Toilet Training Success and Autism

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Toilet Training Success and Autism

Let's talk about toilet training! This can be a very exciting and a frustrating time all at once. How do you know when your child is ready? What if you have tried and it wasn't successful? After many attempts, parents may wonder if their child can be trained at all!

Experts agree that toilet training an autistic child can be a little more challenging. As part of an autism diagnosis, the "need for sameness" can get in the way of this important life skill. Children might be resistant to the changes that are required. For example, from wearing underwear instead of a diaper. Also, sensory sensitivities or aversions can make the process of using the toilet uncomfortable or overwhelming.

However, there is hope. Many experts from around the world have successfully guided parents in toilet training their autistic children. Some key strategies include:

- Do not get caught up on the "prerequisite" skills listed in books and on the internet. Despite the fact that these prerequisite skills are commonly recommended, research suggests that many children with developmental disabilities successfully toilet train before mastering these other skills. 
- When you are ready to commit to toilet training, replace the diaper with underwear. Most experts agree that leaving the diaper on can prolong the process, even though there will be fewer messes.
- Use your child's current communication system to help them learn how to initiate going to the bathroom. Use PECs, sign language, one-word prompts, or however your child comfortably communicates.

There are many other suggestions from toilet training experts. If you are overwhelmed with the task or find yourself at a loss, reach out to a professional who can help.

Autism Advocate Parenting Magazine has several articles on the topic, including an article from Dr. Rachel Cagliani. She explains progressive sit schedules, encourages rewards, and suggests dry checks and increasing fluids during training.

If you're thinking about embarking on the toilet training adventure with your child, grab a copy of the article and dive into toilet training. Let's make toilet training an exciting and successful journey for both you and your child. Together, we've got this!

Access the article in our article directory by clicking here.

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