How to Potty Train a Child with Special Educational Needs (SEN) - My Carry Potty®

How to Potty Train a Child with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Posted by Amanda Jenner

Navigating the Potty Training Journey with SEN Children: A Parent's Guide

For parents of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), the potty training journey requires a more tailored approach, with heaps of patience, and understanding.

In today’s blog, we delve into our expert strategies to assist parents through the potty training process with SEN children, ensuring it's a positive and successful experience for all involved.

Understanding the Unique Challenges

Children with SEN may not show the conventional signs of readiness for potty training due to difficulties in communication, understanding, or expressing their feelings. This doesn't reduce the significance of this developmental step; it simply means that as a parent, you may need to lead the way. Observing and noting the times your child fills their nappy can provide invaluable cues to start the potty training process.

The Importance of Consistency and Routine

For children with SEN, consistency is key. A routine provides a sense of safety and predictability. Introducing the concept of potty training through the use of flashcards can be particularly effective. Pictures that illustrate the process help communicate what's expected in a clear, engaging and understandable way.

Colour and Choice: Keys to Comfort and Understanding

Colour consistency can play a crucial role in making potty training less confusing for children with learning delays. Using the same colour for the potty, toilet trainer seat, pants, and even reward stars can create a safer and more comprehensible environment for the child.

Sensory Considerations

Many children with SEN may have sensory sensitivities that can influence their potty training experience:

  • Soft cotton pants without labels can prevent distraction and irritation.
  • Placing a piece of toilet paper down the toilet before they use it to avoid the splash of cold water on their little bottoms as this can startle them and put them off using the toilet.
  • Avoid the use of highly scented cleaning products in the bathroom.
  • Use basic language like 'It's potty time' or 'It's toilet time' with a big smile.
  • Loud noises, such as clapping, cheering, or toilet flushing, can be unsettling. Opt for quiet praise like a big smile or a cuddle.
  • Create a welcoming bathroom environment with the child's name on the door and instructional flashcards.

Communication and Distraction Techniques

For non-verbal children or those with speech delays, simple signs for "wee" and "poo" can help them communicate their needs. Distractions such as textured objects or stretchy toys can make the time spent on the potty or toilet more comfortable and a bit longer, aiding in the training process.

Patience and Persistence

Potty training a child with SEN may take longer and involve more accidents. It's important to use relevant flashcards to visually explain where the wee and poo should go, reinforcing understanding. Consistency across all environments, including childcare settings, is crucial for potty success.

Final Thoughts

Potty training a child with SEN requires a blend of approaches, empathy, and patience. By understanding your child's unique needs and employing consistent, sensory-friendly methods, you can navigate this journey more smoothly. Remember, every child's path to potty training success is personal, and celebrating the small victories along the way can make all the difference.

For families embarking on this journey, know that you're not alone. Sharing experiences and tips with other parents of SEN children can provide additional support and insights. Your dedication and understanding play a pivotal role in your child's development, laying the foundation for future milestones.

Keep going, you can do it :)

Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment