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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Autism and Potty Training
hgonzalez 12:01 PM 09-12-2013
I am having a stressful issue with a child here, a young 3 yr old, on the Autism Spectrum with limited speech. He has made lots of progress here and recently started going to a school district early childhood special education preschool. He is super intelligent in many respects. He is a HEAVY wetter.

Out of the blue, the parents started sending him to daycare in pull ups. I asked about it, and they said they are just going to 'go for it' at home. I have tried to get the child to go into my bathroom and at least sit on the potty or toilet and he won't even go into the bathroom and becomes defiant. He is pretty defiant much of the time, but I can usually get him to cooperate.

After talking with the parents more about this, I find out that they are putting a potty chair in their living room and giving him candy when he sits on it. I have tried the candy as a reward before in my daycare with children in the past and it was a disaster because of the other children wanting a treat for going to the bathroom too. I am not going to start bribing a child with candy or put a potty chair in a public area of my house.

The child shows no interest in trying without candy and could care less if he is wet or not. He would walk around in a diaper down to his knees and not care. I don't think he is ready.

I sent home some information on readiness to the parents and got no response. I also told the DCM that I did not feel he was ready and that I think he is just responding to the treat and not really concerned about going potty or staying dry. I also told her that if we are not training the child, and are simply training ourselves to take him to the toilet on a regular basis, then it won't stick.

So today he gets dropped off and I am told he 'initiated' going all evening last night. He went to the potty, pulled his pants down and went and then waited for his candy. When the dad left I tried to take him to the bathroom and he screamed 'no'; I checked his pull up and it was soaked again.

I adore the two children, and don't want to lose the family. But, I honestly don't think they are potty training him in a manner that is going to work in the long run. I can just keep my mouth shut and keep trying, but they seem to be irritated with me if I am no successful. Thoughts?
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Cat Herder 12:05 PM 09-12-2013
Originally Posted by hgonzalez:
the parents started sending him to daycare in pull ups. I asked about it, and they said they are just going to 'go for it' at home.

they seem to be irritated with me if I am no successful. Thoughts?
Have they actually said they expected you to potty train at your house for the new school?
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Heidi 12:08 PM 09-12-2013
Autism aside, he's not ready. YOU know that, I know that, but his parents don't.

Just make sure they supply you with lots of pull-ups, and then let him take the lead. If he asks to go, great. If not, I would not beat myself up over it. If asked, I'd continue to say things like "well, we haven't had a lot of luck in that department here. As you know, I won't push him, but I'm sure he'll catch on soon enough".

Sooner or later, they will realize he's not ready, but if they want to continue buying pullups at 2x the cost of diapers, let 'em.
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lovemylife 12:13 PM 09-12-2013
I'm no help in the sense of potty a child with autism. But I can relate to potty training a difficult child AND with difficult parents, multiple different times! Currently I have a 3 year old dcb who shows no interest in using the potty at all. When I ask him to go potty he won't want to and will start crying. If I can get him on the potty he will pout/cry until I take him off. Put the pull up back on then go in the pull up. Mom and dad both say that he goes for them every time and they just put him on the potty every hour. To be honest I don't have time to take him every hour because getting him on and off takes 15 minutes. He is only awake for 2 hours at home until he goes to bed. I honestly think they are lying to me about the situation. I'm thinking about changing my contract about potty training. Parents expect us to do all the work. I spent 6 months potty training an almost 5 year old recently. I put so much work into him!! He was finally in underwear during the day with no accidents (still wearing pull ups at home) mom lost her job and he returned 2 weeks later...back in pull ups refuses to use the potty at all and won't wear underwear anymore. Urg! Sorry for my vent.
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itlw8 12:20 PM 09-12-2013
routine is extremely important with a child with autism. see if the parents will move the potty chair to the bathroom now. That will help you a lot so it is the same. I know you do not like to do m&m's but it is working at home. later they will wean him off the reward. would a sticker work for him and you?

I would not force the issue if he is screaming but personally I would follow through with what the parents are doing except for the potty in the living room. WHY??? Because it is working for them. consistency is key. Especially with a child with special needs.

