Ask An Autism Mom EP. 52

How To Potty Train Your Autistic Kids?

For potty training, you want to praise them every time they go and every time they try.

"Now with Riley, we also use the reminder system. I actually would physically set an alarm so when it beeped, she knew. And eventually it got to the point that the alarm would beeped, and she would just get up from what she was doing and walked down to the bathroom without mommy."

Watch Full Reply

Episode Highlights:

We are sitting down with Angela King who is an autism mom to a large family and currently working on potty training 2 of her children.

  • 03:58 Potty training is a step towards independence
  • 05:28 Make sure your environment and routine are stable before you start
  • 09:14 Watch for cues they need to be aware of their bodily functions. If they are not ready it will be a power struggle
  • 13:38 When they are ready let them run around naked or in undies to make it easier. He or she will feel the wetness more this way. And clean up us easier.
  • 17:49 Praise them each time they try and especially when they go
  • 18:16 Get your child excited. Books, songs, social stories
  • 19:05 Remind them to go frequently
  • 23:37 A small reward often helps
  • 20:57 If you keep failing seek medical advice
  • 20:01 Do not show your frustration
  • 24:52 Never compare, each child is very difficult
  • 25:23 Have a party once they are done


Speaker 2: Hi everyone. I'm Jenn Eggert, of Ask an Autism Mom by and I'd like to welcome you back. You can join me every Monday at 1:00 PM eastern to learn tips, meet other parents and share your insights. On today's show we are going to be talking the dreaded potty training. We have Angela who's been with us before and is a dear friend. She is actually in the middle of training to upper children at t he same time, so she's going to share her tips and advice and unique situation of how it becomes difficult when you have two going at the same time especially both are very different in how they are training. Now I want to welcome those. If you're watching on Facebook or listening to our podcast or on Youtube, I believe we are also now live on Amazon live. We are available on so many stations. Folks, if we're having a hard time with the video, please find some our other stations we would love for you to join in.

Speaker 2: Now if you have any questions, you can type "5" or sorry to subscribe to our live show updates. Type "5" in the comments section now and we will have you subscribed to our show. Welcome all viewers. I see Melissa's here Tanya here. It's also a friend of Angela. S so welcome all of you. Now if you're just joining us, you're listening to ask an autism mom and we are sitting now with Angela who's a mom of two that are potty training. She's actually a mom of 10 but she has two that are potty training at the same time and very different ways so she's going to share some information with us today. I can't wait to dig into this topic with you, but first I want to talk about our sponsor. We all know our sponsor is Lakikid and we have a brand new item that we are putting on Kickstarter and the next couple of weeks, which is our "Write in Chill" lap pad.

Speaker 2: This thing is pretty awesome folks. You use a water pen and you draw and then once it dries it'll turn white again. They'll see that beautiful rainbow pattern that it shows. I know Angela's daughter was playing with it the other day and she was colored the whole thing cause she loved the rainbow. Yes. So that is coming on our kick starter soon. laki writeable to learn more and get put on a list to find out when our Kickstarter launches and how to support our Kickstarter and get your very own writeable lap pad. So for today I really want to talk about potty training. This is a challenge. I know I'm looking at the comments real quick and I have Melissa who has her ASB son who has no interest but twins that are coming up to potty training at a year. We have Elizabeth who is potty training to kids as soon as she possibly can. And so let's talk potty training. Oh, Elizabeth, your baby's so cute. So I just want to say the major thing is potty training is a huge step towards independence.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yes, very much is that way they can go out and they can play by themselves without having to worry about they need their diaper to change. My kids, they always end up having their diapers fall off if they're outside playing because they ended up getting into water somewhere and it gets soggy falls off of them.

Speaker 2: Plus, let's talk about The fact that they're independent from mom, but they also have this, and not all of our children are going to have this, but I know Riley has this thing where she doesn't like to be looked at as different. So if your child was one of those that doesn't like to be looked at as different, they're more likely to shy away from social situations because they're wearing a diaper and you might find out.

Speaker 3: That's really what those kids that are going to kindergarten or first grade still in diapers and the kids notice it, they're really going to be brought to their attention as the hooded eye. Just bring a diaper and it really impacts the child a lot to realize that there are a lot different than the other children.

Speaker 2: Now I want to talk about the most important thing. When you potty train, you need to have an extremely stable environment in routine. If it's not stable, then there's no stability for them to fall back on. They will regress. They will not get it. It is so much easier when you have a stable environment. Angela, if you want to explain what you are going through with having a stable environment and how you've had a lot come up and the you've had.

