Archive for the ‘Toilet Training’ Category

Hi and welcome to Ask Missy Mondays where I respond to email questions from parents who are having difficulty with their child’s behavior. Today’s question comes from Sasha.

“My 8 year old is STILL not pooping in the toilet. He does a great job keeping his pants dry all day long with regular prompted bathroom breaks, but he seems to prefer NOT to poop in the toilet for some reason. What he will do most evenings (he usually poops in the evenings) is go to his room and get a diaper (which he still wears overnight because he still wets overnight) and sometimes he’ll even put it on himself to go poop.

Do you have any suggestions for how I can get him used to pooping in the toilet instead of in his pants? It seems like he’s starting to understand when he needs to go, it’s just that sometimes he doesn’t care to keep himself clean.”

Great question Sasha!  I would start with a social story which I am including at the bottom of this post. This word and picture story helps children better understand that poop goes in the toilet and not in the pants. The use of social stories also has research to back it up here, here, and here.

As gross as it may seem, perhaps your child should watch you go poop on the potty as well. Sometimes children need concrete examples to help solidify their learning. If that is too difficult for you to do, then try to find some movies or clips on iTunes that show people pooping. Even babies can poop on the potty!

I also really like the Poop in the Potty song. I have a dear friend with an excellent Nanny who taught me about that song. It is the BOMB! You can hear it here.

Next, you are going to have to be on your toes and catch him as he is trying to “sneak one in”. Quickly rush him to the toilet and stay with him. Read the social story to him. Encourage him. Tell him it is scary.

Finally, find the biggest, coolest, best ever reward and make it available ONLY when poop goes on the potty. Explain to him (using pictures if possible) that when he poops in the potty, he can have _______.

Good luck! and please let us know how it goes!

If you have a behavior or situation that you need assistance on, please email me at askmissy at applied behavioral strategies dot-com.

Social Story

Poop goes in the potty . 

Sometimes your tummy hurts .

Sitting on the potty will help the poop come out .

Poop does not go in your pants.

Poop goes in the potty .

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Hi and welcome to “What Works Wednesdays” where we share a success story from one of our clinical cases. All names have been changed to preserve the privacy of the client and family. Our intent is to show readers how successful ABA can be.

Recently, we have been sharing success stories from our feeding clinic. Today, we are going to discuss a success story about using ABA to teach toilet training. We want you to meet Christopher. Christopher is an adorable little 2.5 year old. He has curly hair, talks up a storm, and he is ALL boy! He loves to run around the yard, drive his trucks, and wrestle. He does not have a disability of any sort.

His mother approached us in August because it was time to move up in the preschool. Christopher wouldn’t be turning 3 until November but the toddlers were moving up to the three-year old class. Christopher could not move up until he was toilet trained. His mother did not want to hold him back with the toddlers. How was she going to get him toilet trained in less than a month?

“That is easy!” We told her. “You can train him in a weekend.” She did not believe us. So, we sent her the toilet training protocol with instructions on how to teach toileting skills.

For toilet training, we approach it in several steps. First, diapers and pull ups must go. Throw a party and throw them away. Well, do not throw them all away because you will still need them for overnight. Diapers and pull ups keep children dry. Children need to feel wet if they have an accident. The discomfort of being wet is often all that is needed to stop future accidents.

Second, go out and buy fun underwear or panties. Take care to have your child help you pick them out. Christopher loved Transformers so they bought him some great underpants. Celebrate growing up and moving on to “big boy” or “big girl” underpants.

Third, plan the weekend where it will happen. While this can be done in one day, for some children it may take 2-3 days to fully get the routine down. We recommend that families select a holiday weekend to ensure success before going back to work and school.

Fourth, identify a fun reinforcer or reward that will be used ONLY when success is achieved on the toilet. This can be a book, food, movie, or other preferred object. You may also find it helpful to use a sticker chart to show successes.

On the day that toilet training starts, get your child out of bed as soon as she awakens. Take her straight to the bathroom. Do not pass go, do not collect $200….I digress. Have her sit for a few minutes reading fun stories or listening to music. If she urinates on the toilet, cheer wildly. Give her the reinforcer/reward. Put on the big girl panties and do not look back!

If she does not urinate, allow her to get up. Put on her big girl panties and remind her that she must urinate on the toilet or she will get wet. You will need to take her back to the toilet every 15 minutes until she urinates on the toilet.

If your child has an accident, do not get upset. If you can catch it early enough, carry her  to the toilet to finish on the toilet. Have her assist with the clean up. Again, do not make a big deal out of the accident. Simply say, “oops, pee pee goes in the toilet”.

Once your child urinates successfully, be sure to take her back to the toilet about every hour. Over time, your child will learn to tell you that she has to go. However, initially, you will need to remind her. Always watch for the potty dance. We have provided you with an example picture. Just know that it looks slightly different for each child. When you see the potty dance, take your child to the toilet. Do not ask, “do you have to go potty?” as children often say no because they are doing something fun.

A few weeks later, Christopher’s mother emailed to let us know that Christopher was toilet trained and moving up to the Three Year Old class! Congratulations Christopher. You rocked the toilet! And your mom is awesome too!

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