Autism Resources

5 Tips for Potty Training a Child on the Autism Spectrum

BlueSprig July 20, 2021

We often hear from parents just how difficult potty training a child on the autism spectrum can be. We have a few tips for overcoming common challenges with potty training a child with an autism spectrum disorder.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Use clear and straightforward pictures (visuals). Fewer words, such as “Go Potty,” are better to help your child understand what is expected.

Tell Me What You Need

Teach your child a way to communicate the need to use the bathroom. You can teach them the sign for the toilet, how to exchange a picture for the bathroom, or to say “Go” when they have to use the bathroom. Provide activities or treats immediately for attempts to communicate the need to use the bathroom and take them to the bathroom.

Yay! I Peed in the Potty!

What is your child’s favorite thing? Activities? Toys? Candy? Find what motivates your child and pick 2 of these to use for potty training. Only provide those activities or treats when your child has toileting success. Provide those activities or treats immediately after the child has successfully peed or pooped in the toilet.

Oops! I Had an Accident!

Accidents happen. It’s okay! Refrain from discussing, pleading, teasing, or fussing. Instead, take your child to the bathroom, have them sit on the toilet, then clean up the accident with no discussion. Have your child clean up. Provide attention and praise for using or attempting the bathroom, not the accident.

Can I Get a Doctor in Here?

Sometimes we need professional assistance with toilet training. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with experience in intensive toilet training or a physician if toilet training problems continue or you suspect your child may need additional support.

Learn More

BlueSprig is here to support you! Our supportive staff is available to provide services any time of day, even on the weekend, to accommodate the schedules of our families. We also offer a variety of settings to receive individualized treatments based on the specific needs of each child in-home, center, community, school, and virtually. Learn more about the services we provide.