How to potty train a child with autism?

I’m looking for recommendations on how to potty train, my autistic son. He will be four soon and everything I’ve tried hasn’t worked; he still has accidents


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I’m in the same boat. I hope you get some great answers.

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I just found out my 3 year old who also has autism has a reflex that is under developed which is preventing the potty training. His occupational therapist discovered it.

I started potty training my son at 2. He is 5 and still not potty trained.

My son didn’t potty train until 7.

Following i have a 5 year old girl who just doesn’t want to either

my autistic son was almost 6/starting kindergarten when he was finally potty trained. Part of it was he just couldn’t be bothered to stop whatever he was doing to go. It wasn’t until we got rid of the pull ups and just went to underwear that he finally stopped going in his pants. It was uncomfortable, and pull ups kept him too dry still. :woman_shrugging:

I didn’t focus on the training after a while… Let it go… Try again after a few weeks…

My son is 4 with autism and still not potty tained… he will be 5 in October

My 5yo is still in nappies hun fighting for a diagnosis as it stands xx

A timer has been my best friend! But we only have No.1 under control. For No.2 my son squats the “correct way” humans are suppose to poop. Which is knees to your chest. He won’t poop any other way. But on the bright side he will definitely change himself :sweat_smile: I hope you find something that works!

Kimberly Garcia we are not the only ones😞

I used to be a registered behavior therapist (provide ABA for children on the spectrum) we used to start and take them every 5 minutes in their underwear only and every time they have 3 successes we would move up to 5 more minutes we would do 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, an hour and then usually kept it at an hour for a whole day or 2 and then move them to 2 hours and we would increase intake of fluids. When accidents happen you quickly take them to the bathroom and say peepee on the potty allow them to try to sit and go and move them back to the previous time. I would recommend taking data manually to help yourself keep track but for them to move to the next time they have to have 3 successes in that time slot. Also when taking to the bathroom we would make them say or mand for potty or Pee pee and if non verbal we used a PECS which we have the hand us the picture of the toilet whichever you’ll say more at home It’s definitely a process and takes about a week to a week and a half and you have to be very consistent… which isn’t always quite possible for every parent


My son has autism and he potty trained on his own by the age of 4 (he’s almost 7) he would just go on his own outside in the back yard :woman_facepalming: and after that he just started on his own

Skittles or their favorite candy, I was potty training my toddler and somehow my autistic son also got interested and was trained in 4 hours lol.

Mine didn’t potty train until he was 6. He did it on his own. I stopped pressuring him about the toilet and he just woke up one day and wanted to and that was it

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My son ia 4.5 with autism. We just leave him with nothing on his bottom half. He refuses to wear underwear. There will be accidents but it will get better. He still wears a diaper sometimes

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First record the times he urinates and see if it’s consistent. If it is, put son on toilet ten minutes before the scheduled time
Rewards. Rotate them so he doesn’t get bored. Children with autism don’t always train when "normal* do

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My oldest is also on the spectrum and didn’t give up the diapers until he was 5. Honestly it happened on a camping trip. I told him to go pee on the tree and he thought it was the most fascinating thing ever. And when we went home, I told him to go pee on the water in the toilet. He quickly caught on after that and the diapers were no longer for him.


I don’t think it’s necessarily his autism. I think that’s boys in general. I have a lot of nephews and heard the same thing.

I got my daughter a potty training Watch … u can set the timer for different intervals of time and when is buzzes and plays music its time to go potty it really has been helping

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My one twin son is 9 with autism, and is potty trained during the day but still not at night time so he still wears pull ups. Tried methods to potty train, we had an alarm that would go off when the underwear got wet… but since being spilt between two households and the other parent not wanting to wake up at night to help and just keep him in pull ups…it wasnt fully working… so we just went back to pull ups.

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My daughter is a special needs. she’s 5. She still wears diaper at night. But I make sure she potties before bed, and first thing in a morning when she wakes up, also before we leave the house.

My son is 3 with autism. We’ve tried timing, we’ve tried underwear, etc. his pediatrician said he just wasn’t ready mentally and physically. He can say poo, and will tap his diaper sometimes. He has started showing signs of needing to poop, but it’s very sudden almost like it startled him because he doesn’t fully understand what is going on. His mind can’t communicate with his body to be like “hey hold it until you get to the bathroom”.

My son was 6 when he was finally potty trained. Sometimes it takes them longer to understand the urges and sensations that alerts them to go. Patience is key during this time, and sometimes you just need to take a break from pressing the issue. Then try again a few weeks/months later.

