Autism Potty Training in 3 Days | Best Guide from Pro in 2023
You are probably thinking “Autism Potty Training In 3 Days? is it possible? Are You Kidding aren’t you?
For the longest period, I was scared and had mini heart attacks whenever potty training my son Muhammad came up. He was non-verbal and very low-functioning when we started our journey. 1 year later not only he developed massive language, communication, and social skills but graduated from Pre-school with flying colors and was pretty much potty trained.
Why did I say pretty much?
Because it’s been a recent development and he got 95% of the hang of it and there are sometimes occasional “misses”. Even with neuroatypical kids occasional miss is okay when your child has been on the training for only a month or two!!
Summer is here and a perfect time to potty train!!
Grab a drink and Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of conquering this intensely stressful and anxiety-inducing saga of being an autism parent, shall we?
PS: Don’t want to read the whole story? Read the HOT TIPS below each subheading
(Although Reading The Full Story Is Highly Recommended!!)
Table of Contents
Step 1: Identify The Need and the Reason Why You Are Stuck While Potty Train Your Autism Child.
Oh yes, it means you get a severe nudge from somewhere that you can’t postpone this any further. For me, it was enrolling him for his upcoming September ’21 Kindergarten. I was told that without an “official Low Functioning” certificate I might be called in every time there is a poopy diaper of sorts!! I didn’t want my child to feel embarrassed as Lord knows how that ends up making us feel. I never forgot how I felt in my early childhood as an unidentified neurodiverse with learning and memory difficulties. I had trauma memories from my kindergarten days and I identified my trauma as the reason I was so scared and stuck.
Another reason for my stuckness was that being a Muslim I can’t pray if I get spray or streaks of poop/pee in my clothes and body. “Potty Training Autism” meant a plethora of such accidents happening on the regular. So once I found my 2 big “whys” I went on to research on overcoming them. A lot of the time identifying the reason for stuckness automatically loosens up the stuckness in question because then the Reticular Activating System (RAS) can focus on finding easy, practical, and low-energy alternatives.
Step 2: Find Your Child’s Schedule
I got this idea from an occupational therapist who gave us a complimentary session over the phone telling me the need to find his rhythm and schedule…
But you know what?
My son had no freaking schedule! The rule is to keep checking a freshly put-on diaper every 1 hour initially then every 30 min and then every 15 min. For me, this sounded very arduous. Nonetheless, I talked with his daycare teacher as he was spending a major portion of the day there. We compared notes on when she found him wetting the diaper. She mentioned he stays dry until lunch which means that he is actually busy playing and not drinking that much so he stays dry. But at home during weekends he wouldn’t have that schedule since I remind him and encourage him to drink plenty.
I figured I need to remind him every hour or so to use the potty. Then sometimes I would forget and he would use the diaper to pee. I talked with my support system that I feel guilty and not good enough because I couldn’t remind him periodically!! I was kindly told that It is OK to forget since I was rearing both my kids on my own without any help or support. My emotional stability was way more important and since I started the journey several months ahead of time I can go slow.
Permission is so important!! If you need someone to tell you this today, You Are Absolutely Enough and You Can Get Through This and Win with your child. I vouch for you.
Step 3: Establish A Routine For Autism Potty Training in 3 Days
I made it into a routine to take him to either the training seat over our commode or his Paw Petrol potty every morning after he woke up and then before going to school. I also identified that after coming from his daycare he gets his “chocolate almond milk” and would wet his diaper 10-15 mins after that. So I put on a phone reminder to remind him to try after his snack. The 4th time I would take him was after dinner/before bedtime.
So I took on taking him to his potty for 4 times a day for the first two weeks or so. Sometimes he would pee, other times he would shake his head or even cry holding on to his pants. There were 2 reasons for the crying, 1. He genuinely didn’t feel like he needs to pee or 2. He was very cranky. It was most of the time the 1st one. The discernment of whether he was not ready I would gently take him and remind him to seat. He will shake his head, I will then pull his pant down and if he gets angry/upset I will put his pants up and try 15 mins later.
The Goaofin this step is to create a new habit of taking him to the potty unencouraging him with a cuddle, praise, and high 5s. No toys and especially no treats were used as I follow “The Autism Diet” protocol on him that I built for him and that I teach to my paid clients. Also giving treats and toys will make him wait for these to relieve himself and also this does more harm in the long run as your child will identify his responsibility to getting treats/toys as a norm. That will hinder progress.
Step 4: Take The Plunge, Go Diaper Less!!!
I saw the biggest results by just accepting the responsibility that there might be more cleaning to come but this putting-on diaper wasn’t just working as he wouldn’t get the cues from his body. So on one fine Friday evening, I got bold, and after his daycare, I didn’t put on his diaper until it was bedtime. That weekend, I kept housework very light and gave my attention to reminding him to pee in the potty.
Yes, there were wet and solid accidents but then after a few days, he didn’t like the feeling of mushed-up poop in his underpants. He is verbal in a lot of ways but he still doesn’t verbally say he wants potty. So it was a challenge and so is more majority of autistic children. I will be honest and say I felt exhausted, tired, angry, and anxious. But as with all the other parts of building up “The Autism Diet” protocol I kept my eyes on the prize and went on.
Step 5: Overnight Deals
When your child’s mind and body get attuned to and he grabs his potty to pee or even poop then 80% of your job is done! After that keep reminding them and asking, if he requires to use the potty or not at regular intervals or if he is too focused on his tv/play. Once he shows interest on his own you don’t need to shush him to do it as his brain has recognized and accepted this responsibility.
Now it’s time for overnight training or naptime scheduling. Initially, ly I will put on his diaper for nap times as he would wet the bed sometimes being diaperless. Then as time progressed his holding capacity and bladder capacity/muscle tone improved. I watched for 4/5 days in a row that he didn’t pee during nap time and then I stopped using during naptime.
As for the night routine, the same rules apply. Even though during wake times your child is free but put on a fresh one at night to gauge his schedule. I have seen for the past several days that my son wakes up with dry diapers so I am ready to let him sleep without one!! As a precaution, I will put waterproof/ training mattress cover to soak on if there is an accident.
There you go, I delivered the ultimate potty training guide for your autistic child. If have been scared deep down and have been giving “excuses” Y GET YOU, BUDDY, I DID TOO…………… FOR YEARS!! And That’s A-OK!! The main thing is you can start, go through, finish, and accomplish this monumental task when you break down the journey. Not All journeys are the same.
My story will give you some perspective and we humans can do anything that we see others doing. So here I am dishing out all the “poopy deets :-D” for YOU. If you need more hand-holding and a supportive tribe join my Private Facebook group called “Autism Diet Support” by clicking this link here https://www.facebook.com/groups/276102687017998
I wish You ALL The Very Best mama, you got this and I am Here With You. Hugs!!