Sunday, September 11, 2016

Potty Party, Steps for success (Part 2)

In my search on how to work with Tommy on potty training, I found out about Ashley Hickey. She specializes in potty training kids with special needs, specially those with Autism. She uses a very intensive method. The child should go to the potty every 5 minutes and wait on the potty for 10 minutes. Gradually, the child gets more time out of the potty as he or she progresses, so usually the second day the timer is set up every 30 minutes and then 10 on the toilet. But this will take a lot more time with Tommy. Mrs. Hickey has an potty training informative video of her intensive method on There is also How to Potty Train Your Child videos featuring by Mrs. Hickey at It is a set of 48 videos with a lot information about her method. 

Potty Party, Steps for success

The boy doll is learning to use
the potty like Tommy
Special Place Set-up
Mrs. Hickey recommends a special place set-up as a waiting area for Potty Party. Having a Special place set-up near the bathroom reduces the ratio where the accidents would happen. But the third day was hard to keep Tommy in this area. Probably it was because he was starting to feel sick.

I enjoyed this area because I was able work on many subjects, such as: math, fine motor, soccer (video modeling), pretend play, etc. I think it didn't too much thoughts on what activities to bring this area, which it would save me time. 

A lot Underpants
I keep extra underpants under the sink and shirts shirts.
He gets extra practice on handling his clothes!
Mrs. Hickey recommends using underwear instead of pull-ups or diapers because it is what makes the child to understand the difference, which will definitely direct the child to the toilet with practice. Accidents are part of the potty learning process! Mrs. Hickey is right, Tommy looks at himself when he has accidents while he says: Oh, oh, oh! He even said one time: Oh, Oh, Potty! She also recommends for nap time or taking the child out to places that the child wear underpants all the time, just to put a diaper or pull-ups over for protection, but the child should never feel the diapers or pull-ups again.

Offering drinks
Drinking constantly increase the opportunities to practice. For a child with special needs, extra practice is crucial because they need a lot more repetition than a typical child. This part is tricky! Tommy is not wanting to drink much liquids at school. At home, I just hand his water bottle and he drinks fine. But there is something about Tommy's drinks, his drinks have to be very cold. So I always put a lot of ice cubes in his water bottle. He likes coconut water, apple juice and mineral water. Lately, I have been doing tea for breakfast and he is drinking them fine, but they are more ice-tea than actual tea. The teas he has tried are chamomile and lavender and Licorice root and he is drinking them fine. I will be experimenting with different tea flavors during our potty party.

Reward Box
I gave a reward box to the school staff,
so they can work on potty party at school, too.
This is a big part of the Potty Party by Ashley Hickey. She says this has been the hardest part while working with kids with spacial needs. The child should get a reward right after he or she sits on the potty. 

Tommy was involved in the processes of gathering his rewards. The successful rewards are the medals, the stickers and the ice-cream. I give him his reward right after the timer rings. Tommy enjoys choosing the stickers! He is putting the stickers on his shirt by himself, so it also a natural way of working on fine motor skills and including him to be part of the whole potty learning experience.  

Natural consequence
Tommy is doing laundry.
He is washing his dirty underpants 
Instead of punishment, Mrs. Hickey, works on natural consequence. It is basically that the child learns to be responsible by cleaning his or her own mess. Tommy doesn't like this part, and who likes to clean yucky things. I remove the yucky stuff first and he is in charge on wiping the area with disinfectant wipes (team work).

His special needs shouldn't be used as an excuse that he cannot learn about consequences. Baby him doesn't help him at all, it just make him to stay in his inner world even more, which it is supported by the work Communication Partner by Dr. James D. MacDonald who is an expert in communication issues in kids with special needs.

 This is also a way to include him in his environment, 
to be part of he whole potty learning process as well as
to work on fine motor skills.

This is very crucial for potty training success. Everybody should be doing the same, including baby sitters, caregivers and school. I already have a meeting with school and we will try to be as much consistent as possible. But I know it is going to be difficult during our normal routine. I also have to focus on Francis and I work full-time. But I am planning to get him to wear underpants all the time when he is at home, so he will be on underpants as soon as get comes back from school. 

I decided that I would be working on a Potty Party a month ago, so I set the day for September 10, 2016. But Tommy had to stay at home on Friday because he had a fever the day before, then I gave it a try to our potty party a day before.

I will give a updated about our progress in my next post. I feel very confident with Tommy's progress, considering that he is fighting a bug and he hasn't been potty trained for so many years makes harder to break the habit, but I feel great that I stated this. 

The issues we are having are very common during potty training, but I am not an expert in this matter. I already contacted Ashley Hickey to find a way she can work with me. I do believe her method works. She has trained hundred of children of all abilities versus me that it is trying to train one child. His little brother doesn't count because he was too easy and he understood the concept of potty training before I worked on it. I truly need extra help, but I am fully confident that Tommy is capable!

No comments: