Hi there, first off a little about myself. I have been with my partner for 16 months now (living together almost a year). He has a 5 yr old autistic son that we have Friday evenings to Sunday evenings. First off it was such a huge adjustment having a child in my life, let alone a child I know nothing about.
I'm growing to love the little boy but it has been a rocky journey. Just watching him develop in the time that I have known him has been amazing. He hardly spoke at the beginning, now he is up to 3-5 word sentences! We are lucky that he is an affectionate and he warmed to me quite quickly.
One thing that is a major concern with us is his toilet training. At the end of last year we (both us and the BM) tried to toilet train him in preperation for starting school. However we made little progress, but we WERE making prgress. However when a school was chosen for him, the BM learned that they would teach toilet training so she stopped completely at home and put him back in nappies. We tried a bit longer having him in underwear but it just got very messy and difficult. However when he did start school the teachers had no luck in advancing his toileting. Halfway through the year he was transferred to a different school as he was much more advanced then the children at his school and was becoming bored with the activities. At his new school they are still trying to continue toilet training but still aren't having any success. If anything it is like he is going backwards. He is comfortable sitting in soiled nappies and if we ask if he does need changing he will tell us no, even if he does. He is not afraid of the toilet. He will sit on it and go if we make him and he actually likes to flush. BUT we have to be the ones to take him every 30 minutes.
We would love to hope that we can eventually get him toilet trained because he is developing so well in other aspects it would be a shame for this to be the only thing holding him back. I would love to hear from other parents that are in similar situations and also suggestions that you can offer on different toileting techniques. I know that every autistic child reacts differently to different stratergies but we are willing to try everything.
Is this a case where the BM has primary custody, and she is not on board w/toilet training? A very difficult situation. Can any amount of logic, stroking, pressure -- whatever it takes, be brought to bear on BM so that she will work with the program?
Has the behav mod program at the new school changed significantly over the behav mod program of the old school for toilet training issues? Are they using any form of reward for appropriate toiletting? Rewards are very important. If DS enjoys affection, offering approval & hugs immediately following use of the potty can be very helpful to training. Some kids are more motivated by a small treat (raisin, choc chip, small gummy candy) as a special reward for doing well on a new skill like toiletting.
Usually it's easier to train & modify urine than bowels. Has there been any progress made with urine training? Do they do the frequent toilet trips at his current school? If not, I would ask for an aide to be assigned to this task.
Have you or the school tried using pictorial social stories to help demonstrate expectations? These are very helpful for some children.
Any chance you will have DS for a longer period over a holiday? That would be a great time to zoom ahead on progress.
I had some unusual toileting issues with my son (was-and still is- very resistant to "new" bathrooms), but he came along relatively easy and only a little behind peers.
One thing that I noticed with my son is that he loves to "mimic" videos-both verbally and acting out-this can be a blessing and a curse sometimes, but we purchased some "Special Kids" videos that cover toileting, bathing, showering, brushing teeth, etc...and he loved to imitate the videos. They seem kind of weird (the dad in the video originally did them for his autistic son) but he still remembers all the dialog and will repeat it when he's doing any of the things that it covered.
If he likes that kind of thing it can really help. It's like social stories, but he was able to take it in visually. Social stories have helped him in other areas, but most of the time all it takes is a list like: Justin will be quiet in art. Justin will listen to Mrs. ***. Justin will not make a mess. Etc...We (or the teacher) will review what's expected before the activity and that helps him a lot to know what is expected.
We are not sure what happens at the BM's house, she tells us one thing does another. I am going to implement a sticker chart this weekend and see how we go. My partner tried this tactic a couple of years ago with no success but with SS recent developments we may have better luck this time.
At the school they have requested he be in pull ups full time. They do regular toilet trips but he still has accidents in between. I will look into getting some picture cards for him to use at home.
Thanks again for the suggestions guys! Really appreciate it.