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Chances are if you have a child on the Autism Spectrum, this will be one of the more challenging tasks you will face. Our son is eight years old and we still have a few challenges to conquer. Sometimes he can get so focused on game or video that he ignores nature's call. Arrrggggghhhh!

That's when the parents play the "Oh, i didn't smell anything" game. Don't lie, you've been there too.


Remember potty training your typical kid is not easy either. Just know that many times, potty awareness comes later for your autistic loved one. Here's some well earned tips that we've learned.

  • Sometimes you can complete the training and still have the child relapse. This is common. You'll have to be patient and have cleaning supplies readily on hand.

  • Like many other behavioral issues - positivity works so much better than negativity. ALWAYS praise your child emphatically when he/she does it right. That means extra work for you to make sure your leading them, following them, assisting them when potty time arrives.  Call upon your 5th grade acting skills and let them know how amazing they are for following the correct procedures. If you just discipline after they've made a mistake, you will have a long road ahead of you.

  • Routine is your friend. Make potty time mandatory at certain times of the day and do your best to adhere to that schedule. 

  • Be observant of your child. If they start doing a "happy dance" or some "hand placing", remind them that they need to stop what they are doing and go to the restroom. Sometimes their awareness is their biggest challenge.

  • Use visually aids (storyboards) like this:

Below are some other resources to help you out.

7 Toilet training tips for nonverbal kids with autism

Potty Training Links