As every parent knows, toilet training a young child takes some time—and a lot of patience. The challenge may be amplified, however, when you are toilet training a child who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Fortunately, it’s a challenge that can be met. The same principles that are used in teaching children with ASD can be applied to teach this essential life skill. Here is what parents should know about how to toilet-train children with ASD.
Don’t start training before your child is ready.
The typical age guidelines—anywhere from two to two and a half—do not apply to children with ASD, for whom development may proceed at a different pace. If your child understands how to follow simple directions, can sit on a toilet for at least a few minutes, and can hold in urine for at least an hour, he or she may be ready to begin toilet training.
Don’t be discouraged by accidents.
Accidents aren’t a problem when you are toilet training a child—in fact, they’re part of how children learn. With consistent teaching, and a good plan of attack, the number of accidents will steadily decrease and your child will begin to go to the toilet without being prompted.
Once you’ve started, be consistent.
After you start toilet training your child, it’s important to stick with it. Make sure that your child has quick and easy access to the toilet consistently.