Communicating Potty Training To A Child With Special Needs

Communication is probably one of the biggest difficulties in teaching a special needs child how to potty train. 
If your child is ready for the most part , but they can't verbally tell you when they need to use the potty, then how will you ever know? 
Working hard at anticipating their needs without communication would be difficult and as you know can lead to accidents.
Here are a couple of sugestions from our clients to help you: 
  • Use sign language
    One of our clients experience: "We taught our twins some simple signs when they were little. One sign my oldest picked up right away was diaper, and the younger one pee. When it was time to start potty training our twins were not using much functional language, however with a few sign language words we got by. My oldest couldn't walk to the potty himself. He did sign for us when his diaper was wet or later on when his underwear were wet and we could work with that little bit of language to help him tell us when he needed to go. Learn more about teaching visually impaired babies sign language.
  • Use tangible symbols.
    If coordination may be an issue for your child are not able to use sign language, you may want to try using tangible symbols. Keep these symbols handy, and teach your child how to use them to communicate their need to use the potty by simply touching the symbol. A good symbol to use for the bathroom is a piece of remnant tile or an empty roll of toilet paper. Most bathrooms have tile in them somewhere and the tile will feel reminiscent of the toilet itself while the empty toilet paper roll can resemble the need to be clean.

The reward of having a child trained is so worth the journey of potty training. May you have a great experience and remember accidents are part of learning and journey itself.

Adriana Vermillion is the Founder and CEO of POTTY Generation®, a Lead Trainer and Parenting Coach with over seventeen years of experience in training children with special needs and coaching parents. Adriana is a freelance writer, author and a frequent motivational speaker available for your event at

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Share with us your view on Potty Training Rewards, and how you use them.

Recipes for Success

Introducing Recipes for Success - with these inspirational recipes you will be able to help your child form healthy bowel movements and getting them to pee like a pro in no time.

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Pancakes

Vegetarian, Gluten and Peanut Free


1 baked or canned sweet potato
2 eggs
1 cup oatmeal flour
1 Tablespoon of honey or sugar
1 Tbs of oil (olive oil, coconut oil, melted butter, gee, etc)
1 pinch of salt
Water if needed.


I grind my own oatmeal flour in my single serve smoothie cup blender (vitamix, ninja) and I like to add spices and raw seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, etc when I grind my oatmeal. A great way to add extra plant based protein for your child.

The How:

Gather all your ingredients.
Mix the potato, eggs, honey and salt to a smooth consistency. Add flour and any extra things you may like to add such as spices and seeds. Mix well and let it sit for 15 minutes. If the consistency is just right you can start using it by heating up a frying pan, otherwise mix some water to the consistency you would like to have. When the pan is ready add a pinch of oil to get you started; the oil in the batter will carry you till the end. Use a ladle to spoon in batter and have fun.

Why it’s good to offer your kids these pancakes during potty training and beyond.

Kids naturally eat very little and often go for the empty calories. This is a quick pancake you can make ahead and store it in the freezer. It’s full of nutrients and the much needed fiber and protein during this milestone.  It will make elimination a breeze.

Parents as Teachers

We Teach!

Parents as Teachers is the trusted resource providing a proven home visiting model for the most respected organizations and professionals who meet the evolving needs of families. Our work with the professional community helps young children grow up healthy, safe and ready to learn. Our internationally recognized network of organizations and professionals supports hundreds of thousands of families in all 50 states as well as many other countries through a proven parent education model featuring intimate, in-home visits with parents and children. Parents as Teachers affiliates equip parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school. For more information, visit

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Do you have a successful story you would like to share with us? We would love to hear it and also publish it.


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Adriana Vermillion, The Potty Whisperer is LIVE Today - Call In!

Today, Wednesday November 12th at 11:00am ET I am joining Blythe Lipman's village on her Baby and Toddler Show to discuss potty training tips, tricks, truth and more. I will also be opening the line for live questions and one of our topics is autism and potty training. I hope you can join me.

This is your chance to hear me live, call in with potty training questions or just chat with me.

If you do not have the time to listen live no worries. It will be on under Baby and Toddler Instructions.

The show airs live Wednesdays November 12 2014 at 11am EST. You can tune in by going HERE and clicking on the “Listen Live” button on the upper right corner.

Excited to speak with me LIVE about your parenting concerns or potty training ?
Call me live at 1877-864-4869 and I can answer your questions.