Toilet Training and Autism

Initial enquiry about toilet training a boy with autism, who then went on to become a client (seen once only) and effectively toilet trained within a month!!


Dear Rebecca,
I am having trouble training my 4 year old boy who is mildly autistic. Due to his special needs toilet training in the past has been unsuccesful. He seems to be holding on when he has no underwear on whatsoever. Seems to have a fear of letting go on the toilet/potty.Please advise on what to do. I am willing to make an appointment to come and see you if needed.


Hi There,

Toilet training can be frustrating for everyone, and it happens for each child at different ages/stages and usually when they are ready. Often when a genuine fear of letting go on the toilet is involved intervention is required and it can be a very slow and steady process in order for them to overcome their fear of the toilet. Rewarding them just for sitting on the toilet and what we call doing practise poos and wees on the toilet is a good start. Just getting them familiar with the toilet, making it a safe place (posters on walls, books to read etc) and of course watching mum and dad and brothers and sisters going to the toilet (modelling) and taking their favourite toy to the toilet and getting the toy to do wee on the toilet and get a reward for it is encouraging them that the toilet is safe and normal and everyone uses it and it is ok!!
Warm regards,

The following week the mother rang up to make an appointment:

I worked both with the mother and the son, and as I had suggested in the email, set them the task of doing “practise poos”, three times a day and prompts for using the toilet for wees.

After only 2 days: The mother reported via email as to her son’s progress:
Dear Rebecca, I can’t believe it but its working. Its taken us 2 days to get the gist of it but its working. He only does it sitting on the potty and the potty is in the toilet. I think its great, I hope you feel the same way. We’ll see what happens on the weekend.
Thanks a million

Before the weekend arrived, we received another email: Dear Rebecca, Hi how are you? We are well. I’m not sure if you believe in miracles but I am starting to believe in them now. He amazingly is not wanting even pullups on the potty now . He is doing wee(only) in the potty with no pullups or anything. I cannot believe it. This has happened 3 times in the last 3 days. I know its early days and we are not doing it every time (we still have accidents) but at least he is not so frightened to let go. My wish for the school holidays and while we are on holiday he will get this down to a T.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the help you have given us with our problem. You are a Godsend.

Rebecca’s response:

That is fantastic news!!!!!!
You are all doing brilliantly. I’m not so sure about miracles either, I think it’s more to do with good training, excellent efforts by him and yourself and and perhaps the right timing. It’s fantastic that he is not frightened to go anymore, that is a huge breakthrough for him. Naturally, you have to expect some accidents, but they will gradually diminish over time providing the routine and structure still take place and rewards of course are still provided.

Well done to all of you and have a fantastic holiday.

Thanks for keeping me informed and I will hear from you when you get back for an update.
Warm regards,

Four weeks later, Rebecca sent an email for an update and received this response:

Dear Rebecca , Thanks for your e-mail. He is toilet trained now. He even stands up to do wees. He calls me when he has to do poos, but thats fine I’m sure he”ll go on his own soon enough. Still wears night pullup just in case, as he does wet every few days but I’m happy with that too. I can’t believe it that it happened so soon with your wonderful help and I tell everyone at special school about your services. Thanks a million Rebecca you’re an angel as I have told you before.