How To Potty Train Your Child With Autism


Children's legs hanging down from a chamber-pot on a blue backgr

When it comes to potty training, many parents want to scream. Am I right? It’s rare that ANY child will turn to you and say, “I have to go potty”…walk over…and do their business in the toilet. It usually takes a few accidents and quite a bit of coaxing with treats to boot.

SO, throw in a developmental disability, disorder, delay…this can make the ever-so-daunting task of potty training…even more daunting! But I am going to encourage you to give it a go and use some of the following tips to make it easier for your child to accomplish this hefty task.

The following tips are from parents in our Little Sprout Speech community that have shared what worked for them. If of course you read this and have tips that worked for your child, please comment below as I know that will help lots of other parents on this exciting potty training journey!

Here you go:

  • When your child soils their diaper, pull-up or nappie as some of you call it, take them straight to bathroom and don’t lay them down like a baby.
  • If you have a boy have him stand up while changing him vs a girl try to sit her on the potty while cleaning her up
  • Put up a schedule with the sequence in pictures (with text written below each picture). For example, your steps may include: “pull down pants”, “sit on toilet”, “go pee/poop”, “wipe”, “stand up”, “get dressed”, “flush”, “wash hands”.
  • Use a target (for boys) like fruit loops or cheerios and make a game out of it so they learn to aim at the target!
  • Use a reinforcement system: if they hit the target every time they get a sticker and can earn a treat at the end of each day.
  • Try giving salty snacks which will increase thirst and then give lots of water. Toilet every 20-30 min. Only wear underwear (have extra on hand) and invest in a good mop!
  • Use ONLY underwear during the day (even if your child’s daycare or school encourages pull-ups when there…put your foot down if you want your child to learn and become potty trained)!
  • Use pull-ups ONLY for sleep!
  • Use the iPad as a reward ONLY after they go on the potty. Don’t give in and give it if they fuss but won’t go!
  • Use a timer on the iPad that goes off at the intervals you have chosen (20 min, 30 min, 60 min, 90 min) and help your child understand that when it goes off they must go sit on the potty and try to go. This will help lead to some independence when they start going on their own when the timer goes off!
Give these tips a try and REPORT BACK! We would LOVE to hear how it goes 🙂
With Love,