Toileting Routines That Work! (part 1)

potty collage

As I’ve said before, we have an integrated classroom so we do potty training with both typical kids and those with special needs. We use the same method with all of the kids. They enter the program at different stages – some completely potty trained and others who wouldn’t dare sit on the toilet without the fight of their lives, Most kids enter the program somewhere in the middle.
Our toileting times are after breakfast and again after lunch. We use a visual schedule for our new kids and will first start by showing them the potty picture, which is just the PECS toilet picture. Exception: if it’s a child who is VERY resistant to even going into the bathroom, we would use the toy they are playing with and walk with the toy and the child to the bathroom WITHOUT showing them the potty card. Once there, we would sit in the door of the bathroom and point out the steps on the potty routine card, which is attached to the wall (pictured).
We proceed to point and say each step on the chart while helping them complete it. Obviously, pants with elastic waists work best for potty training because those with fasteners require help. For kids who are not comfortable sitting on the toilet, I would help them sit and count to 3, followed by “good sitting on the potty!” Primary reinforcers (goldfish cracker or piece of cereal, such as cookie crunch – looks like a cookie but has more nutrition) can initially be used to reward attempts to go and later for actually peeing.
We’ve had many kids who go on to point to and say the steps themselves as they get used to the routine. Our visual kiddos (those with Autism especially) are very responsive to the visual aid and learn to read the words. I have sometimes sent a copy of the chart home for parents to use as well. In the bathroom, we keep a basket of potty books I’ve collected over the years (pictured.)



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