Ask the Horizons Team: Recommended systems for potty training autistic children
I have a 7-year-old son with autism who is not yet toilet trained. My husband and I feel that he is showing signs of readiness to toilet train, but so far it’s been a challenge to catch him at the right times to take him to the bathroom. We have heard that there are toileting alarm-type systems that can help. I looked online and there are so many options that I’m not sure what would be best. Have you used any of these systems with your clients and, if so, do you have any you recommend? Thank you!!
-Rachael in Missoula, MT
Toilet training is an adventure, isn’t it?! If your son is showing signs of readiness (going at somewhat predictable times, letting you know that he is wet, wanting his diaper changed, etc.) then it’s a good time to start learning how to use the bathroom. You are correct that there are many alarm-type systems out there, and I’m sure each has pros and cons. The one that we have used here at our office, and that some of our families have used, is called the Rogers Wireless Bedwetting System. Don’t let the word “bedwetting” turn you off – it can be used for daytime as well! I like this system because it includes cotton underwear that allows the child to feel the wetness next to their skin. It also has the wires hidden in the fabric so even sensitive children can tolerate wearing the system. There are various tones and options to choose from depending on what parents and child prefer. All in all I would say this has been a very good value for the families who have used it. You may find that you only need to use it initially to help your son (and you) become aware of when the wetting is happening. Good luck with the training process and let us know what you think of this system if you use it!