Help! How Do You Potty Train a Child With Autism?
A child with autism will likely take longer to potty train, but it isn't impossible to do. You'll need to take a few different steps than you would with a child without autism. Here are steps to help you potty train your child with autism spectrum disorder.
Know When Your Child Is Ready
You can't start until your child is ready to learn. This isn't going to be based on age, but on the visual cues that you see. The National Autistic Society says that your child should be able to remain dry for one to two hours. This is the first sign of being ready. You may also notice some fidgeting, as your child realizes that he or she needs the toilet.
Create a Full Routine
Children with autism tend to prefer routine, and they need a strict routine. Try creating a routine from start to finish: from realizing they need to toilet to drying the hands. This helps to create some predictability in the chaos.
Have a sequence of steps that your child needs to go through. Make sure those steps are short and simple to understand, possibly trying visual cues to help learn the routine.
Be aware that this is going to mean a change to the current routine. A child with autism isn't necessarily going to care about being like everyone else. They just want their routine and to be happy. Why get rid of diapers when this has been the way of life for so long? By taking small steps to create a new routine, you can help to limit the meltdowns that can come from change.
Give Lots of Praise
Even children with autism love to receive praise in the majority of cases. When your child has completed each stage of the change of routine offer some sort of praise. This could be through sticker charts or treats.
If you need to break down the stages in smaller steps, do it. This is all about your child learning and being comfortable with this new change of routine. In some cases, the step could be to sit on the potty with clothes on, if the act of pulling down the pants causes screams and meltdowns.
You can potty train your autistic child with the above steps. It needs to become a new routine for your child. Don't give up when it gets tough. Remain positive that you will get through it.