When we were potty training my son, we would have him sit on the toilet every 30 minutes and made potty breaks a routine in his everyday regular routine and when he would use the potty we would give him a small treat like a small toy or a piece of candy

Throw gotten ball in to toilet and have him try to sink it will think is game helps with some kids

I know it isn’t the same, but my son does have a rare disorder and is special needs. How I did it was I took him every hour on the dot. I got his favorite candies which at the time were m&ms and Recees pieces. Anyway. Everytime he went I gave him a couple of pieces (2 or 3) - you can do sugar free candy too up to you. But eventually he didnt need the candy and was motivated on his own and didnt need me to take him every hour. At 4 he was daytime and night time potty trained so 100% in underwear before 5. I tried every other idea people gave me, but candy was what worked cause he loved it so it motivated him🤷‍♀️

My son recently had a ton of help from therapy but we used an app called See Me Go Potty. It’s $1.99 in the App Store and he responded so well to it. He’s daytime pee potty trained and it took 5 days. He went potty every 15 minutes for a day or so and then we moved it up by 15 minutes until he didn’t need the timer anymore.

My nephew is autistic. Hes 12 and still has accidents. Every child is different. But depending on him. U might have to deal with that for a long time or until hes alot older. Or u might find whT works for him. Goodluck. Its hard with kids on the spectrum. Sometimes u just gotta roll with it bc it not there fault. Hope u can figure it out though. Best wishes.

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Try you tube pee per song and poo song worked for mine they think it’s their idea really helped

I’m a registered behavioral tech I’ve been doing aba for 20 years. Try doing every 5 minutes with 3 minutes on the potty then increase time off the potty as they learn to use it. While on the potty read a book sing songs bring an ipad with you for them to watch…good luck🥰


They will do it when they are ready. My son is also autistic and was 6.5 before he decided he was ready. Listen to them and take they’re lead. Don’t rush it. There’s enough obstacles they have to tackle as it is

Have him pee at cheerios in the toilet?

Potty party :tada: it is a lot of work and time and accidents and all but we stay in the bathroom and give lots of salty foods and water/juice. Once they go party excited out for 5 mins and back. If you are doing at home they can keep pants off if it is in a school setting they need pAnts in obviously. And you wait until they go

Ashley Christman how did you get Skyler? I know it took time but you have any tricks?

Mine just went on his own one day at 4yo I didn’t push him to use it. We did try a couple times with fails but he’s now 7 and is fully potty trained just this year on his own time.

Set small goals use a potty pooh chart if he pees he gets a special viedo game for 4 minutes samewith pooh. Then at the end of a week up the to potty 2 times then 4 min at the end of each week add a potty after a moth set a goal of a week an you get this ??? Pretty soon hopefully he is house broke. BUT REMEMBER AUTISM MEANS TRIAL N ERROR find what he really likes make it a goal. Also due to autism the bowels have their own agenda sometimes takes longer to train them because the child has found this is one thing that they can control. I have an autistic grandson and the mother has gone through tattoos of classes and seems specialist for bathroom issues seems that Ohio has a better grasp on autism than some states as far as getting information to the parents they Network really well there between the doctors the parents and the different therapies. Good luck keep trying you will get there calm voices praise not punishment seems to go a lot better.

Make a visual with pictures m. Be consistent. Give lots of praise

Following… My son is 3 and autistic. Every tine i set him up on the potty he just laughs the whole time and doesn’t do anything then he gets up and runs around the house naked and laughing. :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:


They r ready when they r ready. My daughter was 6

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Stacy Bernal any suggestions for this momma? Lol

Toss Cheerios in toilet…. Target practice

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My son is 4 & he literally just started going to the potty on his own. I noticed that he would start peeing on the shower or into containers and so I kept him without a diaper and I kept showing him where to go potty, pointing to his little toilet, I would also sit on the toilet while I sat him on his toilet, he began to pick up on it. But when he has diapers he goes on the diapers, so I left him without diapers all day for about a week, & only put diapers on him at night before bed and when going out, we’re freshly new to being potty trained. Lol

Still working on it. He will be 5 in sept. He is doing better then he was but wouldn’t tell me he has to go


Sometimes a visual aid with step by step instructions can help. These are in the bathrooms in my daughter’s therapist building.

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Visual chart, strict potty schedule and rewards chart.
It might help to switch him to underwear if hes wearing a pull-up during the day.
Takes time, so just continue to be patient with him.
a peer program in a special needs classes worked wonders for helping to get my son potty trained


Patience. My youngest is autistic. She was 4.5. we kept giving her the option. And eventually she wanted too. Everything else failed. School helped a great deal. She is a mimic and once she saw the other kids not in diapers she wanted that. Diapers offered her a great deal of comfort and control. But just keep trying and have patience. You know your child best. They do things in their own time and in their own way. Social stories also may help.

