Even though Dominic is over nine years old, he just recently got 100% potty trained. What a long, difficult and stressful road that was for all of us in this house.
How many of you out there with typically developing children had a difficult time with the potty training? Did it take a few days, weeks, months?
When you have a child with Autism, it can be a totally different experience and may take much, much longer.
Dominic doesn't have any physical disabilities that would prevent him from being trained, so we knew he was capable of it. In the past, whenever I would ask Dominic about using the potty, his response was always a resounding, "no!" He was perfectly content to be sitting in a soiled diaper or a Pull-Up for hours.
Believe me, I got out tons of books from the library, spent hours on the computer researching the subject and asked parents of special needs children how they accomplished the toileting - nothing was helping. I knew that him being able to use the potty independently was an important milestone he really need to achieve.
Shortly after Dominic started third grade, it was made a goal that he would be fully independent using the bathroom by the time he started middle school (which will be September 2014). We started the whole process in early 2013. A picture schedule, positive praise and a reward system was key with him. His teacher and everyone else that interacts with him on a daily basis at school were really, really patient.
We finally got him fully trained after months of trying and then in May, he got a horrendous migraine and regressed. Anytime we tried after that it, it was met with tons of resistance and anxiety. The hubby and I had many an argument about the potty training, mostly because the hubby knew Dominic was capable of it but wasn't doing it. I was more laid back about it and knew he would be able to get there, but we couldn't push too hard.
Shortly after he started fourth grade, it was highly suggested that we get him fully trained again. We restarted the potty training program and again it was met with resistance. Dominic is a smart cookie, he would wear undies to school and be dry, but when he got home I made it too easy for him by putting a Pull-Up on him. After a while of him doing the #1 and #2 in his Pull-Up, I realized it was never going to be a success unless we also had him wear undies at home. I still let him wear a Pull-Up to bed just in case he had an accident in the middle of the night.
A few weeks ago, I stopped letting him do that too. We still have to "prompt" him to go every 3 or 4 hours, but he is doing great!!!! We are so proud of him!
To read more from Cathy, visit bountifulplate.blogspot.com