Now Reading: Autism and Potty Training: A Step By Step Guide Of What Has Worked For Us… sorta.

Autism and Potty Training: A Step By Step Guide Of What Has Worked For Us… sorta.

Autism and Potty Training:  A Step By Step Guide Of What Has Worked For Us... sorta.

(originally written & published on December 16, 2011)

I’ve written many times on my Autism Daddy Facebook Page about how we’ve successfully potty trained Kyle…3 different times.  He regressed and lost his potty training twice.  We just retrained him back in September and so far, so good… although he did have 3 pee-pee accidents this week.


Regardless we don’t blame the regression on the potty training method we use.  That’s just Kyle’s M.O.   He regresses and loses things.  I think the potty training method we use is solid and the fact that we’ve successfully trained a non-verbal severe asd kid who doesn’t have the greatest receptive language either is pretty impressive if I do say so myself.  So hats off to my wife (who does that VAST MAJORITY of the potty training) and to one of his ABA therapists who gave us this program a few years back.  I’m going to attach the actual official word documents that lay out the programs for both urination & bowel movements (bm’s).


Again, those are the official programs but we modified them a bit to fit our needs and lifestyle.  Also I honestly can’t remember how or when we trained Kyle with bm’s.  We probably used a version of the protocol in the document below, but I forgot.  He’s gone poopy on the potty for years now and he never lost that.  He only always regressed with his pee-pee on the potty training.  So everything I’m gonna talk about below pertains to pee-pee training.


Ok, so for us we need like a nice 4 day weekend with no school and almost no activities so you’ll be in the house ALL DAY LONG.  Kyle had 2 days off in late September for Jewish holidays and the weather was going to be rainy all weekend so we decided that it was perfect timing.  Please note that mom & dad need to be in the right mental mind-set to pull this off because it gets REALLY MONOTONOUS and it can drive you crazy.  We put it off for months because we thought Kyle wasn’t ready or we weren’t ready…


We started first thing in the morning, put him in underwear, set a timer and took Kyle to the potty EVERY 10 MINUTES.


The timer would go off and we’d say “let’s go on the potty”.
We had a pecs pic of a toilet on the Ipad and we would make him push it and it would say “I have to go potty.”
And then we’d take him in there.  “Pull down pants”, etc
And if he was dry we’d make a big fuss!  “YOU STAYED DRY!  Good job!”
“Do you have to go pee-pee?”
If he does urinate… HUGE PRAISE.


If he doesn’t urinate…More praise for being dry.


Some little reward for staying dry and bigger reward for urinating in the potty.  We kept a few of Kyle’s favorite toys in the bathroom so those were the small rewards and the big reward was a game or a video on the ipad.My wife tried to set up an amazing play area in the bathtub as a big reward but Kyle wasn’t that into it…


He did hang out in there a little bit…   🙂

Anyway, when it’s all over, set the timer for 10 minutes and do it all over again.


And you should keep data like you can see in the handwritten chart pictured below….



If he has no accidents for the first ?? hours move up to 15 minutes between trips to the potty, then 30 minutes, then 45 minutes, then 60 minutes.

This is all subjective.  We probably kept Kyle on the 10 minute schedule for about
8-9 hours WITHOUT AN ACCIDENT before going up to 15 minutes…. But that’s up to you and how well you know your child.  You might want to do a whole day on the every 10 minute schedule before moving up or follow exactly what the protocol says.

Now if Kyle had a pee-pee accident.  We would say in a somewhat firm/ disappointed voice “No.  You go pee-pee in the potty not in your pants.”  And we were told to give him a mild punishment.  We would make him rinse out his own underwear in the sink WHICH HE HATES.  If he has a lot of accidents at the 60 minute level then go back down to 30 minutes or maybe 45, until you are accident free…
But he really didn’t have many accidents and over the 4 day weekend we extended things from every 10 minutes to every 60-90 minutes.  When school started on Monday we sent him in big boy underwear and gave them a few extra sets of clothes and we asked the school to keep their own data and to take him every 30 minutes to start the week and increase it accordingly.  Thankfully his classroom this year has a bathroom in it which helps IMMENSELY.

