Earlier this year, I went for the toilet training workshop at ARC. I seriously wanted to toilet train Rayyan but was clueless on how to start because he was not able to communicate his needs yet. The workshop was very useful and I gained many information and tips on how to start on toilet training.
Basically, a child is ready to be toilet trained when he is 24-36mths. True, it is more difficult to toilet train children with autism than neuro-typical children but we shouldn't delay toilet training because after the child is 4 years old, there is already an urgent need for the child to be toilet trained. I found out through the workshop that if the child is unable to communicate his needs yet, it is still ok to start. The toilet training will become a routine or habit that the child will learn to develop.
The main problems of toilet training children with autism are;
1) Difficulty in understanding social concepts (eg doesn't understand that it is embarrassing to wear diapers after a certain age)
2) Difficulty in seeing and imitating relevant details
3) Difficulty in understanding language
4) Difficulty in organising and sequencing information (eg doesn't understand that he needs to pull down his pants first before peeing)
5) Difficulty in accepting changes in routines
6) Difficulty integrating sensations or hyper focus on particular sensations (eg fear of flushing)
7) Physical Problems (eg constipation, frequent urination, loose stools)
Therefore, to overcome all these problems, it is important to plan and think about the steps prior to toilet training. It is also important to do together with the child all the steps logically preceding and following peeing/'pooing' in the toilet.
During the workshop, one parent shared that it took 8 months for her child to be successfully toilet-trained! And the trainer also shared that a student in her class was taught to remove all clothings whenever he needs to 'poo' so till now, whenever he goes to the toilet to 'poo', he will actually remove all his clothings!!
With that in mind, I decided to plan carefully before I embark on Rayyan's toilet training. And I also plan to start only during school holidays so that I can be with him throughout the process and teach my helper carefully.
Yes, we finally started last June! I will give a more detailed report on how it went in my next post :)