Potty Training and Autism: Tips and Techniques

By Kim Fries, MA CCC-SLP

Kim Fries

Kim Fries is a Signing Time Academy instructor as well as a speech therapist. Here she takes us through some tips and techniques for helping potty train a child with autism that she has successfully used and seen implemented over the years. Kim can be reached through her website at www.LittleHandsFL.com and via Facebook at www.facebook.com/LittleHandsFL 

There has been a lot of interest on the Potty Time website, Facebook page, and here on the blog, about potty training children with special needs, especially children who have an Autism Spectrum diagnosis.  As a mom of a child on the spectrum and as a pediatric speech therapist, I have worked with many children, families, and occupational therapists to address potty training.  Here are a few tips, tricks and suggestions I have used, heard and learned. Continue reading

My Son Doesn’t Care That He’s Wet

By Colleen Brunetti, MEd

Here’s another question from our Facebook Community. You can find a list of these under our FAQs.

My son doesn’t care when he’s wet. Anything I can do to help with that?

There are a few ways you can go about helping the child who does not mind the wet sensation. Continue reading

Potty Training with a Signing Time Academy Instructor

As told to Colleen Brunetti, MEd

Our fantastic Signing Time Academy instructors are using Potty Time right along with you and their clients!

Meet Elisha Hamburger. Elisha is an Academy instructor in Holden, MA (you can contact her HERE) and she had this to share:

I have 2 daughters; Lucy who is 4 and has special needs and Macy who is 3. They both love Signing Time so I was thrilled when Potty Time came out!  I know Lucy will take longer due to her developmental delays, but she loves the video and signs potty.   Continue reading

Keeping Little People Motivated to Potty Train

Using Non-Tangible Rewards

By Cynthia Noell

Many parents like to use stickers or candy as rewards, and if that works for your family, great. Others prefer non-tangible (sometimes called “intrinsic”) motivators: things that are not “stuff”. Perhaps a combination of the two will work as well. In this article, we’ll discuss some ideas for non-tangible rewards. Continue reading

Top 10 Tips for Potty Training

By Your Friendly Potty Time Contributors10 Tips for Potty Training

10) Don’t feel pressure from other parents or family members to train at a certain age: Rely more on cues from your child and your insight as their parent.

9) Learn where every restroom is in every store: You just never know when they’re going to have to go!

8) Always carry extra clothes in case of an accident: Do this for quite a while after training seems finished too. It’s not unusual to have an “oops” after a long time of staying dry.

7) Use lots of positive reinforcement and motivators: Find out what motivates your child: little candies, stickers, small toys, etc. Or, you may choose not to use tangible items, and just CELEBRATE! Likewise, taking your child to the store and letting them pick out some big-kid undies may be a great way to start building excitement.

6) Consider investing in a portable potty or potty seat cover:  A portable potty or seat cover makes the size of the seat much more child-friendly. You can place a self-contained unit around the house near your child, or even take something with you on trips and errands (which is likely to be much more clean than a public restroom!)

5) Realize that night training may take significantly longer, or just come later, than day trainings: Some night training pants or an absorbent pad under the sheet may help with sleepy accidents.

4) Be prepared for, and okay with, occasional set-backs: Due to changes in routine, family structure, or just child temperament, there may come a time when a little break from potty training is needed. This is perfectly okay – you can always start up again when things settle.

3) Be Consistent: Once you have decided to take the plunge into a potty training routine or ritual, maintaining that routine as consistently as possible is very important!

2) Keep your sense of humor: Accidents in embarrassing places and small voices suddenly shouting out loud potty-related words just might happen. And if you can’t laugh right in the moment, try to laugh about it a little later.

1) Most importantly, realize every child and family is different: Accepting differences in timing, methods, and even duration of potty trainings will reduce your stress tremendously!

Potty Training 101

By Colleen Brunetti, MEd

Potty training can be a little bit of trial and error. One method may work for one child and not for another. That’s why we created the Potty Time program to support whatever method you use.

In this list of tips, our wonderful Signing Time fans share their thoughts on what worked best for them. Continue reading