As I said, this started in late September and by late October you could say he was potty trained.  I mean he still can’t communicate that he has to go.  The Ipad PECS Toilet thing hasn’t stuck.  But for the most part the kid will hold it until you take him…  So every 90 minutes or so somebody will take him.  And sometimes AT HOME ONLY he will initiate and just walk into the bathroom whip down his pants and let it rip!  There is no better sound than being in the kitchen and faintly hearing pee-pee hitting the potty!
When we are out somewhere (shopping, his weekend activities, etc) we kinda have an unwritten rule that we take him at each stop.First Stop:  Target – “Let’s go to the potty…”
Second Stop: Bed, Bath & Beyond – “Do you have to go peeps?  Let’s try…”
Third Stop:  Music Therapy – “Let’s try to go to the potty before class buddy…”Sometimes mom & dad f**k up and we forget to take him for a couple of hours.  And then we feel like IDIOTS when he’s soaked.  And we’re like, “oh so that’s why he was having a meltdown in the car…”
And sometimes Kyle will just get sloppy or stupid and have a day of accidents.  Like a few days ago he had 3 pee-pee accidents in a 24 hour period.  And me & the wife are FREAKING OUT that he’s losing it again…   But I think one of the times was an accident and another was out of pure laziness and the fact that the king didn’t want to miss a second of Elmo’s World, so he peed right there.

Anyway, long story short, that’s the potty training routine that has worked for us.  And if he starts getting sloppy again or god forbid regressing… this time we will nip it in the bud and go right back to every 10-15 minutes.  I’m saying right here, right now that I am never putting him in PULL-UPS again…


Anyway, that’s our potty story and we’re sticking to it.  I hope that this can be helpful to some of you.  Attached below are the official training regiments that we were given.  If your kid is an extremely tough case, I would maybe recommend doing EXACTLY what they specify to the letter of the law!  🙂
Good luck!  And please report back any successes… or failures…





Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

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65 People Replies to “Autism and Potty Training: A Step By Step Guide Of What Has Worked For Us… sorta.”

  1. Anonymous

    My son is 23 years old, severely autistic and we finished with diapers/pull-ups…totally and forever since he was 9 years old. It took alot of bathroom "presents" and a few hundred dollars in some movie DVD and music CDs bribes. Took a total of two weeks. and we have been done ever since. Just in time for the hormones to kick in and another whole wonderful journey……:)

  2. I was in Pull-Ups until I was 7. I have chronic constipation so I take a lot of laxatives. They usually work well but sometimes they don't work or work too much. Sometimes I get so backed up, I actually get a stomachache.
    What I find weird though is that on the container the laxative says it should not be used for more than 7 days…I've been taking these for as long as I can remember!

  3. Anonymous

    "And sometimes Kyle will just get sloppy or stupid and have a day of accidents". The last words I would be using to describe a child with special needs is sloppy or stupid. What an incredibly horrible thing to say.

  4. Written nicely on Kids Care and Potty Training

  5. Anonymous

    My stepson ( who I'm in the process of adopting ) has autism we just started potty training he turns 3 soon we have already aplied most of theses ideas its only been 2 days. He really likes his underwear. I'm playing on some of his sensory issues and using it to our advantage I'm teaching him that he doesn't like wet underwear. I think I learned this idea from my self I have severe adult ADHD. Years ago I needed meds to function close to normal today I'm in college without meds and I learn faster than my classmates. I just play up my attention issues and yes my mind is all over but I've leared how to use it to my advantage. I think of our issues as superpowers with ADHD I see every detail my son feels sensory things more intencely than anyone else. To train him to feel this one is just about using his issues and teaching him a proper responce to the bladder feeling.


  6. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this post.

    Rae, have you tried covering the toilet with a sheet of tissue paper (like for presents)? If he will sit on that you can then make a small hole in it and then make the hole bigger over time until he's comfortable sitting on a toilet.

  7. Rae

    My son is four and severe ASD, I've tried potty training but he's terrified of sitting on any seat with a hole in it (I've tried several potties, potty seats that go on the toilet, and just a toilet) if I try to gently sit on it he'll stiffen his body so his rear doesn't touch and scream like he's being physically tortured.

