Monday, October 18, 2010

Potty Training the Speech/ Language Impaired

I did it!  I mean WE did it!  We potty trained our little Sam!!!  After years of working on it, it finally paid off!!

Celebrate!  Dance of joy!

After trying EVERYTHING, and I do mean EVERYTHING.  The last thing that worked was actually an idea I came up with... I like to call it heavenly inspiration, because I just don't think I could have done it on my own.

If you are a long time reader, friend, or family member, you all know the struggle we have faced potty training our speech/ language impaired, OCD kid, Sam.  He turned 5 last week and had only went poop on the potty one time in his five years, and it was a fluke.

Just last week, I was crying and whining about it to all of you.  Well, I finally figured it out and I want to share with you what I did to get him to understand what was expected of him.  Hopefully, this post will be here for a long time and other parents out there that are potty training a Sam, can find this helpful in their struggles.

How to Potty Train a Poop Resistant Boy:

1.  Remember, boys are hard to potty train anyway.  They will do it when they are mature enough to understand what is going on.  Don't push them until THEY are ready or you are only in for A LOT of grief!

2.  I got Sam pumped up about going pee pee on the potty by accident, I admit.  He kept wanting to wear his "big boy" underwear with the picture on the front.  So I told him about the "Peeky Hole" and what it was for.  After laughing himself silly about the whole thing.  He found that peeing standing up through the "peeky hole" was a great game!  Who would have thought?  And having an OCD kid can have it's perks... Sam always pees in the middle of the toilet and never leaves a mess.

3.  You have to find the right motivation in the poop department.  I tried trains, candy, chocolate, and all sorts of other reward options to get him to TRY to poop on the potty.  He could care less.  I printed off potty charts, and tried stickers, and all other means to get him to understand.  But he kept pooping in his "big boys" driving me to near insanity!

So after I calmed down, I thought really hard about what kind of kid Sammy is.  Sammy, like most boys are VERY, VERY visual.  He learns through pictures and explanations WITH pictures.  This gave me an idea.  A GREAT idea.  But I would have to get down and do something I thought was a little gross, and not very fun.  I designed and made a personalized Poop Chart for Sam.

First, I took a picture of the toilet:
Then I loaded it onto my Photoshop program and cut it out, copied it ten times and put it on a piece of paper.  Now I needed an incentive... I got Sam some Legos for his birthday and he is in love!  So I found some Lego prizes with in my price range that I was willing to get him if he actually started pooping in the potty.  I cropped them out and put them on the chart.  It looked like this:
Then I needed someway to get Sam to understand what I needed him to do IN the potty.  So I swallowed my pride, and made Poop Stickers:
I know, pretty gross huh?!  But I cut them all out and put them in a zip lock bag.  When Sam came home, I walked him up to the chart and showed him how it worked.  I explained that the poop went IN the potty.  And when he poops IN the potty, he can put a poop sticker on a potty, and when they all fill up he can have one of the prizes I have pictured.

He was confused at first, and got excited when he pooped his pants because he wanted to put a poop sticker on the chart.  I told him no.  And once again explained that it had to be in the potty not in his big boys.  I watched his face and it was like a light bulb went on over his head... at least I hoped.

Then next day, he came running into my room and announced, "Mommy!  Hurry!  The poop is coming!!!"  I jumped up and ran him into the bathroom, pulled down the pants, and plopped him on the seat.  And guess what?  HE WENT!!!!!  Woo HOO!!!!

I did the potty dance for him, but all he wanted was to put a poop sticker on his chart... FINE with me!!!  He was so excited about those poop stickers and his chart that for the last 4 or 5 days he hasn't has ONE accident!!  I couldn't be more thrilled!

4.  Trips.  Now, I was a little worried about taking him out of town for the weekend just as we finally got this down.  It was still new to him and I didn't want to back track.  But I had this great idea about taking the chart and stickers with me!  And he LOVED it!  My sister and her kids thought it was funny when I posted Sam's potty chart on their bathroom door.  I apologized for the intrusion, but this poop thing was so important to Sam AND to me.  They were fine with it... and it worked!  It really kept Sam motivated to keep going.  Now that he knew what he needed to do, it just all worked out.

5.  You will get discouraged.  But don't give up!  Sam is 5 years old now and just starting.  But it's all right.  He was so ready, I just needed to find a way to communicate it to him.  I know I am not alone, that there are lots of parents out there that struggle with this... there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  I promise.

