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Toilet Training not happening!

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#1 Steph19

Posted 17 June 2017 - 01:52 PM

My 4yo DD has a GDD. She's also extremely anxious. She's still not toilet trained at 4 years 2 months.
For a while I could get her to at least sit on the toilet but she was scared to let go and wee or poo on there. Now she won't even sit on it. She has a complete metldown and says she's scared.
How do I get through this? OT and paed have been useless and just keep telling me to "keep trying". She starts school in 2019 and should be TT now for preschool but they've made an exception, and allowed her to have pullups. Anyone else have similar?
I have a 1 year old too so having her screaming and kicking makes it even harder to deal with.

#2 meljbau

Posted 17 June 2017 - 03:01 PM

I would go back to the beginning. If she's frightened she is not going to do anything, so I would stop asking her to sit on the toilet for the time being. Instead, I would try everything I could to include her in the toileting routine, whilst trying to make her comfy with the toilet. That may include her coming into the toilet with you when you need to go.

Try to change her in or near the toilet. She goes with you to empty the contents of her pull up into the toilet. You can also do this with pull ups that just have wee in them . Pretend to squeeze the wee into the toilet. Your little one flushes the button and completes with a hand washing routine. You can do whatever you want to make it fun in there ... make up a goodbye poo song if you have to.

When you think it's time to start trying the toilet again make sure everything is ready for her to be comfy. Make sure there is a step for her feet and some children like the handle style step. This will make sure she's in the best position to poo and will also give her a more secure feeling. Pop toilet paper into the bowl first so that there is no splash. Keep something fun to look at or do in the toilet (not the ipad unless you are sure it won't get dropped), but toilet time might be song time or story time. Decorate the walls with her favourite posters and finally you can have rewards for just sitting and then weeing or pooing, e;g sitting might be a smartie, weeing might be a lolly and pooing might be a chocolate frog. If you don't want to use food rewards just substitute something else. I got one of mine to start pooing for a Thomas train.

Don't think you're setting yourself up for a life time of bribes. You just need her to know it's not scary and she can do it with your support. My son is grown up now and I'm not still handing out Thomas trains!!!!

Good luck, Steph19, hope it all goes well.

#3 José

Posted 17 June 2017 - 04:03 PM

My DS was four years and four months when he trained. And it just happened.
If it's not working for you now then I'd stop for a few months, relax, regroup then try again later.
You sound anxious about it and your anxiety won't be helping.
I was becoming quite concerned about my DS when he wasn't toilet trained at 4. When he was ready it was pretty effortless. Day one I think there was one wee accident. I think poos took 2 days.

#4 reesan

Posted 17 June 2017 - 04:39 PM

We recently started with one of my four year old twins, both asd. She could sit in the toilet (which we practiced for ages with stickers and chocolate for reward, building up from 20 seconds up to 5 mins).

That went on for a month or so.

Then she was happy to sit but couldn't relax enough to wee. So psych said you need to get someone to look after the other kid so you can camp out in the toilet with her with books and songs and a bottke of water and a big reward for when she wees. Took nearly two hours the first time! But after a week or two of sessions everyday (and a reward for every wee) there's no anxiety about weeing.

Several months on we still have a reward for every wee so I recommend you have a better plan to fade those! Poo is still a big problem for us as she has encopresis.

But she's in knickers all day which I would have thought completely unacheivable!

Good luck.

#5 Ozquoll

Posted 17 June 2017 - 05:02 PM

Almost the same sitch - I have an anxious, ASD, 4yo DS who is not toilet-trained 😦
In our case, even mentioning toilet-training sends DS running for the hills - literally! Getting him to sit on the toilet is quite impossible at this stage. I haven't found the professionals much help yet either. Bribery hasn't worked, he's simply too resistant. Keen to see if anyone can here can suggest a winning approach...