  8. Anonymous

    My son is 3 1/2 and we have been trying to potty train him but all he wants to do is flush the toilet, we put him on the toilet and he knows that is for going pee pee but he just keeps flushing it and flushing it and i tell him no, after you pee pee you flush but he does not want to listen he is more constrained on flushing then going pee I don't know how i can get him to stop doing that.

  9. Anonymous

    Thank you immensely for this! I rarely find posts about training severe non speaking autistics, both of my kids are and it is such a hard thing, potty training, thank you so much!

  10. Such a wonderful post…All the kids must be follow this step…

    thanks for share this..

    Hey guys..!!

    Please download this kids toilet training game for kids..!! Kids like to play this game…..

  11. Anonymous

    We used the Potty Watch. It really helped a lot. Now if i could just get him to wipe…..

  12. Anonymous

    AD – I enjoy the topics, the style, the comedy and pain in your blogging. I don't read any other ASD-related blogs because I'm fed up with the medical and psychological side of it and just want the fun, the mess, the triumphs and tragedies. Thank you. RBinSoCal

  13. Anonymous

    we used the same system for our son….and it worked! thank you for posting 🙂

  14. Anonymous

    I'd like to say thanks. We have been trying since he was 2.5 (now 4.5)since we learned early that he has autism. for the most part he knows to go pee pee on the potty but still does his own thing. I am going to try the schedule thing, I had a larger time frame so i guess thats why it didn't work. I tried every hour. Again thanks for the tip, every little bit helps.

  15. My son is 6yrs old verbal with ASD and he is only 1/2 potty trained. Pee potty trained by 3 1/2 but still has to use pull ups for BMs. He will try to sit on the potty but can't / won't go. He has to go to his room and put on a pull up. He does deal with constipation so this is a factor. He does not have accidents in his underwear at school or at home. For him it may be a control issue or functional issue I am not sure. It is frustrating to say the least but I just hope he will come around soon. Thank you for sharing with us. It is good to know we are not alone in our journeys.

  16. Anton van ZYl

    Thank you for your sharing. Has helped me a lot.
    My son is 7yrs old (autistic and ADHD) and I am struggling with bowel movements. He goes for literally 2 to 3 weeks at a time without voiding and he gets laxatives or suppository frequently to help, but no go. He is prepared to sit on loo but does not seem to want to make the effort to push etc. I have tried all kinds of reward systems and nothing seems to work. Maybe I am just letting my worry and anxiety rub off on him, maybe he is manipulating me still but I really am worried about the long time between bowel movements. Has anybody else gone through this and what helped you if anything. Should I just back off, stop worrying and let gravity and nature take it's course. All comments welcome…

  17. Have you taught him to stand and pee. Still can't figure that one out.

  18. Anonymous

    Yay for you and Kyle 🙂 I am so glad my kids are past the toilet training stage.

  19. Anonymous

    Just wanted to thank you for writing this up – my husband has been reading your stuff & it helps. Thanks

  20. Anonymous

    Okay. Im a singel mom of three which two have special needs. Oldest is a high functioning autistic and my almost 5yr old velieves to have more trates of mr then autism. But either way he is special. But he has been trained since he was 3 and now he has stopped morel less. And i am thinking about going back to pampers. He is just regressing on everything and i am at my witts end.would i be a bad parent if i did that. I mean i have no outside help so im lost here. He freaks out qhen he has to go pee and refuses to wipe him self any more when he gos poop. Please help! Sincerly one despreate mom

  21. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this! My son is 6 and going into the first grade…he actually had fun helping us fill in the chart too! We made such a big deal about how he was able to stay dry. Its been 2 weeks and now he's running to the toilet on his own (even for bowel movements!) I do make sure to remind him still every hour especially if he's busy playing. I hope he can keep this up when he starts school next week!

  22. Anonymous

    The 10 year old girl with autism I PCA for has been previously potty trained but due to medication chants and what not she has regressed greatly. We are working on retraining her. U mentioned ur son has an IPad, many books talk about letting children play with toys while on the toilet. She loves her IPad and I sometime think she wets hersel just because she doesn't want to get off it. Woul allowing her to bring her iPad to the bathroom and sit on the toilet with it be a good idea or would it just distract her?