Speaker 3: Yeah, we started potty training before Christmas. It was around Thanksgiving and Halloween time. We decided we were going to start potty training because we have a two and a one year old. The decided they wanted to start and they showed interest, but then right after Christmas my son had surgery on his mouth and then every week we had to go down to the valley to get appointments checkups and I had a week's training for autism, so I had to put it all on the back burner again. So we realized, okay, this was a bad time to start it. We needed to think about the future because they didn't catch onto it like we thought they would. So we had to say, okay, now we're done. We're going to stop. And now that I'm back in the home all the time with the children because our appointments are done until April. Then okay, we have a good area of time to start doing it and being able to focus totally on the potty training.

Speaker 2: And that's one of the keys is, there's so many different ways we're potty training notes. Hundreds. My mom did the old fashioned way that she was taught when my son was little and I thought it was hilarious because she went to the store and she's talked up on juice and chips and I remember looking at her going, why are we feeding him juice in chips He's two, he does not need all of that sugar in nastiness. And my mom laughed and said, watch what happens. She would give him a bowl of chips. The chips were salty, they would make him thirsty. He went down a lot of drinks so he would have to go more frequently. So she used that tactic to make him actually go more frequently and for Jack it worked well. I think he took about three days before he could handle being in the house without any pull up or anything.

Speaker 2: I'm going to sound prejudice. I do not believe I'm putting a pull up or a diaper on a potty training filed. They cannot feel it. It pulls the moisture from their skin. They need to be, as Angela is going through, bear bottomed or in a pair of underwear. Riley was my who I put on another pair of underwear. She wept them. She was disgusted with herself. She was not happy and then she just kind of caught on because every time she got wet she'd get frustrated and I'd say go potty. She was nonverbal, but she made the connection that she was wet, that potty is important and she was able to actually potty trained fairly simply. Now, like Angela had briefly brought up, she saw that her children were showing interest and they were a cues that were there. Angela, do you want to explain some of The cues that you've seen

Speaker 3: One year old is, she was our biggest one is she would see everybody going into the bathroom so she wouldn't go to the door and knock on it. And anytime she got dirty, it didn't matter if it was Poop or pee, she would yank her diaper off right away, totally stripped down and ask for a bath. And she was even throwing her diapers away by herself. So we knew, okay, there's it's time to do it. A actually this weekend after we already talked about this show, h He was in the bathtub, got out, sat on a chair next to the potty and started to go and I go, no, stop. And she stopped, went over stuff on the potty chair and finished in the potty. So it's like, okay, she's definitely ready to do this.

Speaker 2: And there's more than just that. There is, when a child has, and this is for bowel movements, when the child was regular bowel movements, I can tell you when Riley has to poop every day. So if they have regular bowel movements so much easier because you simply at that time or around the time you go in you do The potty. Yes. And it makes it easier. Like Riley used to wiggle and I'd say oh you got a PP cause your wiggly and we would go so watch for your child. Every child has a different queue

Speaker 3: but it's holding herself. We're like, hey you're holding yourself, go to the bathroom. I don't have to go, oh well maybe I do.

Speaker 2: That was Jack. Jack would grab it and I'd be like that way. N now I am going to admit in talk about t he fact that not all children are able to potty train when they have autism or they come to potty training much, much later. Angela, you have two that are older children that are mentally not prepared.

Speaker 3: Yes, we have almost seven next month and then the other one turns five in June and they are not at all ready to start potty training and there's been no signs that they're even aware of their bowel movements, nothing. So we just kind of put on the back burner. We've talked to the doctor and He said it could be either years or never that they'll actually be able to be potty trained. So we just keep it. Okay, well when they're ready they'll show us. There's their signs.

Speaker 2: No, I just want to add a quick note but I didn't think of until just now. If your child received Medical, you can go to the he doctor. If they're over the age of three and the doctor can sign a piece of paper and you send it in and Medicaid will help you find the supplier and Medicaid will pay for your diapers. For older children with disabilities, they'll have to show proof of autism. The doctor will have to agree that diapers are necessary even though the child is five, six, whatever the age. But Medicaid and Medicare will help.

Speaker 3: Well now as long as they have the doctor's notes, we've, that's what we found out.

