How to get 5 yr old autistic daughter to take herself to the bathroom?

My daughter is still in the middle of potty training. I know, I know, but it took til she was 4 1/2 to get her to start. Anyway, she won't tell me when she has to pee, but she will when she has to poop, but only when she is about to burst. But she won't take herself unless instructed to, and even if she is napping or alone in her room, she will never open her door or yell or anything to let me know she needs to pee, so I have to check her about every 2 hrs to see if she needs to pee. It used to be every 1 hr, but she has learned to hold it better. I've tried to explain that she can take herself to the potty whenever she needs to go, but it doesn't seem like she fully understands. Also, when she does go pee/poop and then wipes, she will wipe, but won't drop the toilet paper unless I tell her to. She seems to thrive on being told what to do. She even tries to initiate me telling her what to say or do when pointing out colors like she will point to a color and say "Whats this" and then name the color herself. I want her to be able to take herself during the day, so I can prepare her for nighttime training. Anyone have any tips or anything that worked with their autistic child?


She starts kindergarten in the fall and is in a Stride Preschool for special learning, but they haven't really done too much with her, but having to do exactly what I have to do to get her to go potty.

1 Answer

  • ?
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Another option is an occupational therapist - they too can help you with toileting.

    What really worked for us (although our problem was convincing our HFA daughter that she could pee in the toilet) was social stories and visual prompts. Most kids on the spectrum are highly visual learners so using pictures/stories is generally really helpful.

    A social story for 'you can go to the bathroom when you need to' may be in order, but keep in mind that if she's only started about 6 months ago it's a fairly normal progression for someone who's just been toilet trained to need reminders - even constant reminders.

    As for the wiping, you can write the steps down with pictures and post them where she would see them in the bathroom. Read the story frequently so she remembers, but it should quickly get to a point that seeing the 'visual schedule' of what she needs to do is right there and she'll start getting it.

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