  23. Tried this with my 2 1/2 yr old nonverbal son. He didn't get it at first, but I backed off and a month later he just clicked to it. We are now 2 weeks out of diapers! Woo hoo!

  24. Anonymous

    Thank you very much for this post. I'm a school psychologist and working on a behavior plan for a student and this helped a lot!

  25. our son is 9 non verbal and not potty trained..he sounds EXACTLY like Kyle..we are going to try this method soon and hope for the best!!

  26. Anonymous

    Let me start by saying I ADMIRE YOU BOTH SOOO VERY MUCH… i got on here by accident OR SO I THOUGHT…but everything happens for a reason…my daughter got diagnosed w Adhd and Mild to Moderate Autism (shes 4) and my son got diagnosed with ADD and Moderate to Severe Autism (hes 3) …I've been so depressed lately since they were diagnosed since their PEDI would keep saying nothing was wrong…crazy…they're both nonverbal and I was actually looking on potty training for when they start Special Ed in August …Im lost not just in this BUT EVERYTHING …its so hard…but i have hopes this will help my daughter …my son …idk…i hope…thanks! Anna apuente10@yahoo. Com

    1. Anonymous

      Keep your head up, I know it can be depressing. I have 2 boys on spectrum. I thank God for them. We could be dealing with greater demons like cancer. Our children have a purpose!

  27. Anonymous

    Sweet! We are going to try this, my son will be 7 in December and we have been treading water! So glad I read this, keep up the awesome work!

  28. Anonymous

    My son is 7, non verbal and he is only 1/2 trained. We did everything his ABA therapy group told us to do and it worked for peeing in the potty. We have no pee accidents at all.In fact he goes pee on his own without help. But for the life of me I can't get him to poop in the potty. I got rid of pullups and diapers. He will sit on the potty for 10-20 minutes with nothing. But the second I put his underwear back on him he goes to his room shuts the door and poops. If I don't catch him he goes to the bathroom and tries to clean up himself which results in feces covered all over walls, sinks and the toilet. I'm at a breaking point because I don't know what else to do. He's turning 8 this summer and I'm about to give up. If you have any tips for us please email me

    1. Anonymous

      I have the same issue with my 11.5 year old autistic grandson. He is severe (non-verbal). I've remained patient with him but I go off and cry in another room. Today, I went to see my mom in the nursing home and he had a major diarrhea (unexpected). I took him to bathroom and it took 30 minutes to clean him up.I was in a bind because I only brought in a spare pullup and wasn't prepared for this mess. I was totally embarrassed. I had to take him out to the vehicle (parked close by) and thankfully to my knowledge only one nurse witness that. But my moms roommate witness the bad accident and she is so sensitive to bad smells. I felt bad for her. I really don't know what to do either. I'm thinking of following suit with the ones who say regular underwear only…..if that don't work then try the naked bottom like one parent mentioned and see how that goes. I have considered mild punishment so may also implement at the same time.

  29. Consider that a student might have Asperger Syndrom or ìclassicî Autism, and could display only the mildest symptoms or even the most severe ones. The mandates around inclusiveness mean that the school is going to be responsible for ensuring that the student gets the best level of education pos

  30. my mom say this was the only area i was easy about i was comptly train by age 3 .i think it becuse i have severe sencorey iousee even noiw i go ny=uts if my pants get wet or i get cught in the rain .some kids even nt just dont care thgey get so inti what there doing they go in there pants

  31. Anonymous

    sighs,…I'm SO tired…I have done this with Braxton and he will not go poop on the potty…every 10 minutes we set the timer and go and in between times he will poop in his pullup…He's 9 now and I have considered putting him in underware but I don't know if I have it in me to clean up poop over and over again. Anytime I try to enforce a consequence for pooping in his pullup he will either hold it and he's always had constipation problems though for the last couple years it's been good with the use of Activia yogurt. NO MORE BOWEL MEDS YAHHHH….OR he will stop telling me when he is poopy and "needs a butt change"…any thoughts or ideas for me?…Beth S. Bollig

