Tips for Potty Training an Autistic Child

5 Tips for Potty Training an Autistic Child

Picture of Surabhi Agrawal

Surabhi Agrawal

It’s not always easy to potty train an autistic child. It can be frustrating for both parents and children when the process isn’t going smoothly. However, with patience and understanding, there are ways to make this process better.

When autistic children reach the age of 3, it is a smart idea to begin potty training. Not only does this help them develop at a normal pace, but will also benefit the parents greatly as well.

Share these methods with your fellow parents in order to make their lives easier!

Potty Training Tips for Autistic Child – Potty Training Tips for an Autistic Child

1. Understand Why Your Autistic Child is Resisting Potty Training

Some children are scared of using the toilet because it is different. Help them understand that it is just like using a potty chair. Use positive words to tell them that they are doing well. Give them privacy and make sure they are comfortable.

2. Start with a Potty Chair Instead of the Toilet

When potty training an autistic child, it can be helpful to start with a potty chair instead of using the toilet. This will make them more comfortable and less scared of the process. It is also important to be consistent with the rules and rewards and to give your child plenty of fluids during the day. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while – every child is different!

3. Use Positive Reinforcement to Encourage Your Child

When potty training an autistic child, using positive reinforcement can help. This means praising them when they do something good. It can make the child feel happy and encouraged to keep going. Be consistent with the rules and rewards, and make sure your child has plenty of fluids during the day.

4. 5 Tips to Potty Train Your Autistic Child

If your child has autism, the toilet training process may be even more difficult. However, there are many ways to make this easier for both you and your autistic child.

1. When trying to potty train an autistic child, it’s important for them to understand why they are doing it in the first place. For example, if they are scared of the water in the toilet, show them that it’s okay by pouring some on your hand.

2. For children who are nonverbal, you can use pictures to help teach them about using the potty. Pictures are great ways for children to learn.

3.  Don’t expect too much from your child during this time or punish them if they don’t follow instructions. Try to help them through the process and be patient!

4. You can try giving them tasks that go along with potty training like flushing, opening/closing the lid, and putting the toilet paper on the roll. This may sound silly, but it’s a way for your child to get used to the toilet.

5. Remember, kids with autism learn through repetition. You can try having your child do the same thing over and over again like walking back and forth from the bathroom or singing songs. Once they start associating these things with going to the bathroom, they might eventually know what you want them to do when you ask them to go.

Tips for Potty Training an Autistic Child – Tips for Potty Training an Autistic Child

Other Issues

1) If your child has a medical issue, take them to the doctors and find out what is causing their problems. This can be done before or during potty training.

– If they have an infection in their urinary tract, it may cause bedwetting. It could also be because of constipation, too much liquid intake like juice or soda, or anything else that can cause bedwetting.

– If they have diarrhea, it may lead to accidents without the parents knowing about it. It could be because of fear or even hyperactivity.

– If they are having trouble with constipation, make sure you make them drink plenty of water and try to give them fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.

– If their doctor suggests medicines for bedwetting, make sure you work on the other problems mentioned above while giving them medicine.

2) Ensure that your child is getting enough sleep. When children are overtired, they are more likely to have accidents during the day. On average, kids should get at least 10 hours of sleep each night.

3) Try to avoid negative reinforcement when potty training your child. If they have an accident, don’t immediately scold them, but try to explain that it is not okay to do in public or at home. When praising good behavior, make sure you say things like “Good job!”, but don’t say “You’re a big boy/girl now!” as it can be embarrassing for them.

4) Encourage your child if they have an accident, but don’t punish them. In the case that you find a mess somewhere in the house, try to clean it up together and explain how accidents are not okay. But punishing your child will only make them more anxious and scared when it comes to using the toilet.

5) For children with sensory issues, make sure they have many opportunities to get used to the feeling of peeing or pooping in a toilet. Sit them on top of the seat so they get used to having something there, but don’t force them if they are uncomfortable doing so. If they are too anxious to use the toilet at all, try using a potty chair instead.

6) If you’re struggling with potty training your child, especially if it’s because of anxiety or sensory issues, ask for help. There are many therapists out there who can help you through this difficult task. Don’t give up!

5. Be consistent with the rules and rewards

– If your child gets a reward for using the potty, ensure that they get one every time they do use it instead of waiting until they are “finished.” This will teach them that if you say “good job,” show them that it’s okay by pouring some on your hand.

– You can also give rewards when accidents happen too. If they have an accident, clean them up and then go to the bathroom yourself and show them that a reward happens for accidents too.

– Try giving your child a sticker every time they use the potty whether it be successful or not. Once they get 10 stickers, give them a small prize like a toy or candy bar as long as they are potty-trained.

– Try to stick to a schedule. If you’re using the potty every two hours, make sure they go even if it’s not really time. If you catch your child squatting to use the toilet, immediately put them on and praise them for sitting like a big kid! They will eventually connect when they need to sit down.

– Try giving liquids in small amounts throughout the day instead of in one large dose. If they are dehydrated, it is more likely that they will have accidents because they can’t hold their bladder very long.

– Try having your child sit on the toilet for around 10-15 minutes after breakfast and dinner so their food can digest. If you don’t have time to do this throughout the day, do it right before bedtime.

– Don’t punish your child for accidents that are not their fault. If they use the bathroom when they aren’t supposed to in public, explain why it isn’t okay and give them a treat later on in the day so they know what good behavior is.

6. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while – every child is different!

The most important thing is to be patient and encouraging. Your child did not choose to have autism, so even if it feels like you’re the only one struggling with their potty training process, know that others are going through the same thing. Before starting this task, make sure your child is ready by asking him/her if they want to learn how to use a big-kid toilet.

If they say no, don’t push them too hard to do it. Instead, try to get them excited about the idea of using a potty chair instead. Once you’ve done that, start rewarding your child for what they are doing correctly (whether that be sitting on the toilet or actually going). If you’re struggling with your child’s potty training anxiety, contact a therapist who can help you get through it! Remember that this process will have ups and downs, but if you are consistent, the pros will outweigh the cons.

Practice More Than Once

Just because your child peed in the toilet once doesn’t mean they automatically know how to go every time. Practice more than once so they get the hang of it.

Don’t Stress If You Have An Accident

Even if you have an accident, don’t stress out! Stay calm and just buy some new pants for your child. Remind them that everyone has accidents sometimes while potty training, but that’s okay because you just need to try harder next time.


Potty training an autistic child can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Remember to encourage your child and reward them for doing a good job. If they have an accident, just stay calm and tell them it happens sometimes.

Finally, if you need more help than this article provides, contact a therapist! They know what they’re talking about and can help you ease your child into this big change.


5 Tips for Potty Training an Autistic Child
5 Tips for Potty Training an Autistic Child

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