Potty Training a Developmentally Delayed Toddler
My oldest child will be 4 and still isn't potty trained. He had some problems when he was born and as a result, he's roughly 2.5 years old developmentally. He's also on a feeding tube, so his diet is all liquid. How do we get him interested in using the potty?
You mentioned your son had some problems when he was born, which resulted in developmental delays. I know potty training can be extremely frustrating, even in the most idyllic situations. I have parents write and tell me how completely exasperated they are trying to toilet train their special needs child. So please know you are not alone.
Consider your role in the toilet-training process to be a teacher, one that is neither too strict nor too lenient. But most importantly, one that has a good attitude—even when a child doesn't seem to care if he's wet or poopy. I have a feeling your little guy may struggle with controlling his bodily functions because his neuromuscular system is still developing. Your pediatrician will be able to best help you in determining if he is physically ready. In the meantime, please check out a book I highly recommend for toilet training special child with special needs. It's one of the best I've ever read on the subject: Steps to Independence: Teaching Everyday Skills to Children with Special Needs , by Bruce L. Baker and Alan J. Brighman (Paul H. Brooks Publishing, 2004).
For more potty training advice, check out:
Potty Training Tips from the Potty Pro, Teri Crane
Potty Training a Child with Down Syndrome
Potty Training an Autistic Child
Talk to other potty training parents who are also in the pee-pee & poo-poo trenches on our Toddlers & Preschoolers Message Board!