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Milestones Autism Resources

4853 Galaxy Parkway, Suite A
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Phone: (216) 464-7600

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Toilet Training Away
From Home

A change in environment can seem like a totally new learning experience for children with autism. They sometimes have difficulty transferring information from one situation to another. It is typical for children to struggle in a new environment. Keep in mind that the sensory demands of a new and unfamiliar situation or environment may be very different from home.

Some children may need to add one new environment at a time. Once your child has had success at home with toileting, you may want to choose one additional environment to practice using an unfamiliar bathroom. For example, your child may be more comfortable using the bathroom at a grandparent’s house in addition to home. Another child may be more motivated to use the restroom at his favorite fast food restaurant prior to ordering food. Choose a time to teach toileting in the new environment when you have the time and are not in a hurry. Your purpose for visiting the new environment is to add the toileting routine to what you typically do there.

Whichever setting you choose, you’ll need to prepare for expanding your established toileting routine to the new situation.

Prepare for meeting toileting needs away from home by:

  • Including a toileting session prior to leaving home
  • Quietly identify where the restrooms are upon arrival to avoid being hurried or stressed if your child needs to use the toilet.
  • Show your child the restroom and, when possible, take a look at it together. Be sure to communicate that you are “checking out” the restroom and will use it later.
  • Make and carry a portable set of pictures or other supports, including supplies, to use so you can be consistent with your toileting routine.
  • Bring a change of clothing in the event of an accident.
  • Expect accidents – they are part of the learning process. Stick to your routine even though your child has had an accident. Stay positive and clean up accidents calmly so that neither of you are embarrassed.

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