Monday, March 23, 2009

How to Potty Train a Special Needs Child

How to Potty Train a Special Needs Child

If you have a special needs child, you know this will be challenging, but eventually it will work.

NEVER ANY NEGATIVITY - Never, no matter how gross the situation, you do not want to mix going to the potty with bad feelings, anger or disappointment.

TAKE OFF THE DIAPER - Your child needs to feel when they are wet or soiled. For many children, especially girls (I don't know why), once they feel wet clothes they never want to feel it again.

HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT - A potty chair is a must, you cannot expect them to climb up and hold on. Your child needs to be able to place their feet flat on the floor as they are going potty. As they get older, a padded seat that fits on top of the toilet and a step stool is a great transition from potty chair to regular toilet.

HAVE A POTTY PARTY - This means staying in the bathroom for as long as it takes. If you stay in the bathroom with your child, reading to them or playing games, as soon as they need to go, you can get them on the potty quickly. You can also do this in another room of your house if you have a portable potty chair. The idea is to be right on top of the moment. Prime them with lots of water. If they do not want to drink, offer them a snack or candy and give a sip of water after every treat. This worked with my son, I gave him an m & m for every sip of water.

HELPFUL TIPS - Try turning on the faucet or filling a cup of water and pouring it into the potty as they are sitting on it.

REWARD - Have a favorite treat handy in the bathroom as a reward. Gradually phase out the reward as they become more consistent.

ACCIDENTS - If your child has an accident, go back to step 4. If they have soiled their pants, take it to the bathroom and have them flush it down.

If you stick with it you will have greater success in potty training your special needs child.

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