Autism and Potty Training Techniques: How to Help Your Child Succeed
It can take a lot of hard work and patience to successfully potty train an autistic child. However, ensuring your child is potty trained is a very important step in the developmental process, for any child. Autism potty training, however, may bring about a sense of foreboding to parents of an autistic child. But this doesn't always have to be the case, as we explore in this article.
The first thing you'll need to understand is that some of the universal rules that apply to potty training a child are not always applicable with an autistic child. Rather, they require some adaptation from their original form to become relevant. It is also important to remember that patience and determination are both prerequisites when attempting to undergo this challenge. It will not be easy, and will take some hard work.
Another thing you will need to remember is that autistic children do not react to positive reinforcement as you might expect a non-ASD child to act. Because of this, you can't count on utilizing prizes and rewards to get your child to learn. And if you can't count on a consistent reaction, it may be best to abandon this tactic altogether.
It is also very important that you take the time to effectively communicate the importance of using a bathroom or toilet to your child. This is because a child with autism simply might not understand the importance of the matter. One smart idea to accomplish this might be to use visual references instead of verbal references. You can use simple illustrative guides that show the step-by-step process. You can buy books or flash cards for this purpose or you could make your own. It doesn't matter how you choose to address the problem, however it is vital to communicate the importance of why big boy and girls use the bathroom, which may be an especially difficult concept for an autistic child to understand.
Yet another obstacle you may encounter is the fact that children with autism have a difficult time knowing when they need to use the bathroom. This is probably the number one reason that accidents are common. The best way to overcome this is to set up a routine. Using a timer or a clock, have your child go to the bathroom at the same time every day. This shouldn't be too hard to accomplish, as autistic children are generally prone to wanting routine anyway.
While you should be resolute in your commitment to helping your child, it is important to bear in mind that children with autism do not willingly and readily accept change into their lives. So, don't become frustrated or disheartened if you don't achieve your desired results soon. If your child does not respond positively to one strategy, then don't be too unwilling to try another. If you're determined to achieve success from the onset, then you will help your child master this very critical step in the developmental process.
It is true that autism potty training might not seem to mix without eliciting some negative emotion, but this needn't be the case. Follow the above tips, stay flexible in your approach, and you should get the positive results you're looking for.
By Rachel Evans
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