Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Potty Adventure

          Every parent goes through it. It's time to move on from diapers and graduate to big kid underpants. Some parents skip the Pull Ups training pants all together and go right to underwear. That was always my intention with Jordan. When she was ready, we were going to go straight to big girl underpants. Training pants were useless, was what I was always told and firmly believed. Until now.

         As with many children with Autism, Jordan has a hard time deviating from routine. Put on a new diaper before bed. Get up in the morning, change the diaper, repeat through out the day. When she got into the summer program at school, her being in diapers wasn't a big deal, as the staff was well prepared to help her with toileting. I did notice, however, that most of her peers were either in Pull Ups or already trained. So I decided it was time to go head long into this adventure. We were going to start potty training.

         I discussed it with my husband and my mother, and we all came to the conclusion that switching her directly into underwear would not be beneficial to her. Biologically, she's 3 years old, but developmentally, she's only 2.5. The sudden change would be too much for her to handle, and she could regress. So we went to BJ's and bought a big box of Pull Ups. She was reluctant to put them on when we first introduced them, and would cry and throw a temper tantrum. I would end up having to hold her in my lap to calm her down, and show her slowly how to put them on.  After a few days, she was an old pro. She could pull them up and down like a champ. But she was still going in them.

       So I discussed with her teacher about training techniques, and she suggested setting up a schedule. Take Jordan every half hour until you "catch it." So that's what we did. We set the kitchen timer for 30 minutes each time and would go every time it went off. We'd sit for a full three minutes, and each time, she wouldn't go. And then, no more than 5 minutes after getting off the potty and going back out to play, she would announce to me "have go!"  So we'd run back in and sure enough, she had gone in the Pull Ups. And this continued for weeks on end, with only a handful of successes.

        She has since started school, and they are still working with her to use the potty, as we are at home. She still tells us she has to go aftter she has already gone, and doesn't quite understand that she's supposed to tell us before she goes so we can take her to the bathroom (or, as she says, "mafroom"). Where her language skills have developed phenomenally, her ability to comprehend is still behind, and that's where our wires cross.

 And so our adventures continue. We soldier forth on this bumpy road called potty training, with hopes that the little successes will soon become big successes, and we will finally reach our place in the sun. That place where Jordan uses the potty all by herself with no accidents! Carry on, my wayward trainer! There'll be pee when you are done! Don't forget to flush and then, always wash your hands!!

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