Now, if I can only get him as pumped up to wash his hands... baby steps...


If you are having this same problem and would like a poop chart like the one I have above, but personalized, feel free to email me and I will send you one along with the poop stickers.


Jill said...

INGENIOUS!!!!! Way to go! Love it!

Lydia said...

I love that you got the inspiration that you needed, and maybe you have inspired me too. I have a five yr old girl that has frequent accedents. Maybe it's time to go back to a chart with her too. Hurray for Sam!!!

Sara Richins said...

That's awesome! Way to go Sammy!!

My sister-in-law has a special needs child. He has a sensory disorder, which makes potty training very hard. She did this with her older son, and then with this one, and it seemed to work. Both her boys are visual kids too, so she got play dough, made it brown, then using the one tool that you push play dough through and it comes out sort of looking like poop, she explained that this is what they need to do. Then she read the book, Everyone Poops (great book!). She let her boys play with the "poop" she made and talked about going poo on the potty. It worked.

Congrats again to Sammy and his mommy! Keep up the good work!

Marisa said...

Hooray! Sounds similar to what worked for my son. He was almost 4, and he needed to be potty trained before he could attend preschool. I was at my wit's end, having tried everything. He had to take control of the situation. I had him make his own chart, drawn with green crayon, and he drew a picture of the special dinosaur toy he wanted. He got to mark off his successes, which made him feel proud. Congrats on your success!

Photina said...

Way to go Sammy! That is AWESOME! I am going to try that with my daughter to see if she understands because she is a very visual learner! Thanks for the great idea!

Anonymous said...

You make me giggle, but I know what you mean about that "divine intervention" bit. Sometimes they just needs what's right for them. It's funny how we can get soooo excited over such a simple thing that most of us do daily without much thought. My boys like to foam soap. You could even color it or do something 'visual' with it. Same concept- might work. Congrats!

Becky in Wyo said...

That is the coolest thing! I love the poop chart! Awesome! I'm going to bookmark this post!

Another thing I heard about potty training, is this book called something like, "Potty Training In One Day!" The basic concept is that you make a special day where you get your child a doll that will pee and "poop", then you help your child teach the doll to pee and poop on the potty. That's kind of visual and hands-on. I've potty trained 3 kids now, and am on my fourth, and I might try that with her. But I still love your poop chart!

My 2-yr-old girl loves to sit on her potty seat and play going potty. Of course, she never actually goes potty, but she sits and then wipes herself with toilet paper, and then washes her hands. When she's ready, maybe closer to 3, we'll get official about it. But for now, I let her play and when I'm ready we'll go full-steam on the potty training. You're completely right, every kid is different, and you have to watch for clues that they are really ready.

Way to go Sam! And congrats to you, Cat!

Kelly Dawn said...

heck yeah!!!! WTG SAMMYYY!!!!!! I cant even say i can understand because mine were SUPER EASY to potty train - but i have friends who were like you and pulling their hair out daily as well as Good Job Sammy! We are SO proud of you!!! Big Boy is gonna have that first lego toy right away!!

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

LOVE it!!! And those little poops, hahahaha, SOOOOOOOOOOOOO funny!

Amanda said...

I think that is one of the best ideas I've heard. I've always been a bit iffy about the bribery thing, but this incentive chart is awesome. If not a little gross!

Shan B. said...

Yay Sam!! I know how you feel. I got my Sonny to finally stop going in his big boy pants when he had an upset tummy & had to keep going. I finally figured out that when he said his tummy hurt he needed to go & we'd race to the bathroom. He's been doing so well...with a few accidents but I'm so glad for not having to wash the undies out in the toilet. He just turned 4 on monday & it's only been a couple of months. Yay for Sammy!!!

Andrea said...

I think you're awesome and an amazing Mommy! What a GREAT idea-glad it's working.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!!!! I was putting something together like this but your poos were cuter than mine lol. I didn't use stickers though because my lil stinker would stick them all on, so we used a glue stick and then he gets to stick it in whatever potty he wants! AMAZINGLY EFFECTIVE! I shared with my Facebook mommies!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Thank you for posting it! I am copying it to print for my little ones. My 4 year old has ASD and still poops in his underwear :( I am so over changing diapers!
Thank you! Thank you!