read a number of places where people have autistic children that are well over 10yrs old and still not potty trained....PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS NOT THE NORM! He is highly functional in many areas, extremely intelligent when catching on to other things, but this potty training is another story.
Can you "run out of diapers" one day? If you figure out how to potty train him, let us know. I think there are a lot of parents with kids on the spectrum who are dealing with late potty goers.
My brother, who is NT, potty trained at age 4. My mom said he was 4 1/2 and still wouldn't go to the toilet, but finally what got him to use the toilet was my brother had to get his diaper changed and my dad refused to take him in the men's room and told him he'd have to wait for his mom because he wasn't going to take a baby into the men's room and change him in public. He said other stuff to, which embarrased my brother to no end. Now, keep in mind, my brother is not autistic and did not have any developmental delays, so this would probably not work with someone who is autistic. My brother was able to know when he could go, and at the time he was in preschool, but he knew how to hold #2 until preschool was over or if he really had to do #1, he'd just sit in a wet diaper until my mom came to get him. He learned in one day after my dad was so mean to him, and every other strategy had failed.
I am not too sure that my son really even knows when he has to go, or if he does, he is sure good at hiding it! Also, another issue that makes it so hard is that he does not mind sitting in a nasty diaper ALLLLLLL DAAAAAAAAAAY LOOOOOOOONG! He could care less! Whether it be #1 or #2, he just does not care! It makes it so hard to potty train when a child is not bothered by a messy diaper of even a sore bottom!
I have a four year old too with autism, he is still not completely trained but he will go potty when we sit him on it most times. I took many many months of taking him every hour or so to get to this stage, I think it was a very new and scary experience for him to "let go" on the potty. All I need to do now is how to teach him to let me know when he needs to go, that's my problem; he can stay dry and can control his bladder (we know that) but doesn't realise that soiling himself is not really acceptable..he just doesn't care!
It could be a sensory thing. If your proprioceptive sense if not right you will find it hard to register internal body sensations like feeling hungry/thirsty/needing the loo etc. If he also as a tendency to shut down other senses when absorbed in doing something else then he may not be able to feel body sensation either and that would also explain the 'being able to sit in the nasty diaper all day, eventhough he has got a sore bottom'.
Have you used social stories with him (I know he's a big young), but maybe you could do it in picture form.
If he has any interests/obsessions could you use them as a reward.
As the summer holidays are coming up, this could be a good time to do away with the diapers. But be prepared for lots of mistakes. Sometimes as 888mom said, rather than giving my son a lengthy explanation of what he should/should not do, I have simply told a white lie eg. if he is pestering me to go to the cinema I tell him it isn't open today (which isn't true, but he doesn't know what day it is). So you could say the shop had no more diapers and he may just accept that and know that from this day on he has to use the toilet.
There is also the point, that if you think/want your son to go to a special school then toileting problems may actually help you get there. For example I worked with my son for a long time on appropriate behaviour and now I find that if I had left him to hit/kick/spit etc he would have been moved to a more suitable provision years ago.
But please try not to stress over it. I read so many posts of parents practically divorcing over it or trying some really mean psychological things with these kids which isn't fair because they don't have the same understanding. I don't agree with anything that could lead to your child having low self esteem, or becoming anxious etc, but I don't see anything wrong in a white lie to get the result you want.
Thank you for the comments everyone! Sometimes it just helps to hear that I am not alone in this frustration and problem area. I have four small children ages 1,3,4 & 6 and have never had this issue with the others. They were all harder to train through the night, but the day time was a cinch compared to my 3yr old! lol I am hoping that with summer upon us, I can try the "running naked" theory for a few months to see if that helps at all. With clothing and diapers, the "accidents" are more hidden or soak into them but if running naked; then he will see the reaction that comes from letting go and maybe that will trigger something???? I like the white lie about the "no more diapers at the store" however, I do have a 1yr old so that might not pass when he sees the baby having them! lol Darn kids are just too smart these days. lol
Once again, thank you all for responding and if anything it helps me feel "normal" by hearing that many others are dealing with this issue too and that it is something that does not have a "written rule".
I work with a 6 year old boy who is just getting potty trained. You said you used praise as a reward for your other children sitting and urinating. Maybe you could try another reward for urinating on the potty. Some sort of cool, new treat or toy. We have a Treasure Chest full of neat candy that the boy I mentioned only gets for going on the potty. The key is that the treat is something highly desirable and he ONLY gets it for going on the potty. You could demonstrate the idea of going on the potty and getting this treat with one of your other children so your son can get the idea of the sequence-I go on the potty-I get the fun thing. Good luck and hang in there. It took the boy I know weeks before he started staying dry and urinating so if it doesn't work right away, you can stick with it. Best wishes!
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