    1. Anonymous

      I was given some advice about BMs and potty training for nonverbal autistic kids by my son EJ's Occupational therapist, it did not work for us yet but it could be his age and not the technique (he just turned 4). My son has constipation issues too and she says movements/exercises that requires him to push on the ground with his feet (like trampoline or bouncing on a ball) could help to loosen a BM before going in the potty. She said that he must have both feet on the floor or step to help push out when he goes. Like I said this didn't work for us but we think he's not ready just yet. Furthermore BM in the bedroom when no one is around is what my son does too. he would pull off his clothes and smear it on EVERYTHING every single BM for over 2 years, so ya i know about the mess u refer to. I did solve that one, I put him in clothes he can't take off and change him whenever he's stinky. I rarely have that mess anymore (its so so gross). I realize your son being 9 you probably can't do that, its more of a pre- potty trained solution, but I brainstormed a bit and here's what I came up with, hope it helps:
      1.Assuming he stands to pee and its not an issue, something about sitting on the potty bugs him could it be; splash back? cold seat? the temperature of the bathroom generally that u wouldn't notice during a quick pee?
      2.Could the idea of sitting on a hole scare him? Is he worried someone might see him or hear him?
      Sounds silly but my lil guy is really funny about that.
      3.He may just still want to be your "tiny baby" and may be doing something that typical toddlers do but slightly later, that is pick something and hold on to it, in this case poopy diaper=im your baby still. My daughter does this and my ASD son to some extent.

      I don't pretend to know the answers but from one mom to the other I hope this helped at least to open a brainstorm up if nothing else:)

  32. Anonymous

    hey i have a question how do you potty train at night? i have a little girl she's not artistic or anything she will tell me she peed (she's 2 at the end of Jan) or pooped thoughtout the day by the time i get her on the potty she's peed i try to be positive and say we will get it next time. but she still wakes up in the morning with a wet diaper!! and i don't do any drinks an hour before bed… im going to try this and see if we can get her in painties (still in diapers atm) please email me my Facebook Danielle C Carson(Roberts) yes im on your page if anyone has anything please feel free to send to

  33. Anonymous

    My 3-year old non-verbal ASD daughter is #2 trained since two and a half. But I started training her before I even knew she was autistic at 10 months ;-p. Pee has taken longer, she still goes on the floor every other day. I know it's because it's not as much of a "feeling." At home I just keep pants and underwear off and she usually indicates she has to go by grabbing or runs in there herself (which is awesome!). A little weird to explain to people who visit why she's naked from the waist down but oh well! At night she was soaking through diapers and sheets and we had to change her in the middle of the night and I just got sick of it. So I started putting her to bed with no pants or underwear or diaper. I thought she'd be cold but I just hiked the heat. It was a miracle but from the first night I did that, she started waking up and peeing (and pooping!) in her bathroom all by herself (luckily attached to her room and with a nightlight on and a step stool and baby bjorn potty seat on the toilet so she can get up). The first morning I walked in and there was pee in the toilet, I was ecstatic. The first morning there was poop, I was elated!!! Now if I can only get her to go to the potty for pee every time during the day! It blows my mind that she's trained at night before day. These children are so entertaining!!! She keeps me laughing :-)))

  34. The problem we have with our four year old is that he witholds. He knows the entire toilet routine and enjoys "acting" it out save for the part of actually voiding.He has held his urine for up to twelve hours while wearing underwear until we put a pull-up on him. He has now progressed to being able to pee in his underwear or on the floor but will not go at all in the toilet at hme or in school. Help!

  35. How about night time? We have done well with day time..sometimes a reminder is needed if she is occupied with something. But we are still in pullups for wet nights (no poo). I'm wondering if we will ever get to stop buying them.

