Question

Caring For Someone With ASD

How can a teen with autism be toilet trained?

A Answers (1)

  • AChantal Sicile-Kira, Mental Retardation / Developmental Disabilities, answered
    Many people on the autism spectrum have trouble feeling their bodies when they were overwhelmed or stressed by too much noise and light, particularly in new environments, and this can cause toilet training problems. Some people with autism set their cell phones to remind themselves to use the restroom every two hours to avoid embarrassing situations. Some report feeling something in their stomach area but not being able to tell the difference between hunger pains and having a full bladder. If a person has gastrointestinal problems, that may also affect his ability to control himself. If that is the case, those problems must be dealt with.

    However, if a person with autism has no physical reason for wetting himself, he must learn to feel and recognize the sensation of having a full bladder or needing to defecate. A combination of social stories can be helpful, even for a non-verbal teen with autism, as he may understand what he hears or sees. These stories can concern what the different sensations in our midsection are. Then put the person on a strict schedule, starting with the amount of time he seems to stay dry (half an hour? two hours?), as well as before and after meals, and before leaving the house. Setting an alarm for yourself or for the caretaker is a good way to stay on track. Then, reward your teenager with autism each time he uses the toilet successfully.
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