Speaker 2: You contact. If you have a crowd who's not potty training and not showing signs, not ready, just simply give your insurance company 1 800 number call and ask, do you provide diapers coverage for in a severely autistic child It's now remember there's no harm in asking a question. So ask, talk to your insurance, talk to your doctor if you need diapers. Don't feel bad, but look into ways to help make it more affordable. MMM. Now Angela, do you want to explain kind of the process you're going through first with little miss naked and then the other one

Speaker 3: Well, the little miss pull ups when he's home because he doesn't like her running around naked. She won't leave underwear on. For some reason, The texture, we're going to be having her tested next month for sensory disorders because she thinks that

Speaker 2: try boy, if your girls don't like girls underwear. A thing I learned when Riley was struggling. Try Boy boxer shorts. The different fit made it easier for her.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So what we do, is she does go around naked most of The time in a tee shirt. So she runs around The house and every 20 minutes we're okay, let's go try sitting on The potty. And the two year olds we take in there too because she, she's showing signs, but she's more of a the one year old doing so she wants to do it too. So she has had some success on going to the bathroom until she had a bowel movement in the toilet and then she freaked out. So it was the concept of there's something else coming out of my body than just liquid. So we, we go in there every 20 minutes and we said one on the potty and one in the potty chair. And we sit there and we read through books. We go through, we have our, our little strips that tells you exactly how to pull your pants.

Speaker 3: S sit down on the potty. When you go your wife, pull up your pants, flush the potty, wash your hands, raise your hands, dry your hands and all done. We discussed this at throughout the day and then every time we go in there for 20 minutes, but while we're there sitting there, we go through and we read stories or just sit there and talk or sing a song or something. That way that they're, they're comfortable and doing it. Not that it's a punishment, but they have to go in there and sit for that long a time. But if we always do 20 minutes from The time we finished, because I know some people's like, oh, every 20 minutes, that's a lot because we're in there for 30 minutes and then we come out, don't make your kids sit there that long. Just long enough for a story or time to talk and stuff.

Speaker 2: I actually read five minutes. Yeah, you should not be in the bathroom more than five minutes. And we've found, and I know Angela is, kids love youtube as much as mine. I actually found some appropriate, Y outube videos where they're songs about going potty. So it's inclusive of social story. If your kid connects better to songs and they had the little cartoons, that was quite interesting.

Speaker 3: Yeah. But then after were done we just get a praise the go in and they'll get skittles if not there. Oh well maybe next time we'll get it. So that way they know that they didn't do anything wrong for not going that they at least try.

Speaker 2: Right. So she was picture charts and like she said, she has one that's a copycat trainer and ones that's a naked trainer. Yes. Daniel Tiger potty trained Angela White son. That is awesome. I like being a tiger. He got some really good life lessons compared to some of the shows that I can't stand like how you, which my daughter was addicted to for awhile. N now Angela just briefly touched on it before I get to that though, I just remember you want to praise from every time they go. Every time they try

Speaker 2: You tried really hard, good job. And then when they go make a big deal about it, I'm helping my sister in law trained my nephew and whenever I'm there we come out and we yell when we tell the whole stroke or people who had her, who's in there I need. And He gets so excited that joy of sharing it with people who also does earn, one or two m and m's and then he gets more for a poop. You poopoo that reward. Now I'm going to warn you, if you have people come over, well you are potty training. Please warn them in advance, especially if you have a naked runner or and just plain underpants and a top. If you're not fully dressed, warn the people coming over because they'll probably be like, what is this person doing

Speaker 3: On in the house So they're just like, oh, that's a normal for you.

Speaker 2: Now with Riley, we also use the reminder system. I actually would physically set an alarm so when it beeped, she knew and eventually it got to the point that the alarm would be, and she would just get up from what she was doing and walked down to the bathroom without Mommy Sang, let's go.

Speaker 3: That's been good apps for that now. Okay. How often do you want to do it and all you hit on there is, okay, we went, we tried, or if we had an accent, a success. We've tried those also.

Speaker 2: If you're in group, I will actually ask Angela to post some of that information on the apps in group later today. Now we talked about how Angela is, boys are not going to train right now. There's not ready. Don't feel bad. If they're not ready, do not show frustration. Your frustration will turn into their frustration.

Speaker 3: Yep.

Speaker 2: And that will actually make them regress.

Speaker 3: Yeah. They really get really upset. I have a my third oldest daughter hood medically not remember to go to the bathroom and she would get so frustrated with it and we would just have to tell her it's okay. T that was one of the medical ones that we were talking about me and you over the weekend is that she, her bladder was like a newborn baby. It never, and she was still in third and fourth grade and they were still having party accidents. The school told us she can't come to school anymore. So we're like, okay, well we have to get some medical advice on this. We went to the doctor and they told us that she did not have a mature bladder. That it was just like a few weeks old in her body. It was just really tight and not contracting. So, it took us two years to try to train her bladder to start contracting. And she still, she was in junior high and she'd be coming into my classroom and I'd be keen to go in and go to the bathroom any and she's okay, well I'll go try it. And she realized, Oh, I really had to go because I already had an accident because she wouldn't even know when she had the accident. A and she admitted to Jen the other day, she's still having accidents every once in a while, even though the doctor Clear Curve through most of her medical problems for it.