  36. Anonymous

    My son went back and forth but was never consistent either during the day or night. He had pullups till age 7. We started YES – our Son-Rise program last October. I tossed all of the charts, regimens, and careful documentation of his every bowel movement out the window. My child responded to the one to one care provided in the Son-Rise program so well that I finally built a typical connection to my son. The GAPS diet helped improve the consistency of his digestive system so he could process and follow his signals. The Son-Rise program made the attitude change in me and the GAPS diet took care of the physical issues. Taking him out of school gave him the ability to focus in a one to one distraction reduced environment. NOW? My son is 100% cosistent needing NO reminders during the day. He does have to wear pull ups at night but this too will come in time! Son-Rise made potty training fun and exciting and the GAPS diet made progress possible. If we did not have these interventions, my son would still be wearing diapers 100% of the time! I couldn't be happier with his progress. I think you should try Son-Rise. You would be surprised by the gains that are possible. It doesn't cost anything to go to their website and request the FREE information packet because they will send you a DVD that will give you enough information to see if the approach could be of benefit then – you can decide if you think it is worth it. I was skeptical myself but when I got the DVD, I tried it and for the first time ever my son reached out his hand for me to have me join him in playing and at the time – that was miraculous! I know you don't want to hear this again, but that's our potty story! God bless – your son will achieve too because you are the dad who won't give up!

  37. Anonymous

    I got to ask…what do you do at night when your son is sleeping??? My son is also on the severe side, non verbal and I have tried once before to potty train to no avail, getting ready to try again on his 4 day break from school. But what do you do at night…I can't stay up all night and take him to the bathroom (I'm a single mother, I would never sleep) and his bedding, clothes, everything would be soaked by morning! Anybody please respond!!!

  38. Anonymous

    Does Kyle stay dry during the night? If so, what did you do to get him to stay dry through the night? My severely autistic daughter pretty much stays dry in the day (with the exception of at school at times, as there's no bathroom in the class). At night, I put her in disposable night pants which she soaks through sometimes. =/

  39. Anonymous

    I don't know if I just missed it somewhere or if you did not include it, but how long did you keep him on the toilet until you decided he didn't need to go? Also, did you train him to pee standing up or sitting down?

  40. Anonymous

    My son is 6 1/2 and has mild to moderate ASD. We tried multiple different methods over the course of several years for potty training him. We were finally successful a few months ago with a method similiar to yours. I only wish we had this info ahead of time instead of trial and error. Keep up the good work and great posts!!

  41. I am SO glad I found this entry. I've been following you on FB for a while now but I've apparently missed this post. My asd son is 7.5 and is not potty trained. He was doing very well when he was in school before we moved a little over a year ago. He would go to school in underwear and stay dry for the whole time he was there. Ever since we moved, he has completely regressed. He will sometimes pee or poo on the potty, but only if someone physically takes his hand and takes him to the bathroom. He's at home full time now, so I can actually do this with him. Thank you for posting it!!

  42. Anonymous

    I have a son whos 4 and nonverbal and we have tried everything under the sun. I just think he doesnt get it yet. I hope one day it will click for him too

    1. Hope is the key – Dont lose it. My son magically learned pee. he is half potty trained and we still are trying.

    2. Anonymous

      At 4 my daughter was non-verbal. It took me 3 years to potty train my daughter. but she finally got it!!!!! Don't give up hope. But unfortunately she has hit some regression at 12 and we have started having accidents…

  43. Anonymous

    The most useful instructions ever! Grateful to have found this site.

  44. Anonymous

    That's exactly what has worked for us too. Our 9 year old will wait until we ask him to go but even though he's very limited verbally, he can ask for "potty". He will have days or even weeks of regression and we do the same retraining. The only thing we add is extra "negative consequences". If he has an accident he is to go through many steps we add (strip his own clothes off, put them in the washer, wipe down the floor where he had the accident whether it was wet or not, wash himself, dress himself). He hates taking the time to do all this and we found it makes him come out of his regression quicker. He has severe fine motor and attention issues so much of this is hand over hand. But its given him new skills at the same time of how to do these things. If he starts enjoying any of the steps we remove them and add another so he isn't encouraged to have accidents.

  45. Anonymous

    My son is 3 half and i have been doing the something with him they do it in school and I start as soon as he gets off the bus..he usually goes a few times a day which makes me happy..he is non verbal, but I am just wondering. Will it ever just stick and him start going himself..I know I have a long road ahead of me but I just hope he gets it soon

  46. Anonymous

    I still take my 13 yr old son into the ladies room- it is starting to get a little awkward- but mostly the woman don't say anything-they see he's autistic and hopefully understand

  47. Anonymous

    Your son sounds very much like mine. I am wondering whether Kyle knows how to pee standing up and if so how did you teach that? My son has very low attention and has difficulty standing still so we continue to have him pee sitting down but it is a big hassle in public bathrooms. Also, when your wife is taking Kyle out, I assume she takes him into the women's bathroom with her. Has she ever run into any difficulties with women's reactions there? Thanks and thanks so much for your blog!

