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How to Potty Train Child with Autism

All along while going to appointments and testing Kyson was still in diapers. We didn’t even get the actual diagnosis yet, but he was 3. Yes, 3 and in diapers. How will I ever potty train my child with Autism? He doesn’t understand what I’m saying to him. He couldn’t talk much at this time with only the handful of words he knew. Most days, there was no words ever spoken, just grunting because he was frustrated.

After connecting with the school district and planning on him joining the early childhood development classes, they assured me that many of their 3 and 4-year-olds were still not potty trained. I admit, hearing that made me feel a little better but I was determined to get him potty trained. Autistic or not, we were going to do it.

5 Must-Haves before you start Potty Training

  1. Dedicate 3 Days
    Yes, 3 days. It’ll probably work best if you have an open weekend to do so. We started on a Friday. If you don’t have 3 full days around the clock to do potty training, you will fail.

  2. Access to Potty
    Place portable potty in your house. This is for immediate needs when you’re not close to your bathroom. I picked mine up from Walmart for $8. It was great because it looked like a little race care and Kyson loves cars!

  3. Plenty of towels
    For accidents, and there will be accidents!

  4. Reinforcement
    What does your child like? Perhaps stickers on a decorated chart board will work for you each time they have a successful potty. Stickers didn’t mean anything to Kyson, even to this day he doesn’t care for them. Our reinforcement was Skittles.

  5. Determination and Patience
    Don’t give up! 3 days may seem forever, heck even after the first hour I wanted to quit but I had to remember why we started. Be patient, this is all new with your child too so frustration will occur for the both of you.

Visit the potty

Steps to Potty Training

  1. Go Commando
    Your child, that is! You can leave their shirts on but let their bottom be clothing free. This also helps with less laundry from accidents. Take off the diaper and be diaper-less!

  2. Drink and Go about your day
    Encourage drinks as usual. Go about your day as you would.

  3. Potty Visits
    Take your child to visit the bathroom every 15 minutes. Yes, every 15 minutes even if they don’t have to go. Sit them on the toilet or portable potty so they get comfortable with just sitting on it.

  4. Reinforcement
    A successful potty break, praise your child. Show excitement of how proud you are and give the reinforcement right away. Tell them why you are giving them the reinforcement.

  5. Repeat
    Repeat the above 4 steps again and again. Easier said than done, I know, I did it! The first day is the hardest but trust me, it works so don’t give up!

Accidents happen

The first day was the hardest with multiple accidents on the floor. Kyson was frustrated on the many times he had to sit on the potty. The worst accidents were when we just finished visiting the potty and then he decided to let loose onto the floor.
I can’t count the number of times he had an accident but when he finally got the idea and went potty in the toilet I actually cried. Cried with triumph, I knew he had it in him. The second time he went, he was already waiting for his skittles.
Day 2, he only had one accident and by day 3 we were there. He still went to bed with a diaper but as soon as he woke up, diapers came off. We started him sitting down cause he wasn’t tall enough yet but now he can potty like a big boy standing up. Little did I know how well my son does with visual aids and how many there were out there. I only figured this out once he started school. If I knew that before the diagnosis, I probably would have been able to communicate to him on what I wanted him to do.

If your child needs a visual, I’ve created one for you to use. As I said, if knew there were visuals out there that could’ve helped him, would’ve got one too but many sites out there ask for some kind of sign-up. I’m giving this to you in hopes that your Potty Training can be just as successful.

Download Potty Training Visual for Boys here
-Anna MV


Anna MV

A Hmong woman practicing life finding art in everything. Blogger of Family, Life, Culture, Autism, Self Awarenes

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Robyn

    Great list. My oldest was four when he was finally potty trained. Declan was six. Just so happy to be done with diapers!

    1. Anna MV

      Thanks, Robyn! I’m so glad to be done with them too, whew! Plus you gotta love the extra savings. Diapers are so expensive!

      1. Robyn

        Oh my gosh, yes! I was so happy to have that money back! When I had my first I was all like “I am going to try cloth diapers and just keep reusing them.” And then I had to clean a diaper and I was all like, “Bring on the disposables!” 🙂 So happy to have the money freed up 🙂

  2. Lozza

    I’m so glad you managed to find a routine that works for you!
    I can only imagine how hard it must be and the patience you have to have but well done for dedicating yourself to this task and the visual aids sound like such a good idea!

    Love Lozza xo

    1. Anna MV

      Yes, I’m glad I did too! I didn’t think I ever would, plus boys are a little more difficult for me 🤗 Thanks for reading 🙏🏻

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