Speaker 2: I just wanted to bring up, I found on target they have this cute little watch. It looks like a watch. It's $5 and is a potty timer. But if you have a child and you want a it, they're a great, it looks like a watch, a watch and your child will think they're wearing a watch. It times two, the intramurals you've said it for.

Speaker 2: N ow

Speaker 2: I'm going to say th e noise of flushing can be scary for some of our kids. If you feel your child is traumatized by th e noise of flushing, let them leave the room. Then you flush. Riley can handle flushing at home who cannot handle flushing in a public toilet. We carry post it notes. I stopped carrying them a while back but we would carry post it notes and before she'd get on the Potty I would slap a post it note on the center for the toilet so that she could go to the bathroom, walk out. And then as I walked out the post it note off and throw it away.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Speaker 2: But that way the, it would scare her wealth she was going, cause you know how sometimes you're still in the middle of going and that thing goes off and you're like, okay. So we stopped that because we knew that was causing her to regress and actually withhold going. Now let's talk about when you're near the end of potty training. I love the idea of a pottie party.

Speaker 2: This party is, and you're going to think I'm funny. If your kid loves cupcakes, get them cupcakes, doughnuts, a cookie, but you have a little party. If you're able, some people I know have children that would use th e diapers, but give them something symbolic to get rid of and then as a gift buy them, their favorite character underwear and say you did, here's, look, mommy got you new underwear and it's got dinosaurs on it. It's got Cinderella on it. Whatever is their thing at that moment. Really make this party a lasting impression in their heads so that they remember I potty now and I got rewarded and it was fun.

Speaker 3: Only can do, go ahead and have a party then do two parties when they've done the bowel movement. Cause we had that with one of our children is they had the pottying part down. Great. So we had a little party for that. But then it took him almost two more years to figure out how to poop in the potty because he just wasn't ready.

Speaker 2: Exactly. Don't, and don't stress over it. Every child is very different. And and I'm going to tell you just because you daytime potty trained, you're proud of me and their nighttime trained Jack War, he's going to hurt me. He will be 15 in a couple of days. He's not going to like this being said, but Jack is almost fine when He was night train.

Speaker 2: Because he just is a heavy, heavy sleeper.

Speaker 3: I had one that was 13.

Speaker 2: Yup. So don't penalize them. And again, once they get that nighttime down, having another party, kids love party, kids love, excitement. Kids love. Even as simple as, I think our party consisted of her favorite cookies, kind of ice cream and bubbles.

Speaker 2: And we all yelled sing in, clapped and sang and she had a blast.

Speaker 3: My one daughter that had a lot of accidents and also the ones that at bedtime we always had them to realize that it wasn't a big deal to do this kind of thing, that they always helped me clean it up. Also, they would help me strip the bed, put it into the washer. If they pooped their pants, they would help me just wash them out a little bit. And we just talk about, oh well it's okay. Some people do this. It's not that big a deal.

Speaker 3: That way they feel better.

Speaker 2: But they feel better. But it also gives them the sense of this is what's happening. So sometimes it helps some clue in a little bit easier and a little bit quicker that, oh, I went and now we've got to clean it out. Because I will say, not all, but I have seen lazy children that just don't care. So when you take a lazy child and make them clean it up, they quickly realize they lose valuable playtime because they got to clean up.

Speaker 3: It gives you a call on if they were just being lazy or we're really have a problem with it.

Speaker 2: Now I am going to ask if anyone has questions, I'm quickly scrolling through th e comments of the questions. Michelle Bennet, go to our new landing page, the lakik writeable and you will find the information on new writeable lap pad. And Katrina don't feel bad that she's six. Like Angela says, she's got one that's older than six. She's not stressed about it. He's just not ready. Now, Natasha, I'm going to admit, boys and girls potty trained very differently. Angela having some of each, they're different. My son potty trained into steps. First he sat on the potty

Speaker 2: And then one day he in public and my dad took him to the bathroom and he comes up to me and he goes, Mama, Papa stands up and I sit down. That's not right. So to go back and retrain him to stand, now I'm going to tell you, if you are teaching your son to stand, please, you need to teach them to make sure the lid is fully up. We had an incident where we had to go to the hospital because we got some severe crushed them image because h e didn't have the lid all the way up. I wasn't there and it fell on top of him and it was not pleasant thing. Also, another funny Jack's story. He's probably going to hurt me for, watch her children when they're potty training. They're very inquisitive little people. They like to learn things. They like to figure things out.

