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Potty Training Tips for Children with Autism: You’re not Alone!

image of toddler on toilet for potty training

Potty training tips for children with autism

On a recent episode of the Misfit Behaviorists podcast, Caitlin and I did a 2-part series on … dun dun dun … potty training, especially potty training tips for children with autism, cuz that's our love! Woohoo! If you have a neurodivergent child or work with students with disabilities, you may know that this can be a difficult task! We know it can be overwhelming, but you're not alone. And believe it or not, 99.999% of the time, it WILL happen! It just may take longer or look a little differently than you expected. That's OK! Let's chat about it, and maybe we can help you navigate this important milestone.

Also check out this whole series of potty training posts!

Understanding Potty Training Readiness

Potty training readiness looks different for every child, especially those with autism or other special needs. While some kids may exhibit classic signs like bladder control, showing interest in the toilet, and a desire for independence, others might not follow this typical pattern. Don't worry if your child doesn't tick all the boxes – there's no one-size-fits-all timeline. Tune into your child's unique cues and trust your instincts as a parent. We delve into these signs of readiness more in our podcast episode, so be sure to listen for those subtle signals!

Navigating Potty Training Approaches

image of toy on toilet not wanting to potty train

There are two main approaches to potty training: child-led and parent-led. The child-led approach follows your child's natural cues and readiness, while the parent-led approach is more structured with scheduled bathroom breaks and consistent reinforcement. Both have pros and cons, and it's often best to find a happy medium – a hybrid approach that combines elements of both. For more in-depth information, check out resources like “Oh Crap Potty Training” or “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day.”

One of the most poop-ular (see what I did there?) books on potty training today. 

Check it out!

This is the book I probably have used the most. Classic standard.

See it here

Who doesn't LOVE Pete the Cat? Well, let's see how Pete the Kitty does in the bathroom. 

See it.

One of the many timer watches out there. These are really good for potty training children with autism.

Check it out.

One of my favorite potty chairs. Gives the child stability for their little legs! I also like the portable seats you can carry around, but this isn't that. Just a good, stable chair insert!

See it.

As mentioned in the podcast, we had to use something like this, but make sure you bring your pediatrician into the discussion if you consider this! Use it correctly!

Check it out!

Building a Potty Training Team

Potty training success for children with autism or any youngin' is often a team effort. It's crucial to collaborate with your child's teachers and therapists to ensure consistency across environments. Open communication is key – share your strategies, successes, and challenges with the school team, and vice versa. By working together, you can create a supportive environment that sets your child up for success.

image of toddler on potty chair with two teddy bears

Practical Tips for Potty Training Success

From flooding your child with liquids to create more opportunities for practice, to using direct reinforcement (like a small treat) for successes, listen to the podcast episode as we share practical tips and tricks. We also discuss tools like potty timer watches to promote independence. Don't miss my free potty training resources – available in our podcast's Facebook group – which include charts and visual supports to help your child along their journey.

You can also see the FULL RESOURCE here with over 100 pages of goals and visuals… everything you need to get started!

Check out the full episode below, on YouTube, or anywhere you like to grab your favorite podcast!

Disclosure Policy Amazon Affiliates Disclosure

This blog contains Amazon affiliate links through the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. I may receive compensation as for featuring a product.  I only recommend products I use myself. Affiliate links don’t cost you anything. 

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