Potty Training Desperation

IMG_3116I’ve reached my limit with potty training Cooper. I’ve exhausted all options that I know of. I need help.

I am waving the white flag. Or crying in front of the toilet after being kicked in the shins. Either one.

There are good things happening. The kid does not want to wear a diaper…especially a wet one. He takes it off if we put one on him. And here’s the kicker. He stays dry. He has excellent bladder control. And when he has to pee he will bring us a diaper. He will walk to the changing table, grab a diaper, and bring it to us. And follow us until we put it on him. He will even go as far as laying on the floor with his legs spread eagle.

Even in doing ALL this…the kid will not sit or pee on the potty. He screams like he’s being hurt. We’ve attempted to hold him on it but he gets so stressed that it actually is doing more damage than good. And he can deliver a damn good kick to the shins.

We’ve tried bribing, rewarding, withholding. I’ve tried charts. I’ve tried a potty chair, a seat on the big toilet, peeing outside, having him pee his underwear, peeing standing up. He’s watched Jamie. We’ve read books, movies, etc. Lately I’ve even tried gently holding a diaper on him while he’s sitting on the potty with hopes of removing it once he started to go. And lastly I tried Gerber Training Pants. Finding training pants in his size was a success in itself. But no go.


His stress level over the toilet is at an extreme which honestly means we get stressed over it. We try. He cries. We try again. He cries louder. What person would willingly want that stress.

He will even go as far as pointing to the toilet when he wants something as if to say….’if I sit on there I can have what I want.’ The only problem is….he won’t actually sit on the damn toilet.

Nothing works. He has never successfully peed in a toilet. I’m at a loss.

His therapists have him sit on the toilet at school. No pee.

He’s going to be five in 3 months.

It’s time to get creative. I need help.

Diapers are so expensive. Plus, Cooper is in the biggest size. And to be perfectly, completely honest, I am just plain sick of it. He pees through his diaper every night. That’s icky sheets and icky clothes. I’ve even noticed a stinky smell at times with him which means baths every single night.

I’ve seen on autism message boards that other moms feel this way. They’ve said things like ‘I am so sick of changing diapers!’ I feel you moms. I am too.

Thankfully Sawyer is potty trained at 2 1/2 years old. Potty training him was so easy. He was a natural. It was even enjoyable. Fun. He loves wearing underwear and peeing like the big kids.

Does anyone have any suggestions? At this point I’ll try anything. I read something somewhere about cutting a hole in the diaper and having them sit on the toilet. That’s a great idea. Except he won’t sit on the toilet.

My other irrational fear is that Cooper isn’t ‘calm’ enough to stand up and pee. I don’t know if he could stand still for 30 seconds.

So……..I’m open for suggestions. Please.


15 thoughts on “Potty Training Desperation

  1. I don’t know if this will help you, but this sounds like my son. We tested his food allergies, IgE and IgG, and removed what he was allergic to. His body was inflamed on the inside, and we didn’t know it. His pain and inflammation went away, and he no longer screamed on the potty. Just an idea worth trying.

  2. I know you have tried ‘cold turkey’ but of all the methods for use with an autistic child, it is what I found worked in the end – otherwise you will continue to reinforce the idea that nappies/diapers soak up urine. The time scale, unfortunately, may be much longer than for a typical child and nothing is going to work in a matter of weeks let alone days. Thomas took nearly 6 months to learn to pee in a toilet. We used trainer pants that were plastic on the inside and fluffy cotton on the outside They were completely useless as protection but as he hated wet clothes. he would remove his clothing and then be directed to the toilet hopefully to finish there. You could try putting him in a just a shirt , keeping him near the bathroom ( waterproof ipad ?) filling him with drinks and maybe then he will pee on the bathroom floor and then hopefully the toilet ?

  3. I agree with Bridget. Once we removed certain things from my son’s diet and had him start taking probiotics, it made a difference. I sent you a FB message yesterday regarding probiotics (and other things) so take a look when you have a chance. It sounds like Cooper is very limited in what he eats, but once his belly starts to feel better from probiotics, he may be more inclined to eat a better variety. I assume you’ve tried putting a portable potty around the house so he can go on that whenever he needs to………..There may be something in the bathroom he doesn’t like (or he just doesn’t like the toilet itself). I also assume you’ve tried letting him watch movies on his ipad while he sits on the toilet. Or maybe put the portable potty in the bathroom and let him watch ipad movies while sitting on that.

    We still use Goodnites bedtime pants (pull ups) on our 12 year old at night. They go up to 125 lbs. He will also wear them during the day if we think we’ll be gone a long time and not have time to stop for the bathroom. These do not leak. So, while it’s still a diaper, it will at least save you the headache of having to clean up a mess in the morning. If he takes the diaper off and then pees on his sheets in the middle of the night, put him in PJ’s that have feet. Put the PJ’s on backwards so the zipper is in the back. Worked for us. Also, I’m guessing you haven’t applied for Medical Assistance through the state yet. Once you are on MA, the cost of diapers and many other expenses are covered by the state. I hope some of this helps!

  4. We got this. Bad i know teaching him to need the ipad blah blah. We just wanted him used to going on a toilet. Sick of buying diapers and changing him when we are out. He got used to it. When he peed it was shut off and off the potty. Not a place to chill but to do his business. Good luck! http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71Z-jnOg0QL._SX522_.jpg
    ~Its the potty with the Ipad holder if it doesnt load! Ive seen it on Walmart for 25 as well.

    • This is awesome. I cracked up when I saw it. Cooper is so addicted though he would never understand. I’m actually starting to think that the ipad is the cause of his struggles lately. He can’t function without it. It’s now been hidden since Saturday.

  5. Have you read the lock yourself and child In the bathroom theory? You literally stay in the bathroom all day and keep pumping him with fluids, you don’t put a nappy on him so when he starts to go you can see and then encourage him to stand over a potty. I say stand as this would probably be better than sitting. You take snacks, I pad, portable DVD player in with you and by the end of the day hopefully it will have happened. It sounds like he is ready and knows when he needs a wee it’s just getting him to sit on the toilet now. You could try putting a duck or something In the toilet or potty and getting him to aim at it when he wees? My daughter was 4 in May and diagnosed with ASD in January. It has taken me 18 long months but we are now almost there with toileting. She masters it and then totally regresses back to square 1. It’s been so stressful and I’ve cried buckets full, I know exactly how you feel there was a time I never thought we would get there but we have and so will Cooper. Stay positive 🙂

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