At what age do you potty train?  I hear parents express their frustrations because their 2 year old has not mastered potty training within a week. I say to those parents try potty training an Autistic child. By the age of the 3, I decided that I wasn’t going to buy anymore pull-ups. I bought one last pack so I thought. By the age of 5 I once again made up in my mind that I was purchasing the last pack of pull-ups. This is it Justin will be potty trained this week! My routine with potty training consisted of going every thirty minutes in the course of a day. My hands felt like lizard skin from washing them so much after each trip to the bathroom. We did this for about a week and I gave up. Again, with the same schedule every thirty minutes and after a month in still no progress. After many attempts; I came to the conclusion that potty training should have been at the bottom of the list of accomplishments for Justin.

In the back of my mind I’m thinking age appropriate for potty training but the fear of Justin not being verbal was always there. I thought I could teach him to maybe clap when needed or rub his backside, none of these things worked. I decided it was best to step back, breathe and take it step by step to achieve one task at a time. Justin would not poop on the potty because he did not realize that there was a hole. The visual impairment was a huge challenge, as we know most children learn by sight. Justin did not have the advantage to observe family members or his peers; so he relied on language to understand the concept.

Finally, at the age of 10 not giving up and being very consistent; Justin mastered the concept of going when taking every hour. When Justin grasped the idea and used the potty I would applaud him. Now when he’s done he claps and this is his way of letting me know that he has successfully used it. The other night I walked him to the bathroom, stood by the toilet put a little bass in my voice and said, “Justin pull your pants down!” I made one gesture to assist him in pulling them down and he did the rest. This was a shocker but also a huge accomplishment for him. Mission accomplished! We still wet the bed most nights and he still needs assistance with buttons, zippers and belts. Parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers must be on one accord.  It is imperative that during this process whoever deals with your child has to be on board or it will not work. Also, being consistent is the number one key, and don’t think potty training your Autistic child will take only a few months or even a year. If so please tell me how you did it! As parents we don’t want to push our already challenged children to perform in ways that are impossible.  

About The Author

God fearing, loving mother to an awesome young man. Enjoying what I do! Although I'm not the greatest teacher, however raising a child with special needs has given me more degrees than any college university you could think of.

Would love to hear from!