Speaker 2: Jack was trying to figure out where the PP came from. Well, I had no idea. He came out of the bathroom one day and his head was all wet and I'm like, Woo, doing are you like putting your head under the water when you wash your hands And it happened again. So then I followed him into the bathroom the third time my son put his head between his legs and watching it come out and he was spraying himself all over his face. So if you have a boy, sure they do that. Be careful with this frame themselves in the face, teaching them to angle and hold it where it needs to go. W atch that potty seat lid. Girls are a little bit easier. I found my main problem with Riley was she would sit too far up on the toilet seat. So we actually had to put little marks on the toilet and see where we wanted her little booty to be because she would sit so far forward The p would actually come out and go onto her clothes because she was not over the actual toilet seat. So yes, very different issues with boys versus girls. I'm just going through Elizabeth. It is not , income based for most insurance. Not all insurances take this diaper act type thing. Not all of them do it. I don't know what kind of insurance yo alleged permit but messaged me after The show, um, at my profile Jenn Eggert and you and I will discuss and see if we can find some type of help. Again,

Speaker 3: They need a lot of doctors notes before they will approve it. We had to get a ton of doctor's notes explaining why are children these before they would approve it for us.

Speaker 2: Exactly. Again, I'm, Angela is springing out. Daniel Tiger potty trained to her one more and so cause Daniel Tiger is a cartoon based social story. That's exactly what h e is. So those social stories worked. And because He was a cartoon, He worked even better. Let me just keep going real quick. Yes. A lot of kids had the interception sensory issues that don't allow them to have the urge. So you need to remind them and that's where you're reminding them to build the muscle memory. You have to build that muscle memory like Angela went through with her teenager. That muscle memory had to be built for her daughter to figure it out. Shalonda when you say superhero, that's kind of funny. We brought Jack to camp a couple weeks after he potty train and he didn't want to keep going in to the bathroom. So my mother decided to let him learn how to pee on trees. Well, He kept soaking his clothes. So then, I can't remember who, I think it was. My brother in law decided to pick him up, lay him across his arms like this, tip him up, just ever so slightly towards the trees and say, okay, Superhero Pee. And He would literally pee laying across my brother in law's arms. I'd be hitting the tree and he would superhero pee I'm sorry, I just, I found that funny, but that's how he learned how to potty on the tree.

Speaker 3: Why not body across t he toilet and put their arms down on the toilet. Like they were leaning against it. So they learned how to be that way.

Speaker 2: Now Angela, I agree. E even as adults we can struggle with this. I don't feel hunger either until I'm starving. It's hard for me. No one I have to go. So I kind of have to schedule it like Angela into my day and it really helps. That is all for comments that I am seeing. I want to thank all of you today for coming. Angela, I want to thank you for joining us. I always love having Angela on the show. So so thank you for coming. You can join me every Monday at 1:00 PM eastern for more parenting tips. You can join our parent's support group at group. That is where you will find our help. If you have any questions on today's show, I know Angela is in group multiple times a day. I'm in there multiple times a day.

Speaker 2: We will help you. if you're questioning when Angela White said the Intro, let me get the right word, Angela, because I know you're going to say you said that wrong intro section, intro perception. I can't say that word. Angela's going to have to help me one day. Learn that word a little better. But if you have questions about that, let's look into that as well. So thank you for joining us. Remember the next couple of weeks we are dedicated to our Kickstarter campaign with our amazing "Write and Chill" weighted lap pad. Again, color and you see the rainbow and the failproof pen.

Speaker 3: Don't forget about that.

Speaker 2: Yes, that's a failproof pen. My kids, when they get water pens, they take the lid off and dump them. This pen, you know how you screw righty tighty lefty loosey. This is the opposite. As a safety feature, it cruise on opposite what you would expect. I can't do it. My hands are weak today. I can't open it. I'm not having a great day with my hands, but these are amazing and they are protected so your kid won't just open them in, dump them. My kids would. So thank you for joining us. Remember if you type "5" in the comments section, now you will subscribe to our live show. You can join us on Youtube. At on Youtube and you can subscribe there and if you hit the bell you can get updates on when we go live on you tube. I am so excited to say that we are now on, I want to say Jason told me 15 different podcasts stations, which is amazing and so exciting for me and we have The group.

Speaker 2: Don't forget the group and if you need more advice or want to ask a question to be posted to be answered, live on an upcoming show, go to ask all of those links will be put in the comments section in a few moments. So please, please check us out. Join our Facebook group. If you need to message me, message me anytime I'm, I will walk you through any problem you have. I have no problem with that. Have a great day everyone. Thank you for watching and remember, every child brings good luck.

Related Episodes

Sold out

Sold out

Sold out