Potty Training Guidelines

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1. Buy lots of the child’s favorite drinks and salty foods.

2. Make sure the “ultimate” reinforcer is available to the therapists/parents for the child’s successes on the potty.

3. Buy regular underwear

4. Buy a potty seat that fits on top of the regular toilet and a stool for the child to rest his feet.

5. Prepare activities for the child to do while seated on the potty such as; puzzles, books, manipulative toys.


Day 1

1. When the child wakes up, dress him/her in a shirt or sweatshirt, underwear and socks

2. Makes sure all SR+ items, activities, drinks, salty foods and the potty area is set up.

3. Begin giving the child liquids (LOTS!) for about 5 minutes.

4. Continue giving the child liquids until he/she is on the potty.

5. Start entertaining activities such as singing songs, puzzles, toys, etc.

6. Keep the child on the potty until he/she is successful. This can be a long time, 1-2 hours. This time will be this days baseline time.

7. Once the child is successful, reward the child greatly verbally and with his/her ultimate reinforcer item. Let the child off the potty for 10 minutes with his or her underwear off in the bathroom area. Continue fluids at this time.

8. Once the 10 minutes are up, put the child back on the potty until he or she is successful or the baseline time is up. Whichever is first.

9. If the child is successful, reward him or her greatly and let the child off the potty for 10 minutes in the bathroom area. If the child does not go, let him or her up for 3 minutes in the bathroom area and then bring the child back to the potty.

10. Continue these steps until the child has 3 successes on the potty.

11. After 3 successes, decrease the amount of fluids and gradually increase the amount of time off the potty by 3 - 5 minute increments. Remember to keep the child’s baseline time documented on the potty chart.

12. Continue with this for the rest of the waking hours of that day.


Day 2

1. Re-start the entire potty training procedure to get a new baseline time for the day. Each subsequent day you should see a decrease in the baseline times. At some point, the child should go as soon as you set him or her on the potty.

2. Continue with this for the rest of the waking hours of that day.


Day 3

1. Re-start the entire potty training sequence to establish the new baseline.

2. Use the amount of time from Day 2 off the potty time and let the child be able to go into 2 rooms of the house supervised.

Consequence for Accidents

Have the child clean up the accident with hand over hand prompts. Have the child rinse out his/her clothing and get dressed. Put the child back on the potty. Add 10 minutes to the time the child sits before the baseline time begins. In essence, the child sits on the potty longer.

GOOD LUCK! Remember to be patient, potty training can take up to a week. Remember to document times on and off the potty with the Potty Chart.

Special thanks to Autism Spectrum Consultants for their Potty Training information and Potty Chart. For more information about Autism Spectrum Consultants go to: www.autismconsultants.com