changing plans

It was a goal of ours to get Joel potty trained this summer.  After all, he has had a few successful attempts at “elimination” both at home and even at school.  And, let’s not kid ourselves here, pull-ups aren’t exactly cheap.  By the way, has anyone else noticed that the older/bigger the child gets, the fewer the amount of pull-ups per package while the price stays the same?  Can anyone else say “rip-off?”  Which, incidently, is part of the reason why we have to purchase them at such a rapid rate, because Joel will, if not wearing his special pajamas, rip them off and run through the house like a naked hippy.  I’m not kidding, that boy loves his naked time!  It doesn’t matter if the pull-up is wet or dry or poopy (yep, that too!), if he gets it in his mind that at that moment he simply must be naked, that pull-up is coming off.  You know that quote from Forrest Gump about “life being like a box of chocoates because you neva know what you gonna get?”  Yeah, that’s life at our house only that “box of chocolates” is a pull-up that could either be dry and just needs to be put back on, wet and easily thrown away and replaced with a new one, or it could be your worst nightmare.  Usually, it is the first two and that is okay.  We can handle that.  But, the third one, the nightmare one, that is very, VERY unpleasant.  Needless to say, if Joel is not wearing his previously-mentioned special pajamas, we watch him like a group of hawks circling the cutest little nudist hippy bunny you’ve ever seen.

Like I said, potty training was the intended goal, but things don’t always go the way we want.  Since the summer break began, Joel has had an increasing amount of meltdowns.  We were kind of expecting that at least until he got used to the summer routine, but things haven’t really smoothed out.  So, we’ve become proactive.  I’ve been doing my research and I came across some great ideas for children with sensory processiong disorders and have started implementing some of them.  One of my favorites is giving him a bear hug.  Who doesn’t love the idea of Bear Hug Therapy?  I’ve tried it a couple of times in a pinch when I see him getting worked up and it has been effective.  Not only does he tend to calm down after a few minutes of squeezing, I get a hug out of the deal.  That sure beats getting pinched and/or kicked.

Another thing that worked really well is homemade playdough.  I got the recipe for it here.  To keep it from drying out between uses, I wrap it in a moist kitchen towl and store it in a cupboard Joel can’t reach.  When I think he needs it, I get it out and we play together.

I’m happy to say that with just those two activities, Joel had no meltdowns yesterday.  It was wonderful.  One could even call it bliss.  And, who knows, if things continue to go as smoothly as they did yesterday, we can get back to the orignal plan.

One can hope, right?

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  1. Potty training is hard. We had some heavy duty training through ABA (9-5) long story- then he was “trained” for peeing but the other? That took another 6 months before he was somewhat consistent in asking to go “toilet!” on his 5th birthday was when he started that direction. Still, at 6 now, he tends to “hold” it and screams at the last minute or sometimes I catch him about to let it go and get him there in time! Luckily (knock on wood) we have not hadajpr accidents in about a year now but there have been a few and he still is not trained for overnight which is very inconsistent.

    I think a lot of it has to do with their ability to timely process the feeling of needing to go with getting to the toilet. I know my son’s processing speed is slower and that affects him.

    As for the great bear hugs and play doh that is awesome!! Kept it up! 🙂

  2. I try to stay very realistic about the arduousness of potty training. It’s is “work” getting neurotypical children to train, but a nonverbal child with Autism and sensory issues? Yikes.

    Thanks so much for the comments and support. It is so appreciated!

  3. Potty Training is one of my least favorite parts of my job! although it comes with its own set of very unique and hilarious stories. You inspired me to write a potty training blog post soon! haha. As for sensory toys, I have done a few different things this summer. I have found that allll my sensory kids have had a great time playing with “ooblek.” All you need to do is mix together water, corn starch, and food coloring. It is not a solid or a liquid so when it is left alone is pours around like water, but when you pick it up and squeeze it, it hardens! So cool. I have to say, I think I enjoy it just as much as my clients do! haha. Just another idea for when play-dough loses its appeal. (Note: it is a messy activity, a good outside game lol but it is suuuuper easy to clean up. It washes right off anything with just a little bit of water because when it is dry it is the same powdery consistency of chalk. So don’t be too alarmed when it is all over your kid and your backyard!)

    • You so made my day with this comment. I don’t feel like I get the chance to inspire others very often. It feels great!

      I love the ooblek idea, I’ll definitely give it a try. Joel loves messy things and I’m greatful it’s nontoxic, cause he’s going to try to eat it. 🙂


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