Potty Training a Child With Autism- Part 1

When your child has autism, potty training is usually not something that you’re all that anxious to get started on. I’m sure all parents dread this event but as an autism parent it’s especially nerve wracking.

I’ve used the excuse (which was a valid excuse) that he wasn’t ready or that he wasn’t showing signs of wanting to potty train. Then, he would come home from school and his note would say that he peed on the potty. Well, damn.

The last couple months he has been crying after he poops and will come get me and say “Change”. If I don’t get up, he will grab my hand and lead me to his room where he will lay down on the floor ready for a new diaper. Well, double damn.

So I guess this means I should attempt to potty train him, right? My next (semi valid) excuse was that I didn’t have a solid 2-3 days to devote to teaching him. Then the clouds parted and the sun came out blazing…. Labor Day Weekend. Well, triple damn.

Here we are. Labor Day Weekend. Potty Training.

Lord help us.


Potty Training Day 1-

The three of us went out to breakfast first and commenced potty training mode when we got back home. Underwear on. Clothes off.

Potty attempt number 1 went fabulous! He sat on the potty with his animal book and pissed like a champ! All over the toilet….and all over me too…. BUT  he did it!!

Subsequent attempts were less than fruitful.

Lots of yelling. Lots of screaming “Noooooo!!!” followed by attempted face plants on the bathroom floor.

Positives? He still had the underwear on!

About three hours in, the timer goes off but I notice Thomas’ underwear are sopping wet. Ugh. I can’t believe he’s just sitting in them like that! Hurried up and changed him and sat him on the potty. He sat for a good 5 minutes but apparently all his urine is now somewhere in this house and not in his body any longer.

Thus began the hunt for the pee…. the playroom floor is dry which confused me. I rounded the corner into the hallway to tell my husband I couldn’t find the pee when all of a sudden I felt my feet sliding out from under me. It was in slow mo. Next thing I know I’m flat on my back on the floor. Guess what? I found the pee.

We had quite a few other mishaps during the day and I’m ending Day 1 in a fair amount of pain due to my mid-morning slip and fall. Ouch.

Day 1 Score:



Not bad for a first day!


Potty Training Day 2-

I was so tired last night that I fell asleep with my phone in hand. Not sure what time it was but I’m guessing I didn’t even make it to 9:00 pm. Every single muscle in my body hurts. Between Thomas’ attempt at Mommy playing “Indoor Slip and Slide” and just random dive bombs off the toilet that I had to catch, my 37 year old body is really angry with me right now.

Thomas woke up with a completely dry diaper. I thought, “Great! He’ll pee right away for sure”. Wrong. After trips to the potty every 15 minutes, he finally peed on the potty at almost 10:00 am and thankfully there were no accidents beforehand. We decided that if he went pee on the potty he would get an hour break before trying again. If no pee on the potty then we’d go back to 15 minute increments.

Needless to say there were many many many trips to the bathroom.

The day ended with the following score….




Potty Training Day 3-

This child is on to us. He has been grunting like he has to poop for three days and will not go on the potty. Now he will not pee on the potty either, I’m assuming, for fear of pooping at the same time. After running, literally running, this child from the playroom to the bathroom upwards of 20 times when he started grunting, we gave up on the underwear.

We changed him into a Pull Up and waited. After maybe 20 minutes, sure enough, he pooped.

I took him by the hand and dumped the poop log into the toilet. He flushed the handle and we both waved “Bye bye” to poo poo. He was really excited to wave bye bye so I’m hoping that will stay in his memory bank for next time.

When he goes back to school tomorrow he will be wearing a Pull Up. They do have bathroom breaks throughout the day and the staff does change diapers for the kids. One nice thing about a Developmental Preschool I guess!

So in closing, did the 3 day Potty Training Method work?

Not really.

Did it help build a solid foundation for potty training?


To be continued…


Here are the items that we purchased to get started

A soft cover seat for the toilet as opposed to a little potty on the floor. Reason being that I want him to be used to actually peeing on a toilet. When he’s at school, and the rare occasions he has to go to daycare, they take them to the bathroom and put them on real toilets too. I want to have as much consistency as possible.






We started with the underwear as opposed to pull ups so that he would be able to feel the sensation of being wet easier. My hope was that he will not like it and eventually want to tell me he has to pee on the potty before wetting his pants. Plus, he feels like a big boy wearing big boy underwear!





However, this theory didn’t exactly work as we soon found out he doesn’t care about sitting in wet pants. On day 3 we transitioned to the Pull Ups instead since they are a middle ground between diapers and underwear.

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