#6 Steph19

Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:17 PM

Thank you all!
I think I'll try starting again with just taking her to the toilet to empty the nappy. That approach sounds good as it's constant exposure that I guess works with other things shes anxious about.
I honestly don't think that with her it will just happen one day, as she understands the process already, but is just terrified!
I've been pretty relaxed but it's getting harder as now she's the only kid not TT at preschool and in her kindy gym class (the kids there range from 3 up!). I try not to compare but it's hard when other kids ask why she doesn't just go to the toilet! My niece (same age as DD) said that I should just toilet train her....as if it were so simple!

#7 Ellie bean

Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:21 PM

Is it possible she might be less frightened of a potty? My son (not SN though) was initially terrified of the "big" toilet but not as scared of a potty in a different area of the house.

#8 Steph19

Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:27 PM

Exactly the same with the potty. We tried the potty first. She actually used to be OK with it and is now terrified again

#9 Lou-bags

Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:27 PM

This may be something you've tried or thought about but you haven't mentioned it so on the off chance, what about a potty?

My DS1 has no diagnoses (I'm sorry I'm really not sure how I am supposed to phrase that and I'm nervous to offend with inappropriate language in this section) but did initially have some concerns and anxiety about using the toilet. We started with a potty which was much less daunting to him.

#10 Lou-bags

Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:29 PM

Well I dilly dallied about too long in my terminology angst and have seen my suggestion/question has been asked and answered- sorry :)

#11 Ellie bean

Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:37 PM

Sorry the potty suggestion wasnt helpful. DO you have any support from a psychologist for her anxiety? That has been useful for my dd (not toilet related but with suspected asd diagnosis)
Please disregard if that's not helpful

#12 Paddlepop

Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:05 AM

Steph19: Your DD sounds like mine at that age. She was the only child in her kindy (preschool) class still in nappies/nappy pants. We couldn't even get her in the same room as the toilet if we mentioned her sitting on it. She would be crying and shaking with anxiety. She was diagnosed with ASD and anxiety, and the dev. paed. placed her on medication for her anxiety. We waited for a few months as the medication reached the right level in her body, and slowly and gently reintroduced the idea of using the toilet. She could actually cope with being in the same room as the toilet while we talked about using it. As she gained confidence, and was having dry nappies for hours (so obviously had the ability to hold her wee) we knew she was probably ready and just had to bite the bullet and do it.

We chose a long weekend. We set up a sticker reward chart for her in the toilet, added a step and a seat insert to the toilet, changed her into knickers and shorts, made sure she'd had a big drink, and then she and DH went outside to play. DD was and still is pretty particular about cleanliness, so this way if she wet herself she wouldn't be so worried about making a mess of the floor. Sure enough she did wet herself, and DH sat her on the toilet, and cleaned her up. This repeated a few times in the next hour or two and she started to recognise the sensation of needing to wee, and she was getting sick of getting wet. She and DH then essentially camped out in the toilet, like reesan described, until she produced a wee.

We toilet timed her for the rest of the weekend (ie took her every hour or so) and would camp out in the toilet if necessary if we were sure she needed to wee and hadn't weed. She was pretty good by the end of that long weekend, thanks to DH's patience with her. He was far more patient with her than I could have been. She prefers him for things that are scary or new. It took a few more weeks of toilet timing her and stretching that time out to 75 mins, then 90 mins, then finally to 2 hours until she got it properly for herself and would take herself to the toilet without us prompting her.

Poos took longer for her to get the hang of. She was scared of doing a poo on the toilet. More patience and persistence from DH, and more stickers, got her there after a few months. We would have to cuddle her and talk her through doing a poo each time until she got it.

We TT her in the June of her kindy year. By the time she started school the following year she was fully trained for both wee and poo, and could wipe her own bottom. It took a lot of effort and reassurance but it happened eventually. Sure, she was a bit older than her peers but she got there in the end. If we hadn't gotten her anxiety under control we wouldn't have been able to TT her.

Good luck with your DD.

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