Toileting – When To Start

Families also need to be free of additional stressors such as a move, illness, a new baby, divorce or any other major change to family life. The parent has to feel ready to make the commitment to toilet training and not feel pressure from extended family, friends, or therapists to start the process.

How do you know when your child is ready to start toileting? Chronological age should not be a factor. Children with autism often exhibit significant developmental delays so you should use the child’s mental age which should be between 18 – 24 months. Two absolute signs of readiness are staying dry throughout the night and asking to be changed when soiled or wet. This can be indicated verbally or through a cue such as bringing a clean diaper to you or the diaper is removed by the child.

I think one of the best books out there to start the toileting process is “The Potty Journey” . I wrote an in-depth review of this book last year and feel it is one of the best books written on the subject. Unfortunately, this book was not written when I began the 6 week journey of getting Marc trained back in 2006, and it would have helped me a great deal. You can read all about my toileting trials, but the good news is since Marc’s been trained our quality of life has improved. He has never had an accident either!

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