  48. One of my boys (Twin A) pee trained himself in a day. I tried every trick in the book and one day he just decided to do it himself. He is still not BM trained though.

    His brother (Twin B) would not train. I took him for a urodynamics test. His bladder was holding only 40% of what it should and he was having bladder spasms. He's now on a muscle relaxer to help his bladder and we are beginning the scheduled training just as you've done again. Wish us luck!

  49. It will eventually happen. My son has Asperger's and we also had a heck of a time trying to get him potty trained. Our problem was that he just didn't care if he was wet or soiled – even at 4 – and was perfectly content to sit in it. We did a lot of what you are doing with charts and rewards and lot and lots of postive reinforcement. Then one day it literally just clicked, and he started going all by himself without prompts or rewards. It will happen for you too! We are still struggling with at night. Even at 7 he still wakes up everymorning wet. Not sure what to try for that.

    1. Anonymous

      Try not letting him have anything to drink 3 hrs before bed time. My son had problems with that and hes not on the spectrum…

    2. KL

      I had bed wetting issues and I do not have ASD…Heck, I can still have issues…I just sleep SO hard…and I have a particular dream…and once I realized that, I can wake myself up when that dream starts and get up and go to the restroom…everyone is different, so I don't let it get me down 🙂

    3. Anonymous

      My son, who does not have ASD, suffered from bed wetting until he was 16 years old. We tried just about everything from not drinking anything after 9pm. waking him up every two hours during the night, to medication. Nothing worked much to his shame and embarrassment. His doctor said that he would grow out of it. Although this was frustrating we all decided to accept and live with it which did wonders to lessen his shame and apprehension. Suddenly, well into his 16 th year, he began to wake up and go to the bathroom. Perhaps he learned to wake himself up when he had the urge to go as he was a very heavy sleeper. I am not sure but it seems as if the child make take control of this situation.

  50. This is exactly the method we used and it worked wonderfully. Our daughter was 8 years old at the time, severe autism (nonverbal) and she was having bladder spasms. We started a mild muscle relaxant and used this method. Today, she is 11 years old and has been completely independent on toileting over 2 years. There is nothing better! She is proof positive that if you don't give up it will happen eventually.

  51. I am sharing your post. I work with children on the spectrum, and do a lot of parent coaching. These same things are what I talk about with parents, and I am so glad to hear you lay out your journey. Nothing comes easy, that's for sure. Thanks so much for sharing …. don't stop.

  52. My son is non-verbal and severe at the age of 4 and still thinks the toilet is a bathtub for his toys. its wonderful how you are so successful. you inspire me.

  53. sherriy

    we have been having issues with our son on this subject. he will be five in a few months and i realize it make take awhile since he is autistic. anyway, he know what the potty is and what it is for. when he poops in his pull up, he will try to put it in the toilet without telling us. pretty messy stuff. anyway, i think he just can not feel it…the urge. i think his sensory issues are to blame for this.

    1. Anonymous

      You sound like an awesome Dad! I work in a special needs classroom and see so many parent just leave it up to us to do the work/training so the easy way is at home. I respect your outlook and all the hard work and love you put ON you baby. God Bless you and your family.

    2. Anonymous

      I agree with the 1st anonymous writer. Be patient and it will come. I doubted my son as well since he has autism and will never learn to use the bathroom. After that, I swear to believe in everything he can do despite his autism.

      Our son with autism was potty trained when he was in mid-Kindergarten years. There was no turning back after that. He cleans himself as in -clean!! He can use like 20 pieces of wipes to make sure there is nothing there.

    3. Anonymous

      My son was 5 when he became fully potty trained. We struggled for a long time with both pee and poop. Then, one day it just clicked. He went in and sat on the toilet and hasn't had very many accidents since then and he is 7 now. It will happen, just be patient with him.