Part of the program in the special ed preschool will be to toilet train. What do they do ? Does he scream there? If he does what do they do? get permission to talk with his teacher there so you can be on the same page.
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hgonzalez 12:26 PM 09-12-2013
I did ask them about moving the potty chair to the bathroom at home. They claim they did. They use tootsie rolls and he is the type of kid who wants everything exactly the same or he freaks out.

I cannot bring him every 15 mins here, as I have other kids to care for. I can keep trying and just have them keep wearing the pull ups. I am not going to drag him into the bathroom kicking and screaming, however. I also don't like fully undressing him in front of the other kids to get a pull up on.

He only goes to preschool part time, 3 mornings a week. He comes back here soaked; they are not using the pull ups that the mom has been sending and specifically asked her for more diapers. He even came back one day with someone else's diaper on (name on it) with pull ups still in his back pack. I am sure they, too, don't get why they are pushing the pull up issue. Maybe they are trying to get him into school somewhere but he has to be potty trained??
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Angelsj 12:34 PM 09-12-2013
In my own experience, many spectrum kids are about a year behind in many physical things. If he is "initiating" at home, then he can do so at your house as well. Until he does, just change his pullup and don't worry about it.
Either their success will come over to your house, or they will give up on it.
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daycarediva 12:41 PM 09-12-2013
Originally Posted by Angelsj:
In my own experience, many spectrum kids are about a year behind in many physical things. If he is "initiating" at home, then he can do so at your house as well. Until he does, just change his pullup and don't worry about it.
Either their success will come over to your house, or they will give up on it.
He is GOING to train late, more than likely. The only ASD kids I knew who trained on time/early were higher functioning and not even diagnosed at the time.

That being said, some don't 'get' the wet is gross, etc type readiness signs-ever. Sensory issues, or lack thereof.

Do a picture schedule, print and laminate them and just point. I would make adaptations for him (I did 1 M&M for pee and 2 for poo so a small checkout bag would last a week). Lots of praise.

Have the parents move the potty chair to the bathroom, he will learn to pee/poop in the living room and my own ASD son would move his potty chair to the same spot every time, so we eliminated the potty chair.

He will have different readiness signs, may not be able to communicate the need to go, but that doesn't mean he isn't physically capable.

He will NEVER, NOT EVER be trained without 100% consistency. So if you are unwilling to get on board, term!
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hgonzalez 01:01 PM 09-12-2013
I am more than willing. My belief is that he is learning to go to the potty chair to get candy, not to empty his bladder or bowels. He is very responsive to the methods I use with him for everything, much better behaved here than with his parents because they don't follow through with much. They are really nice people, but not the best at figuring out how to help him learn to get along with others. He is a real sweetheart at times.

I have my own child with Autism and feel that once you set a precedent with them, they will remember it and don't like straying from that. We will see.
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itlw8 02:53 PM 09-12-2013
Originally Posted by daycarediva:
He is GOING to train late, more than likely. The only ASD kids I knew who trained on time/early were higher functioning and not even diagnosed at the time.

That being said, some don't 'get' the wet is gross, etc type readiness signs-ever. Sensory issues, or lack thereof.

Do a picture schedule, print and laminate them and just point. I would make adaptations for him (I did 1 M&M for pee and 2 for poo so a small checkout bag would last a week). Lots of praise.

Have the parents move the potty chair to the bathroom, he will learn to pee/poop in the living room and my own ASD son would move his potty chair to the same spot every time, so we eliminated the potty chair.

He will have different readiness signs, may not be able to communicate the need to go, but that doesn't mean he isn't physically capable.

He will NEVER, NOT EVER be trained without 100% consistency. So if you are unwilling to get on board, term!
Everything she said plus every 15 minutes is unreasonable. every 1 1/2 hours is reasonable. truly I have set times everyone goes so I do the same for a potty training child... before we go outdoors, before nap and after nap I would only do those times for now... And giving the others a treat when potty training a younger child does help the younger one succeed. I wait with that trick until it is needed.
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Tags:autism, potty training
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