Tool: Potty Training

Potty training a child with a disability can feel like a monumental task, especially if your child is non-verbal or has balance control issues, or is non-ambulatory.

The Potty Party training method has been very successful with the disability community because of its structure. It is designed to maximize the number of positive outcomes (peeing or pooping in the potty) in a short amount of time (3 days). This method requires a total commitment on the part of the parent or the therapy team, but the child will be potty trained in no time if done correctly. You will have to spend at least three days in the bathroom, so find the largest one in your house and use that one to do the potty party.

You will need tons of items to keep your child busy. They will be sitting on the potty for an extended time. It might be good to buy them a more cushioned seat or find a way to pad the toilet. You will also need a strong reinforcer. For my son, it was the iPad. When he peed or pooped in the potty, he was given time with his PAD. You will also need to get them to drink a lot of water. My son loved to drink out a straw. As long as we kept giving him a cup of water with a straw, he kept drinking it, kept peeing, and in no time, he was potty trained.

Here’s how it works.

The first interval is 30 minutes on and then 3 minutes off the potty. If your child pees during the30 minutes on, they can go off the potty for 3 minutes. If they don’t pee within 30 minutes, they are still given time (3 minutes) off the potty. Once they pee on the potty three times successfully without any accidents off the potty, you move to the next interval.

The intervals look like this:


This method usually takes three days. It is a massive amount of effort for a very short time, resulting in LONG TERM GAINS.

If this doesn’t work, don’t worry, there are other methods out there, but I would start with this one.

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