These tips can help your child make progress with toilet training:
Modern diapers do not let the sensations feel as they absorb. Try washable reusable
training underpants or underpants with a protective liner. These help your child become
aware of the feeling of wetness, so they’re useful if your child has trouble knowing when
it’s time to use the toilet.
Children should take a lot of fluids and should not be afraid of the potty training as it
makes the process easy. Positive reinforcement assists further.
Handling sensory sensitivities: tips
If your autistic child is sensitive to or upset by the sensory aspects of going to the toilet,
try ways of controlling your child’s sensory experience of toileting.
Get your child familiar with sitting on the toilet seat by practicing for a few minutes every
day. Make your child comfortable – for example, if the floor is cold, put socks on your
Use a stool for your child to put their feet on.
Use a training seat if your child is frightened of the big hole over the water.
Tell your child there will be a noisy flushing sound and explain the reason for the noise.
Let your child hold a favorite object while sitting on the toilet.
Behavior problems that lead to small medical issues
Sometimes autistic children who are toilet training can behave in challenging ways. For
example, they might be afraid of the toilet, go in places other than the toilet, fill the toilet
with paper and other materials, continually flush the toilet etc.
If your child is behaving in these ways, sometimes their diet or biological issues may be
a factor such as constipation or UTIs
Constipation is a common problem in children. If your child avoids doing poos, it might
be constipation. Constipation is usually caused by not enough water or other fluids or not enough dietary fiber. Some autistic children are selective eaters, which can cause them to become
constipated more easily than other children
Things going backwards
Sometimes children’s toilet training progress might stop, or things might seem to go
If this happens, try keeping a record of the times your child urinates or poos for a week
or so. If a pattern develops, target these times by taking your child to the toilet just
before your child would normally urinate or poo in their pants.
Begin working on additional steps to toilet training.
- Teaching a child to ask to use the bathroom
Whether children with autism are verbal or non-verbal, it is important to teach them how
to communicate when they need to use the restroom. Before the child enters the
bathroom, prompt him/her to communicate that he/she needs to use the bathroom.
There are many verbal and non-verbal ways to prompt children with autism to
communicate that they need to use the toilet.
Verbal- Prompt the child to say, “Potty,” or “I want potty.”
Sign- Prompt the child to sign the word “Potty.”
PECS- Use a Picture Exchange Communication System and have the potty icon readily
available and prompt the child to get the potty icon and give it to an adult.
Once children with autism are comfortable and successfully peeing and pooping in the
toilet, encourage him/her to finish the toileting routine by prompting the child to wipe,
flush the toilet, and pull up the pants independently. Show the child the visual sequence
of the potty routine and slowly fade your physical and verbal prompts.
- Hand Washing
Once children with autism are potty trained, finish the potty routine by teaching them
how to wash their hands after they use the bathroom. Create a step-by-step visual
sequence of the handwashing routine with actual pictures or by using the Picture
Exchange System (PECS) icons. Place it in front of the bathroom sink. The
handwashing sequence is:
Turn on water
Put soap on hands
Rub the soap into hands
Turn off water