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Potty Training

1Can Toilet TrainingWhat are the barriers to taking your autistic child on vacation ? Is lack of toilet training one of them ? Do you fear embarrassment from accidents in the swimming pool or soiled bed linen overnight ? Don’t let this be a barrier. There are some things that you can do.

The first, and obvious, thing to do is to revisit toilet-training and work for a better result than any previous attempts. That will do way more than improve your vacation. Success, if it can be had, will give you a 365 improvement in the quality of life.

Why is toilet training such a big deal with our kids ? You name it; delayed general development, sensory issues, anxiety issues and the communication problems that can be associated with teaching them anything. That probably doesn’t cover all of it, even then.

When we’re faced with other issues for our kids, we try lots of different options until we find something that works. Here are some options that are specific for helping autistic children and some suggestions for what to do if even these fail.

Free options are around. There are “tips” in a number of online resources. Of course, as with all online tips, it may pay to read several and pick those tips that look sensible to you. Alternatively, if you want a single source you can go to  Pathfinders for Autism Parenting Tips  . Their tips come from Shelly McLaughlin at Pathfinders for Autism and give lots of practical help. Of course it is written with autistic kids in mind so it is way better than just general tips.

There had to be an app for it, didn’t there ? Actually, there are probably quite a few. A recommendation comes from Traci Sutton of Oklahoma. She checks out a huge number of apps for use in her clinic and recommends the ican Toilet Training Program by Sandbox-Learning. It costs $ 0.99 so the price is right. It is available for iPad and iPhone. No mention anywhere of an Android version but that may be available.

Of course, free or cheap may not be the way to go. It may pay to go for something altogether more comprehensive. One absolutely excellent source is Connie Hammer, a Certified Parent Coach at Parent Coaching for Autism.

She has an online program with strategies to help parents with potty training their kids and, over and above that, she has a live course online that includes classes and workbooks and a Q&A session for anything that might still be in doubt.

The course includes strategies for generalizing from your bathroom at home to other bathrooms such as public restrooms and strange bathrooms that you may encounter while traveling. That makes this the resource that can help you most when toilet training has been an issue that hindered your travels.

You can find her program at: Potty Training 101.

Quite apart from the issue of toilet training, Connie is an expert in the field and can coach parents on a whole range of other parenting issues.


OK, what if none of the above work out for you and your child ? You would need “Plan B” wouldn’t you ?

Fortunately, there is a great possibility here.  The SOSecureTM  Swim Containment Brief is designed to work when accidents happen in the pool. It is a product of Discovery Trekking Outfitters in British Columbia. While they don’t market this for the purpose, it is possible to use the Swim Brief with a disposable inside and prevent overnight accidents from soiling the bedding. This combination copes with almost any need. The Swim Brief needs nothing underneath it for the pool. Take a look at : SOSecure Products

Again to stray from the subject, you might want to check out Discovery Trekking’s ultra-fast drying towels. They work differently from regular towels and can be used to “dab” dry rather than rub. For some kids whose sensory challenges include a dislike of rubbing, this can be very useful.

No barrier should get in the way of your wonderful child having a great vacation and you getting an incredibly well-deserved break. Certainly, don’t let toilet issues do that !

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