Ranui Jamit :eyes: might help with mele

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to potty train a child with autism? - Mamas Uncut

Can he communicate propperly that he needs the toilet? If not then try a card which had a toilet on that he has access too 24/7 so he can ask to go?
Does he like sensation of the warm wee? If so could you find another way of creating that ie. Water play with warm water?

Nicki Wilkinson don’t know if you can offer some advice x

My son is autistic and is 6 this month has been dry for about thr past 2 months! I would just say wait until he is ready I did with my son and he has had only 1 accident x

Kerry-Ann Michaels could you give some advice ? X x

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to potty train a child with autism? - Mamas Uncut

My daughter is almost 5 & autistic. She still wont go since shes scared of the sound of the toilet when it flushes

What all have you tried? I work at a center specifically for kids on the spectrum and i have helped potty train a few kids one main thing is schedule, stick to a schedule such as having them go every 10 to 20 minutes for a few hours with a treat first for just sitting on the potty then for trying to go then for actually going


Don’t push it and watch videos and read books related to it. Describe it multiple times to them in a time of low stress i.e. not on the toilet seat. Patience. Time. Waiting a few weeks to a month in between always taking them to bathroom if they seem like it’s still not happening. I also eventually showed my daughter what would happen to insides if holding it in instead of going through video. When they do well congratulate a lot. When they don’t, don’t turn it into a big deal.

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My autistic son is nearly 5 and is only just started going to the toilet (still in pull ups as he does still have accidents) we ended up getting him a potty that looks like a toilet rather than a normal one and it’s helped loads (he sees it as big toilet for big people like mummy and daddy and little toilet for little people like him) we did have some success earlier on (2) but because he was non-verbal/ social issues at his then nursery he wouldn’t even pat his front like he did at home to let them know (he didn’t speak till he was 3 and starts speech and language therapy next week- verbal speech is neurotypical aged 1.5-2 now ) the main thing I found was asking him to have a try, he was always reluctant but did then he was really happy and surprised when he did something (loads of praise everytime) if he has a try and doesn’t do anything it’s still loads of praise for giving it a go, when he does have accidents then we reinforce that it’s ok and accidents happen and make as little fuss about it as possible, he also has a popper sensory toy that he sits with to give him something else to focus on, (we tried putting the potty in the living room so it was in sight as a reminder but he got upset because toilets belong in the bathroom not the living room so he couldn’t connect the two) the main thing is patience and praise, like others have said, he’ll get there in his own time xx

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My son didn’t fully potty train til ( no accidents) 12 years old. My son has global developmental delays, Jacob syndrome, autism, adhd, etc. Every child is different, just breath and when he’s ready it will happen.

It’s just an on going struggle for some. I have a seven and eight year old autistic daughters. Eight year old managed with a lot of help from her pre school. The seven year old took much longer aka first grade but she constantly has issues with accidents

My son was super stubborn about potty training, but along with his autism, he has pretty severe sensory processing. I put him in underwear and he couldn’t stand the feeling of wetting them so after his first accident, he started using a potty chair

My 4 year old who is on the spectrum is potty trained what we did is we first tried the candy thing that did not work for anything lol then we tried she gets a toy once a week if she doesn’t have an accident all week that worked for awhile. Then she started not caring again until she turned about 3 and a half then all of a sudden she just decided she wanted to be a big girl and now as of 2 nights ago we started night time potty training when she decided she no longer wanted one at night time. With kids on the spectrum you have to go at their pace just be patient and they will get their when they are ready.

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My son is high on the spectrum. He is about to be 8 and still has accidents. Just not as many as in the past. Patience and making it fun is what I did. And I brought a portable toddler one with me EVERYWHERE! I pulled over every 30-45 minutes and watched for indications he had to go.

He may just not be ready. My oldest son is about to turn 7 and has ASD and is JUST NOW ready for potty training.
Our kiddos on the spectrum sometimes just take longer.


Some aren’t able to be potty trained completely,My 19yr has autism still has accidents, I tried everything. I just have her go every 20 minutes to avoid accidents.


He’s just not ready. Autistic children do not toilet train at the same time as neurotypical children.

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We waited till my son who has autism was ready. He was finally ready a month before 4 with day time and 4.5 for night time.

My step daughter (nonverbal autistic) wasn’t ready until she was 5. I used a small pool as incentive and told her if she wanted to play in the pool she had to use the potty, she was trained within 3 days. Swimming is her favorite activity so I used that as incentive to motivate her to use the potty.

