Real Stories From Real Parents - by Rachel

(Toilet Training)                                

"We used the timer system (very time consuming but worth it).  Buy a timer, and set it for 15 minutes.  We started with 5 minutes on the potty, 15 minutes off the potty, and then, as time passes, you can move it to half hour off, 5 minutes on or just until he goes, etc.....and just highly reinforce him when he goes.  This may take a while for him to even go in the potty, that's why he has to sit there for 5 minutes and when he doesn't go, just say "good trying" and we'll try again later.......good luck!"

More Toilet Tales - by Roxanne

Try reading the toileting section in the "Work in Progress" Manual by Ron Leaf. We found great success with it when training our daughter. Keep in mind that a lot of people say it is harder to train boys than girls, so don't get discouraged.

The experience has to be reinforcing and motivating for him. As well don't fall into the trap of forcing him to go. This will never work, believe me.

By using the manual I mentioned above we took A. every hour and a half and did things exactly how the book described. We immediately went to having her wear underwear and never used diapers or pull- ups again. (Not even for car rides.) By using these things "Even just sometimes" it would give her mixed messages about how the process was supposed to work. We were very careful to monitor her toileting schedule for the first few weeks and make sure that outings coincided with the schedule, and if not, we would make adjustments at that point. But we never wore a diaper or a pull-up! That was a big rule for us. Limit drinks about an hour before outings (and also bedtime) and make sure you stick to your toileting schedule when you are out.

You should also start your child off right away on the regular toilet, and NOT use any sort of potty training seats. With the exception of the toilet inserts that go in the middle of the big toilet. The experience is that much more realistic this way and you won't have to break them of the training seat afterwards. Get a small stool for your toilet so that he can rest his feet on. Without the stool, the big toilet will be very uncomfortable on him and he may want to get off.

Limit the time he is on the toilet. Do not let him sit on there for a half an hour or anything. Make sure that this part of the routine is realistic as well. If he has an accident afterwards he probably won't like that, and he will learn by experience that you go when you are on the toilet.

Say nothing negative when he has an accident. You don't want to shoot down his self confidence. This is extremely important.  When he does have an accident take him directly to the washroom and clean him up there and maybe sit him on the toilet and explain to him that this is where you go when you have to pee.

Maybe try a sticker/ stamp board or some other kind of reinforcer board for when he does do his pee in the toilet. Never give the sticker or stamp when he doesn't do it though. (I always kept stickers handy and stampers for when I was out. I made up a mini reinforcer book to put them in that I carried in my purse. I let Arielle know that I had it and I would show it to her BEFORE we even left the house and I would tell her that the rules were the same as at home. She was usually compliant. This is not always the case though I'm sure...we were lucky) It all goes back to the basics of behavior training...reinforcers, reinforcers, reinforcers! Make sure you have them, and make sure that they are reinforcing to the child and not to you guys!

Arielle in the first day of toilet training had 9 accidents...No Biggie! We didn't see one for months later though. Not even at night! We didn't use pull-ups at night either. We just used the underwear. (Night time is the only time you should wear a pull-up if you are going to use one at all) Arielle caught on really fast to toilet training.......she would even wake up through the night and go to the washroom on her own. I was quite astonished actually. If she didn't catch on fast though, I
would have still stuck to the schedule and persevered.

I had a LOT of help from our ABA therapists. They were giving us the answers to our questions. This is a big part of the therapists job after all. So if they are not helping you, I would be asking myself why? It's all apart of ABA. It's apart of the child's growth and development process. If they know their stuff this will be no problem for them. They're there to help you with this. They should be working WITH YOU on developing a schedule for your child. You shouldn't be doing this alone when and if you have them there.

I have heard from a number of families regarding this issue and the fact that their therapists don't have the faintest idea how to go about toilet training. This makes me very nervous, because they SHOULD have this information. They've snowballed us somewhere if they don't!

I hope everything works out for you with this! Have faith, you've just started! A few months from now, with a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, this will all be behind you guys! Just be determined and consistent.........
Good Luck!

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