There is no set age for parents to start toileting their children. Nowadays, parents are more relaxed than their predecessors when it comes to seeing older kids in diapers.
Toileting can be a more difficult skill to teach when you have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is because the readiness signs may not appear until they are older. It is important to understand that there are two components that could delay the toilet training process in children with ASD. First the child may have trouble comprehending social cues, which will make it hard for them to understand why it is such a big deal. Second, toilet training means a major change in their regular routine that brings new sensory experiences. This is also a struggle for children with ASD.
If you are a parent of a child with ASD and you feel your child is ready to be potty trained, our Nanny Employment agency in Vancouver has created the following potty training tip sheet to assist you with the process.
Tips for Toileting Children with ASD | Nanny Employment Agency Vancouver
1. Have a Plan
Most children with ASD work best when there is a routine and structure in place, and that it is followed by parents and nannies. You need to keep track of their elimination habits. How long are they able to stay dry between diaper changes? How often do they have bowel movements? Make sure that all the items (e.g., potty, toilet paper, and new diapers) in the washroom are within easy reach for the child. Some accommodations may need to be made for keeping them distracted (e.g., toys or books). If you co-create a bathroom routine with your child and carry it out each and every, they will know what to expect and the skill will be easier to master.
2. Make a Picture Chart
Many children with ASD are visual learners. They process information faster using visual schedules. Oral instructions without visual cues are harder for children with ASD to process. To ensure self-regulation when toileting, our nanny employment agency recommends creating a picture chart of your bathroom routine, which details step-by-step what to do from the moment the child enters the washroom to the moment they leave it. Break each step down into simple instructions like going to the bathroom, taking off pants, sitting on the toilet, using tissues and flushing the toilet etc. Keep each sentence to 3-5 words max.
3. Read to them a Social Story
Reading a social story to/with your child can help them develop appropriate behaviours and responses to challenging tasks, like toileting. Each story has simple text and descriptive pictures to explain why potty training is important and what it entails. It also equips children with strategies to resolve difficult problems and situations on their own (self-regulations).
The Benefits to Social Stories:
• They use easy-to-follow storylines with clear pictures
• They are written from a child’s perspective
• They give a detailed description of the situation and what needs to occur
• They provide children a few suggestions on how they might respond in the situation
4. Encourage and Reward Them
Rewards and positive reinforcement work wonders in toilet training. As your child grasps each step in the toileting process, you can reward him, which encourages them to learn. This accomplishment is a big deal for both you and your child. It is important to remember that it is a marathon and not a sprint. Some days, the job will be done with ease and some days you will have to go back to the beginning and re-explain the system.
Rewards and encouragement can include:
• Verbal praises (e.g., Good job sitting on the toilet!)
• Nonverbal praises (e.g., clapping or thumbs up)
• A free choice activity
• A star on a sticker board.
Ace Personnel | Professional Nanny Employment Agency| Vancouver & Surrey
ACE Personnel is a family owned and operated service founded in 1977 by Diane Anderson (“Mrs. A”). It began as a home based business and has since been devoted to helping the local community with childcare and home care solutions. Mrs. A took great pride in the fact that she was able to help others through elderly care and nanny placements. She took time to get to know her each of her clients and as a result developed lasting relationships with many of them.
Contact us today if you are looking for a professional nanny for your loved one in the greater Vancouver area.