Activity Ideas to work on Toilet Training
Toilet Training can be challenging for some with autism. I have tried to put together some activity ideas for younger and older children to help teach toileting skills.
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Why do children with autism have difficulties with toilet training?
- Children with autism may simply need more time to learn a new skill.
- They may have difficulty breaking established habits and routines. They have always used a diaper, and they may not understand the reason why they don’t need to use it anymore.
- They may have difficulty understanding the feeling of when they need to use the bathroom. From an occupational therapy standpoint, they may not have inner body sensory awareness also called interoception.
- They may have difficulty communicating to you that they need to use the bathroom.
- They may have developed anxiety around toileting since this is a new skill.
- They may have sensory difficulties with using the bathroom with loud sounds such as flushing the toilet or even the smells of using the bathroom.
These are just some ideas or reasons why children with autism may be having a hard time with learning toilet training. There could be other reasons as well.
If you are working with a child with autism, try to keep these considerations in mind and try to figure out what might be one area that they are having a hard time with from listed above.
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Activity ideas to help prepare them for Toilet Training
- Read books about toilet training that are child focused.
- As parents and teachers find other books or resources to help you learn more about toilet training.
- Check out these books from Amazon
- Ready Set Potty
Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or Other Developmental Issues: Second Edition
- Watch videos about toilet training
- Listen to songs about toilet training
- Talk about what it feels like when you need to use the toilet, the process of toileting, why you need to use the toilet, the timing of when you need to go, what it feels like when your not done going, what it feels like when you are done going, and the importance of being clean after using the bathroom.
- Create a social story to talk about the process of going to the bathroom
Activity ideas to help with sensory processing difficulties with toilet training
- Check out our FREE Personal Hygiene Sensory Strategies Toolkit by clicking the link!
- Try having someone else wipe your bottom for you with toilet paper to get used to the feeling
- Try using Wet Wipes if you don’t like the feeling of toilet paper
- Try wearing latex gloves or use a toilet buddy to help with wiping your bottom
- Talk to your doctor if you are struggling with constipation so they can help you
- Try sitting on the toilet with something you enjoy such as an iPad or game to try to relax you
- Have something under your feet to help with pushing.
- Check out the Squatty Potty on Amazon to help with positioning on the toilet. I personally have used this item and have felt it helped with bowel movements.
- Play music or something relaxing while going to the bathroom
- If the smell bothers you use aromas in the bathroom that you like such as a spray or essential oils.
- Try using essential oil smells rubbed under their nose to help ease the smell.
- Have scented spray available for them to spray during that time.
- Use something to close off your nose such as a nose plug and breathe through your mouth
Using Visuals to help with teaching
- Try using visuals to help teach toileting cares.
- Try using Visual Cards, Pictures, or schedules to help them learn the steps of toileting.
- Using visuals can help them learn the steps especially if they have a hard time learning through auditory directions.
- Check out some of our visual products for help:
- FREE Washing hands Visual Sequencing Cards!
- Using the Toilet Checklist
- Toileting Routine Visual Sequencing Cards
Check out these FREE Resources!
- Printable Bathroom Chart
Breaking the skill into manageable parts using task analysis
- Sign up below to grab a copy of our task analysis charts to help with personal hygiene cares!
Community Outing Ideas to help with Toilet Training
- When going on errands to get toileting supplies to let the child help pick out the products. Let them help pick out toilet paper or wipes to let them feel more a part of the process.
- If the child has a hard time going into the store try using online order and pickup. We personally love using Walmart Grocery to order online and they bring it right out to our car!
- Use this link to get 10 dollars off your first order on Walmart Grocery!
One Last Thought
- As the parent or teacher keep in mind that this is a new skill and you both may start to feel overwhelmed.
- Try to stay positive and patient through this process. It will take some time to develop strategies that will work for your child.
- Please let me know in the comments below if there are other activity ideas I should mention that worked well for you!