I put my son with autism on the toilet as soon as he woke up because every morning he would have to go #2 and eventually he got the hang of it

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I am currently training my 4yo autistic son and the original potty watch from Amazon has helped immensley! It reminds him and me plays songs and lights up! Its the only way we’ve made any progress

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I wish, with questions like this one, that we could talk to the asker. There are so many other questions that need to be answered before this question can be discussed.

My son is on the spectrum. Most people can’t tell he’s autistic unless they’re told, they just think he’s a little weird and awkward, some of said “rude” even. :roll_eyes: I tried for so many years to get him out of diapers. I kept thinking he was ready but he never was. Until one day, around four and a half years old, he just was.

My only advice is to have patience and grace.


My oldest is autistic and it took until he was 5- 5 1/2 years old… we used books, videos, and just lots of coaching that even though it’s loud it’s okay. However we are at 8 years old now and he still uses pull ups at night for accidents.

My oldest is autistic. And girl, I fought her her whole 3rd year to get it right. She just never thought to herself that she didnt like making messes in her pull up. I finally had to have a big girl talk with her and told her that school wasnt going to let her attend and have new friends if she didng start using the potty by the time school started. Going to school was exciting for her, so it was an excellent motivator. I had to leave her sit on the potty for 20-30 minutes at a time with 10 minute breaks, all day. And she finally went and I was able to catch it and give her high praises and a prize. She trained right before school. They had to help her with her buttons , but they helped her with that.

My son with autism was in pull ups till he was almost 5. He just decided one day he didn’t need them.

My son is 9 and stands to pee in the potty. They tried having him sit and it never worked for him. He is still in pullups. He still poops in his diaper and we have tried having him sit… but he can’t go. He tries to hold back, crossing his legs. He has many sensory issues that affect him.


He may not be ready but nothing is wrong with going thru the motions as long as it’s not stressful. Be consistent. Let him bring his favorite toy or sensory object with him. Read him a story. Just don’t stress

On their terms!!
My daughter was potty trained at 7 (during covid when we were stuck at home)

My godson has autism. When he was four I used to sit on the bathtub and sing plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is to get him to poop lol. To pee I’d ask him every twenty minutes or so to go make bubbles in the potty (I put a drop of dawn in the toilet) I didn’t think it would work, but it did. Its an idea :grin:


Make going to the toilet a routine. Use a kid potty watch or a normal timer and just make it part of schedule.

My son has SPD and didn’t potty train until he was 6. He still wears Pullups at night but does fine in the day.

Sometimes having them go after each meal helps… and makes a routine

My twins were not trained until 7 I just put underwear on and tried to explain the nasty feeling they will get if they don’t use toilet it worked they had accident here and there and I had them wear pull ups for about a month at bed time then when they woke up dry I would take them straight to the bathroom

With my children I gave them gold coins from party City when they went to the bathroom on the toilet. It worked and they are 20 years apart :+1: I have heard of other people giving their children things like M&Ms ,… good luck :sparkling_heart::pray::shamrock::shamrock::shamrock::shamrock:

We have 3 sets of friends who have sons with autism. One child only eats certain foods. Shows no signs if one didn’t know. The second has a 17-18 year old who uses adult diapers. And the third has 2 children who were potty trained at 2&3 years old. Have patience and try and make if fun.

My son is 8 and he can pee in the toilet but is not trained for bowels still.

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Let him wear real underwear over his pull ups. This will teach him on pulling up and down to go potty.

Have you tried a social story ? X he’s still quite young, don’t stress too much

Try putting Cheerios in the toilet. He can then “sink” “hit” the battleship.

Definitely make potty songs up with your child.

I have a 5 year old son , nonverbal, ASD and I am just so happy to see other parents /care givers on here offering advice (because I need some too on this issue lol )

Behavioral therapy helps with these milestones

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My brother is autistic… he wasn’t potty trained fully until he was 11. Have a lot of patience and understanding. That’s really all the advice I have.

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Mine is 7 and still wont potty train :weary:

I put a potty in the middle of the living room (with the tv on) and left him naked. Once he would start to pee, I took him to the potty and celebrated. He caught on after that. He was 2 months shy of turning 3. But everyone is different, he may not be ready but it’s worth a try. :heart:

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Was the same way with both my older sons were both just about four after different strategies I just hoped for the best and not long later they got it

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Honestly it took special needs preschool to help but then again that was 10 yrs ago. My hf/asd son was 4 upon potty training.

I put mine ina long shirt and nothing else or undies and nothing else. And my autistic son preferred the small potty but each of my kids autistic or not was different. None of them liked sitting in wet undies. So once i quit using pullups it went better