Potty training, two seemingly simple words that can somehow make a parent want to run for the hills. Potty training is one of those things that every parent will need to teach their child to do, but can often be a very stressful and frustrating time for both child and parent. Any expert will tell you that staying calm, positive, and focused is the key to success, and, of course,finding the right potty training seat, but that can be hard when it feels like you don’t know how to go about it, and you aren’t seeing progress.
The good news is that you’re not alone in your potty training mission, as there have been millions of parents before you, and millions after you that will go through those same frustrations, doubts, and uncertainty about what’s the best method.
For parents of a child who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, this time can be even tougher, as it’s not unusual for autism potty training to take a little longer. That is exactly why we’ve gone ahead and put together an autism potty training guide, meant to help you conquer the bumps in the road and have you on the path to success. The idea is that you can refer to this autism and potty training guide for tips, advice, and tricks that can make the process smooth for your child and you.
Read Up on as Much as Possible
The first step, before you even begin the potty training steps, should be to read as much as possible on the topic. The more you learn, the more comfortable you’ll feel, which will allow you to approach things in a relaxed manner.
Take, for example, the Potty Training Guide available through Autism Parenting Magazine, which talks you through how to potty train an autistic child. This guide was written for parents just like you, who are in the beginning stages of potty training and want to be sure that they are taking your child’s specific needs in consideration. It is a free download filled with useful tips, advice, and information on potty training autistic child.
If your child has severe autism, then there is a chance they may have issues with their motor and cognitive skills required to use the toilet, or it could be that communication will be a challenge. Identifying these needs in advance will help you to choose the best methods in terms of potty training.
It could even be a good idea to start reading and researching a few months before you’re ready to start potty training, as this gives you a chance to develop your own action plan.
Familiarize Yourself with the Most Common Challenges
This is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the most common challenges that you may encounter. This will allow you to better understand where the challenge stems from, and what the best solution is for that particular challenge. Potty training an autistic child tends to go much smoother when you can be sympathetic to what they are feeling and going through.
So, what are the most common challenges? These can include such things as:
- Not wanting to sit on the potty for long, which means they aren’t sitting there long enough to go to the bathroom.
- Another common challenge can be the child’s desire to flush the toilet over and over, or on the flip side – be afraid of flushing it. Let’s face it, flushing the toilet is loud, the whoosh of water can be rather jarring, and it’s not always going to be the most pleasant experience.
- Some parents also complain of their child being constipated because they are afraid of a bowel movement. If you find your child hiding under a table, in a corner, or off on their own when it’s time to do a bowel movement, this could be what is going on.
Of course, this is just scratching the surface of the challenges that kids can be dealing with as they learn how to potty train. The more you learn, the more prepared you can be with a solution.
Ensure Your Child is Ready for Potty Training
Then there is the simple fact that parents can sometimes be ready for potty training before kids are. If you push your child too soon, and too fast, you are setting them up for failure. Instead, it’s about reading their cues and knowing when it’s time to get started.
Some of the signs that show your child could be ready include:
- Them taking you to the bathroom when they need a clean diaper
- An awareness that their diaper is soiled
- When they can go through the night without soiling their diaper
- Showing an interest when you are using the toilet and wanting to mimic your actions
The Road to Potty Training
As every parent will attest, the road to potty training isn’t always going to be smooth and quick. Often there are bumps and unforeseen twists. This is why it’s so important you are prepared and can go into the process with a positive frame of mind.
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Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.