Sunday, June 22, 2014

Autism Discussion Page - Toilet Training: Ten Step Habit Training

Potty training has been a hot topic on our page in the past. It was recently a topic of conversation on Autism Discussion Page. In my new job position, I have really been learning about the many issues that can interfere with toilet training. I found the Toilet Training: Ten Step Habit Training post on Autism Discussion Page to be helpful, and I wanted to share it here as well.

Toilet Training: Ten Step Habit Training

Toilet training is one of the most asked about concerns of parents with children on the spectrum. There are a variety of issues (physical, sensory, exaggerated fears, etc.) that can interfere with effective toilet training. Although we are all “creatures of habit”, children on the spectrum are even more so. Once in a habit of voiding in their diaper, the children are often comfortable staying with that habit. This is routine to them and they may resist changing that routine. To the children there are really no good reasons for them to stop their current “habit.” To reduce a “habit” (eliminating in the diaper) we need to first create a new habit (eliminating in toilet). To create a new habit, you need to have a very structured, scheduled routine that occurs frequently and consistently across time. Also, we need to make it as enjoyable as possible and rewarding when followed. The following procedures are a basic toileting program by using habit training.

1. Keep a journal of what times your child has toileting accidents. Over time you may see patterns of when your child typically eliminates in his diaper, or has wetting or bowel accidents.

2. The first step is to create a schedule of when to sit the child on the toilet. There are two ways of doing this. From the step above, by knowing the times when your child typically eliminates, create toileting trials that are approximately 15 minutes before the times when elimination usually occurs. The other, more popular schedule, is to toilet the child on a schedule of every 90 minutes, after meals, before and after going places. The more toileting follows routine events in the child’s daily schedule (e.g. after meals, before leaving house, etc.) the more of a routine habit toileting becomes.

3. Make sure toileting is comfortable for the child. If they are young, make sure they can sit comfortably on the toilet and that their feet can rest on the floor. If they are small, you need to use a potty seat and a stool to place their feet on. If your child has known sensory issues, try to purchase a potty seat, or modify the current one, so it accommodates his/her sensitivities.

Please visit Autism Discussion Page to read the rest of his ten tips.

Feel free to visit our related posts also: Top Apps for Potty Time and Oh poop! A discussion about toilet training. 

Heather S. spends a lot of time in the bathroom at her new job as a Behavior Therapist at a center for autism.

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