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Toileting Programs

May 2, 2014

At Butterfly Effects, we know that it can be hard to ask for help with toilet training, but take comfort in the simple fact that you are not alone. All children are highly unpredictable around this issue, but for children on the autism spectrum, that unpredictability is often compounded. No two children offer the same set of challenges or respond in the same way to the same motivation. When you believe your child is ready or if you want to find out if he or she is ready, we will provide support and training.

Children with autism, can present with a number of unusual barriers to toilet training, including:

  • The inability to read and process parent or caregiver expressions of approval, which is the primary motivator for most children
  • Difficulties with language and logic needed to understand the why and how of training
  • Resistance to change that makes it difficult to give up diapers and the changing routine
  • The inability to read their own body cues
  • Indifference to the sensation of being soiled
  • Delays with physical coordination needed to control bladder and bowels
  • Discomfort with an over-stimulating bathroom environment

It can take the support of a team to change the habits of a child. 

While most children between two and three years of age are ready to learn to use a toilet, some even earlier, a child with autism may not be ready until they are older. It may be hard to tell when your child is ready.

Some indicators that your child is ready for toilet training:

  • The ability and willingness to follow simple instruction
  • Regular bowel movements
  • An ability to partially dress and undress
  • The display of facial expressions, body language, or verbal cues that indicate he or she is about to urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • His or her ability to stay dry for at least two hours at a time.

Therapy begins at home.

Trained in the proven principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), our trainers will come in to your home to provide the sort of intensive training that toilet training requires. Once the child achieves relatively consistent control at home, the trainer will seek to generalize the training to school and other public environments.

Consistent and intensive training is essential for success. 

To achieve success as quickly as possible, the trainer will instruct parents and other caregivers to provide that consistency throughout the child’s entire waking day. By way of their example and their instruction, our trainers can teach everyone involved.

Father playing with his little girl at home Father playing with his little girl at home