Potty training is not easy, that’s for sure! We have tried several free visual printable resources over the years for my daughter. In fact, it has been one of the biggest struggles with parenting my autistic daughter. I created a printable bathroom routine chart for her to aid with this process at home. The keys to potty training for us: consistency and visual supports. This works for us and it’s one of those things that we have tried over and over again. Part of it is because she’s non-verbal but a great deal of it has to do with the consistency. Add in the extra layer of support with visual schedules and we are set.
Potty Training Difficulties for Autism
One of the biggest challenges with Sweet B is potty training. At 13, I admit, she’s still not fully potty trained though this is a somewhat common problem from what I understand after speaking with other moms who have kids on the more severe end of the spectrum. This really isn’t for lack of trying, because we do try, just a matter of having everything click with her and come together.
One way that we’ve tried to help her is by keeping a checklist that monitors her bathroom activity. For each day, we would make note of what she did in the bathroom and the time. Her primary rewards are food related, so for a full day of bathroom activity she would receive a reward. A visual reward chart like this: I Can Do It Potty Training Kit has also helped.
Another thing that’s helped her is having a visual bathroom chart. Because of that, I’m sharing a printable bathroom chart that’s similar to the one that we use at home.
You can also use this in combination with my other free printables for autistic children to create a visual schedule.
Using a Printable Bathroom Chart with Potty Training an Autistic Child
The printable bathroom chart, just like any part of her visual schedule, was kept in the room associated with the activity. The upstairs bathroom is closer to her bedroom, and thus, the chart was kept in there. This is more of a way for her to remember the steps she needs to take (washing hands, drying hands, etc.) as opposed to reminding her to go to the bathroom. Potty training with her is similar to potty training with a toddler.
It requires a lot of consistency on our part but in the end, it’s definitely worth it.
Other things that we’ve done is to have her go on a regular basis:
- After she gets home from school, and before she has her snack, she goes to the bathroom.
- Whether or not she uses the bathroom is another matter entirely but it’s a matter of getting her there.
- She’s then taken to the bathroom every hour.
Establish more routine and structure with my free Visual Schedule Toolkit.
She follows a similar routine when she’s at school and at her father’s house, so that we we’re all on the same page.
Recommended Resources for Potty Training an Autistic Child
Visual schedules and visual aids have always helped Sweet B in a lot of ways, so the one that I created for her I’m happy to share with you. There are two versions of the chart pieces- text and no text. One of the biggest differences with the chart we use at home, is that we use a PECS version because that’s what she’s used to. This one was created with amazing clip art from Scrappin Doodles. I’m also offering our bathroom tracker sheet to go along with the printable bathroom chart.
>>>> Printable Bathroom Tracker Sheet <<<<
>>>> Printable Bathroom Chart <<<<
These charts can also be used for anyone who’s potty training and not just limited to special needs children. You could also use this for a pre-reader as a visual reminder.
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