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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