Tuesday, February 19, 2008

All Aboard the Potty Train

Bagel, age 3 1/2, started potty training in December. I got a book on potty training kids with developmental disabilities, and it has helped a lot. We've had to lower our expectations and really take it slow.

We knew he would potty train late because of his Asperger's, but what we didn't anticipate is that Knuckles (who will be 2 on Saturday) is also potty training simultaneously-- and doing better than Bagel. Already Knuckles has shown more interest in the potty than Bagel, and despite not having an age-appropriate vocabulary has managed a few times to express when he needs to use the potty, and used it instead of wetting his diaper. In addition, Knuckles will urinate a normal amount in (or sometimes just near) the potty, while Bagel has been holding it in so that he can squirt out a drop at potty time and get his star on the chart.

We originally had the rule that Bagel gets a star for any urine at all and mere praise for just sitting on the potty, because at first he wouldn't even sit on the potty. At first we had made him sit morning and night at diaper changes, and it took about a month to get him to sit voluntarily. Now he sits with almost every diaper change. We would praise him for even a drop, and soon he was squirting out a drop at each sitting. But he started completely soaking through his night diaper without any change in his fluid consumption, indicating that he was holding it in all day and only squeezing out a drop on demand. So we changed the rules; he now has to make "a pond" or "a lake" or "a stream" before he can get a star. He's not too keen on that, but he seems to be going along with it, especially since the rule is the same for Knuckles, who has no problem making a stream and has even done it standing up.