When to Potty Train Your Autistic Child?

Posted by Jenn Eggert

When to Potty Train Your Autistic Child?

When to Potty Train Your Autistic Child?

Are you tired of spending money on diapers? Or having to change them all the time?

For many with autism, potty training can be a challenge. You can also face potty training regression. Today I am going to explain the tips and tricks to help you.

First, you need to understand that potty training your autistic child is a major step towards independence.

When you consider potty training, you need to make sure that your routine and environment are stable so it sets them up for success. At this point, you are going to start watching them for cues that they are ready. They need to be fully aware of their bodily functions. If they are not aware of their bodily functions, they will not understand enough to potty train. Plus, all it will cause is a power struggle you do not want to get into.

Once they are ready to start potty training, take away all diapers and pull ups. You want to confine them to a space that is easy to clean. Then you will choose between being naked or wearing undies. By doing this they will feel the wetness and make connection between potty time and being wet. They will have accidents so it will make clean up much easier.

You want to make the whole potty training experience fun and exciting for your autistic child, so they are more likely to go along with it.

You want them to enjoy it rather than seeing it as a chore. Here are few tricks:

  • Have special books or songs just for potty time.
  • Find a social story on potty training. My son loved the Elmo he got with a potty and book. That way he understood and got to practice with Elmo.
  • You may want to set a timer for every so long to help them get muscle memory to remember when to go try. And remind them to try often.
  • Praise them every time they attempt to go.
  • A small reward often works well. Jack had a sticker chart for potty training. Every time he went, he got 1 sticker for pee and 2 stickers for poop. After a certain amount of stickers, he got a new Thomas the train. We tried stickers for Ryley, but she preferred M+M's instead. So pick a reward that has meaning to your child. I have even seen pennies used as a reward.

It is important that you never show frustration to your child. All children are different, so never compare your child to other children. All that does is cause heartbreak for you. And if you do keep failing, please consult with your doctor. Potty training can be difficult and you may see potty training regression, but please never give up!



is a 35-year-old mother of two. Jenn's daughter, Ryley was disagonsed with autism at the age of 4. Jenn is also the host of our weekly Facebook Live show, Ask an Autism Mom.

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How To Potty Train Your Autistic Kids?

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