The first child I ever potty trained was my daughter. It was definitely a learning experience. She was a very bright and advanced child from very early on. She was about 18 months and told me "Mommy, potty". I looked at her and thought really you want to go to the potty. I figured okay so I put her on well sure as anything she "pooped" in the toilet. I could not believe it. I thought, wow this is going to be so easy. I don't know why people make such a fuss about it. Well the reality of the whole thing is that she wasn't ready. Yes, it was amazing that she did that but she had accidents everyday. I was not consistent with her and the end result it we were both frustrated with the whole process. She wasn't officially using the toilet consistently until she was three years old.
Learning from the "mistakes" I made with my daughter I was hesitant to do the same with my son. The fact that he has PDD-NOS was also something I thought about. The thoughts going through my head were "is he going to connect to this". He had such a low frustration level and was so easily distracted. I was anxious about the whole process. He was in early intervention at this time and during one of my meetings with all of his therapist someone brought up potty training. I automatically replied " I am not ready yet" The key word there is "I". I was anxious, tired, and stressed out about my life already did I really want to add another thing to the mix at the moment. I knew I had to though, I knew the end result would make all of our lives that much better. He was almost three at that point so I told the "team" I am setting a pottry training start date. I knew I had to be mentally ready for this to be a success. I wanted him to turn three and then we would start. The day came and I was PREPARED. I knew there was no turning back once we started. I used tips and techniques from the "team" and we just jumped in. He was potty trained in under a week. I was so overjoyed and my son was so very proud of himself. It took ALOT of hard work and the thing that connected if him was the consistency throughout the "training" time. We also used ALOT of reinforcements to help him want to do it. Below is a sample of the strategy I used. I hope it helps other families with the process.
Goal: To Potty train your child and have it be fun and successful.
Understand if you child is ready by looking for signs.
1. Do they know when the have to do “pee-pee” and “poop”
2. Do they go to another room or in a corner where they think no one can see them to “poop”.
Purchase items so you are prepared.
1. Potty seat.
2. edible treat you will only use during potty training (ex. Fruit Loops)
3. timer (VERY IMPORTANT to be consistent)
4. fun preferred character underwear-(my son loved Thomas the train and did not want to get Thomas dirty)
5. “Super reinforcing toy” (ex. IPAD or Leapster) You ONLY allow child to use this toy if they do "pee pee" or "poop" in the potty. They cannot play with this at other times because it will lose to reinforcing quality.
SET POTTY TRAINING START DATE…NO TURNING BACK!!
1. Have child drink lots fluid whatever is preferred. You want them to really have to go to the bathroom A LOT!! You may want to give them a salty snack so that they are thirsty.
2. Bring child to the bathroom every 10 min. Have child pull down pants and touch underwear to “check” if it’s Dry. Reinforce dry underwear with lots of verbal praise and edible reinforcer ( 1-2 fruit loops).
3. Once in the bathroom have child sit on toilet for 2 min. Praise them for sitting on the potty and use edible reinforcer when they get up.
4. When they do “pee-pee” or “poop” in potty. Praise them and allow them to use the “Super Toy”(IPAD) for 5 min.
5. Repeat all above steps until they understand concept.
6. Each day you can extend timer by 5-10 min for going to use bathroom. Do not exceed 30 min until concept is completely understood.
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