A Shitty Topic

While toilet training can be anxiety provoking – or just no fun – for any child, it proves particularly challenging for many children with autism.

We were in the wait room at Speech Therapy yesterday and Cody decided to show everyone in the room what we now call his Grandpa walk to the restroom.  Literally if you put a walking stick in the boys hands he looks like an ‘ole man walking with his cane with his butt cheeks squeezed tightly.  You may be wondering why we are struggling with this second phase of potty training when he has been trained for #1 for almost a year now.  You see, we dedicated some serious hours a year ago creating opportunities for #1 by simply pushing fluids.  The more opportunities meant more urination which meant creating more successes and in return he received one of his favorites at the time, Fruit Loops or his iPad as a reward until he caught on!


I made this sound so simple, but don’t forget, we put in many long hours and dedication to the master bath for quite some time last summer.  You may recall my photos where we basically moved in so everything was at arm’s reach. By far one of the hardest parenting lessons to date. You can check out this read where getting peed on was a success!

 Can’t do this with poop. It’s stinks (no pun intended) because you have to catch these opportunities only once a day and that is if he is regular.

What we know is most children with autism, do not learn from imitation like most kids do. When we started with his potty training, we first had to teach Cody the difference between wet and dry so he understood that feeling once we moved him in big boy undies. We literally would have items for him to touch and then he would have to select on his iPad if they were, wet or dry.  The next step is when he would have accidents, he would have to feel the front of his undies to determine if they were wet or dry and tell us from his iPad.  Once he had this down, we had to create opportunities to capitalize on the successes until he caught on.

Some children can find bowel movements very frightening and not understand what is happening and if its normal. Their sensory issues may heighten  because it’s a new unfamiliar place, with new sights, sounds and feels to process.  Cody’s sensory is different than what you and I may feel, hear or see.

We started looking at summer schedules with ABA this week and for self-independence goals this is where we will focus along with his academic and communication goals.

Not being about to go poop in public or on a potty has actually been challenging and in some cases where we end up having to go back home or where he may hold off going causing tummy issues.  Last week at school, Cody’s anxiety got to a level where he just was not able to cope until he had a BM.  With lots of tears and fear, he ended up not going until that early evening and stayed in is Grandpa walk most of the day.  I felt for him.

Imagine all this, without being about to share your feelings and communicate them to someone too?  I hate this for him but have it on the radar as a priority.  We have not experienced any digestive issues since birth and at this point believe this is simply a training issue.   A friend shared this TED talk this morning which inspired me to right this shitty blog.  Fast forward to 3 min. 30 sec – 5:00 for a laugh!







Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

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