I've mentioned before that A. has a Sensory Prosessing Disorder (SPD) and that hasn't changed. When his first OT told us when he was two that she believed he had SPD based off of my descriptions and her observations, it seemed like such a relief to have some kind of answer. SPD impacts him on a daily basis, it always will, but our hopes for him are that he learns to manage his SPD and that he learns it isn't a barrier he can't overcome or an excuse not to try his hardest for anything he wants or needs to do in life. Everyone has issues in their life, his is simply SPD.
So when his SPD does cause issues, we try and go with the flow and figure it out with him. Potty training has been one of these issues. SPD can cause delays in the area of potty training because obvouisly part of potty training is knowing what's going on with your body, something kids with SPD struggle with. When I read an article when he was 2 that some children with SPD aren't potty trained till 4 or later and that it is often a slow, slow process, I was smug and thought I could get him potty trained before 2 1/2 using one of those "potty train your kid in one weekend" books and websites floating around. I mean I had already started! I was wrong. I'm glad that shit works for other people's kids but it didn't for us or for A.
So, I'm sure your asking, well woman, how did you potty train your SPD kid? The answer? Time.
Two years worth of time.
And a copy of Batman 2 Lego.
Serouisly, two years people. It started when he was 1 1/2 by buying him a potty chair. I put it in the bathroom. I let him sit on it with his diaper at first while I was using the bathroom (What? Like you ever get to pee by yourself as a mother). If he didn't want to sit, then no problem. Sometimes he would sit every day and then other times it would be weeks before he would again. No big deal.
Around 2 I bought him Star Wars and DC comic underwear. I asked if he wanted to wear them. Sometimes he did and sometimes he didn't. When he was wearing them we would bring the potty chair out and have him sit on the potty. He would go if I prompted him but never on his own. He seemed increadibly suprised each and every time he would pee as if he had no idea it would happen.
Around 2 1/2 I bought him a Cars potty seat and a bright yellow foot stool; his picking. I bought M&M's and gave him one for sitting on the potty, pee or not. He still seemed completely unaware of his bathroom needs and was always wet.
The kid has a crazy thirst, as if he has no regulation for it, always has. He will drain an entire juice box in under 20 seconds flat and ask for a second as pee runs down his legs. It's not that he doesn't notice being wet, cause he does, he just doesn't seem to connect the two together at all.
At three I started feeling like we had to step it up but A. is fiercly stubborn, suprise, about things sometimes and he was begining to get very angry if we tried to make him use the potty or wear under wear. He would complain about the band sometimes on the underwear and was highly offended when you suggested he try. He would scream or kick and yell if we asked if he had to go. As much as I and everyone else wanted him potty trained he just wasn't there yet. We all trudged along asking him to use the potty and rewarding him with M&M's along the way.
Knowing how little control A. feels in his worls due to the SPD and his speech delay, I wondered if he was so angry at being told to go to the potty because it was just one more thing he couldn't control. So we began telling him that if he had to go, he should yell for whoever he was with that he had to pee. He seemed unsure but then he tried once and found it funny how fast everyone ran with him to the potty. He began to tell us when he had to potty and seemed less angry.
Then last week rolled around and we had to go to Target. I asked if he thought we should buy more diapers and he said no. No! I asked him if he was going to use the potty from now on because he wanted too and he paused before answering yes, because he wanted too. He then asked for Batman 2 and I said sure, why not a prize/bribe?
So we bought one small package of pull-ups for at night just incase, but he's now been dry for the past week, even at night. We still remind him anf wake him up once throughout the night but he's been doing really well.
Will he have set backs? Of course. Could one argue he trained himself because his parents are too lazy/slackerish? Yup. But is he potty trained without too many nashing of teeth? You bet.
And that is how in two years with gentle nagging, lazyness and bribing you too can potty train a SPD kid.
***My apoligies in advance to A. about discussing his potty training process. He should just be glad I have not taken even one picture of him on the potty or on his underwear. At least he has that.***