Ugh. This is is not something we were EVER excited about reaching….other than not buying one child’s worth of diapers anymore, of course. I had moderately attempted to potty train over the summer when we had “all the time in the world,” but it did not go well at all.
So, the issue was tabled for a while. I knew that the next chance would have to be during a break from school so that we’d have plenty of time at home with limited interruptions. Enter Thanksgiving Break. We are fortunate to be in a school system that is on a balanced calendar, so all breaks are full weeks, rather than long weekends. So here we were with a full week before us and potty boot camp.
I have to say I am in LOVE with the way I chose to do things this time around. Here’s the rundown:
A Few Months Before: read books on potty training. I had already read a couple over the summer for kids with ASD and sensory issues, but I checked out a few others from the library.
1 Month Before: Check out many picture books and DVDs about potty training and read/watch them as frequently as possible. Also take pictures of each step of the potty process (lift lid, put on potty seat, pull down pants, etc….), print them, and make them into a book that labels and helps visualize the WHOLE process…read this one regularly as well.
The Week Before: Add in lots of conversations about how he’ll wear undies every day and diapers are going to be all gone.
Potty Day 1: Put on undies with plastic undies/cover over top (this tremendously helped with accidents, though wasn’t foolproof). Take potty breaks every 30 minutes and go through all the steps. This is incredibly tedious, but helped us establish the routine. Heavily praise staying clean and dry as well as actually going to the bathroom in the toilet/give rewards as necessary. (we still use diapers at night)
Potty Day 2: Still try to stick to potty breaks every 30 minutes, but pay attention to when he actually peed or pooped the previous day and try to go around those times too.
Potty Day 3: Same as before, but start to break from the rigid, every 30 minutes plan.
So, the schedule continued to get more and more relaxed, but my little man still doesn’t often let us know that he needs to “go.” We also hit a fairly large speed bump of a household full of flu, so we had to revert back to some diaper wearing for sanity’s sake. He also was holding it those first few days because his routine was so shaken up, and since has gone back to his normal self. Since then, he’s really resisted #2 on the toilet, but everything I have read has indicated that most ASD kids take a looooooooooong time to master that one. Super.
So, in the meantime, we do mostly undies with a smattering of pull-ups when I’m pretty sure he needs to poo. It works for now, and is immense progress from only diapers.
Here are the list of picture books we happened to read (mostly because it was what was at our library when we would go):
1. How to Potty Train Your Monster (DiPucchio)
2. Potty (Patricelli)
3. Pirate Potty (Berger)
4. The Potty Train (Hochman and Kennison)
5. Big Boys Go Potty (Richmond)
6. Potty Poo Poo Wee Wee
7. Once Upon a Potty (Frankel)
8. Danny is Done with Diapers (O’Connell)
9. The Potty Book for Boys (Capucilli)
10. It’s Potty Time! (Courderoy)
11. Ian’s New Potty (Oud)
We watched The Magic Bowl and The Potty Movie for Boys VERY often. He love love LOVED the songs and still sings them weeks after the movies were returned to the library.