Low muscle tone creates more challenges for toilet training, but that means parents need to focus on getting all the parts of teaching and practicing down right. If your child is unfocused or inattentive when you speak about potty training, you can try books and videos. Sometimes the use of media will spark interest and generate excitement. If you don’t see an immediate boost in interest and cooperation, then your child might need a front row seat for a live demo. By you (or your partner).
I know, most of us want privacy for this activity, even between couples. Most women I know aren’t enthusiastic about the idea of demonstrations. But many kids, and almost all kids whose communication and attention skills are delayed, really need to see what’s going on when you use the toilet. Kids that have issues like ASD may have been present for your bathroom routine but they were paying attention to something else. It is time to make a point of having them watch this very personal but important skill.
Sometimes you pick the moment, and sometimes it picks you. If your child happens to be around and nature calls, bring them along. If they wander in while you are using the bathroom, don’t send them out. You may also have to make this “appointment viewing”. Plan for it, so that you aren’t tearing them away from an activity they have chosen. Being dragged away from fun to stand there watching isn’t going to work.
Be descriptive, use nouns and verbs. Saying what you are doing provides them with more language about these activities. They need to know how to describe to you what they are feeling before and during. If your child signs, it is time to learn the relevant signs and teach them. Here is the place where the signs make sense, in the bathroom.
If your son thinks that peeing into the shrubs/snow outside with daddy is the best thing in the world, take the show outside, neighbors permitting. Not everyone is so open to this idea. I know a family that said that this game was so much fun that her son begged for more juice so that he would have more urine available for the game!!
Great news! My e-book, The Practical Guide to Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone, is done and available! Visit my website tranquil babies and click “e-book” on the top ribbon. I will proudly say that there is nothing out there that explains exactly why low tone makes training so much harder, then gives you readiness checklists and real-life strategies that work!