This time, a year ago, I was deeply saddened by the thought that my almost 5 year old son with ASD would never be potty trained. It seemed hopeless.
He showed no initiative.
He would pee and poo anywhere at the most inopportuned time.
XL Diapers were getting too small.
I tried an app called “See me go potty” He loved it and for 2 years, he just stimmed on it. At one point, I stopped him from using the app. His stims on it were ridiculous.
Then one day, I decided that I would gladly replace the carpets yearly if it meant that he’d learn from me saying “Why you make peepee on the floor?”
AND BY GOLLY, THAT DID IT.
He went 6 month “echolali- ing” my scoldings.
Just imagine the cutest little suprano voice randomly repeating the phrase “NO PEEPEE ON THE FLOOR.”
As soon as he got home from school, he went STRAIGHT to briefs. (I invested in a few) I also invested in bleach and paper towels. 😉
BUT, he resisted going to the potty.
I even bought a potty seat his size with stairs leading up so he can sit comfortably. And nope!
Every other day, I gave up.
Every other day, I tried again.
EVERYDAY, I cleaned and scolded.
The scolding was PURPOSE-ful.
He’s smart. And what does not come naturally, he will learn. If he was constantly reaching for a hot stove, I’d scold while prepping the environment for safety so I treated it with the same concern and addressed each incident with “Did you make peepee on the floor? What is this? Is this peepee on the floor? Don’t make peepee on the floor.”
Even the dog understood and went scratching at the backdoor.
And although everything was already out, we went through the motions and went sitting on the potty for a minute, pulling up brief, flushing nothing and washing hands. Sometimes, I’d catch him midway and halt the process. But he would then just hold it, go through the motions with me until he returned to the carpet and finish what he started.
It was a royal pain in the you know what.
A YEAR LATER today.
He’s been 5 years old for 6 months now.
He’s been trained for 4 months now.
First peepee. Then poo.
He just walked to the bathroom. I lazily follow (because he also tries to wipe his bum. #nextchallenge.) He pulls down his brief, climbs his seat stairs, grabs his composition book, sits and waits.
Only an autusm mom would love the sweet smell of poo plopping gracefully in potty. SUCCESS! Fist pump.
My heart rises with glee.
Why? Because I STILL feel the pit of my stomach worry and get depressed about what he can’t do, so I take in this moment. And say a quick prayer for those who still endure.
“You did it buddy. Good job making poo in the potty”
Echolali THAT for the next 6 months!