Potty Training Products for Children with Special Needs

Below are some potty training products that we recommend when potty training children with special needs:
(For a full list, please see Special Needs Potty Training.)

There are also great resources out there for parents, for a full list see Children with Special Needs Potty Books.

Potty Training Guidelines from TACA (Talk About Curing Autism)

  1. Buy lots of the child's favorite drinks and salty foods.
  2. Make sure the "ultimate" reinforcer is available to the therapists/parents for the child's successes on the potty.
  3. Buy regular underwear
  4. Buy a potty seat that fits on top of the regular toilet and a stool for the child to rest his feet

Applying Structured Teaching Principles to Toilet Training

by Susan Boswell TEACCH Preschool AND Debbie Gray Chapel Hill TEACCH Center

Many children with autism are difficult to toilet train. Parents and teachers have tried many approaches to teaching the children to use the toilet independently. Not all children respond to the same teaching techniques. A method that is helpful in one child's situation may not be useful in another case. TEACCH consultants are often asked for suggestions for successful toilet training. This article is the compilation of several experienced teachers' and consultants' suggestions about this area of programming...

Q: How do I toilet train my autistic child?

A: There are two major causes of toilet training problems in children with autism. They are either afraid of the toilet or they do not know what they are supposed to do. Children with severe hearing sensitivity may be terrified of the toilet flushing. The sound may hurt their ears. Sometimes these children can learn if they use a potty chair which is located away from the frightening toilet. Due to the great variability of sensory problems, some children may like to repeatedly flush the toilet but they are still not trained. The thinking of some autistic children is so concrete that the only way they can learn is to have an adult demonstrate to them how to use the toilet. They have to see someone else do it in order to learn. Some children with very severe sensory processing problems are not able to accurately sense when they need to use the bathroom. If they are calm they may be able to feel the sensation that they need to urinate or defecate, but if they experience sensory overload they cannot feel it. This may explain why a child will sometimes use the toilet correctly, and other times he will not....

(FAQ by Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Colorado State University)

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