The Practical Guide to Toilet Training the Autistic Child: From Diapering Differently to Using Public Facilities


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Toilet Training a child with autism is not easy.

It just got easier.


The Practical Guide to Toilet Training the Autistic Child:  Sensory-Motor Secrets for Success is finally done!  I wanted to share everything I have learned as a pediatric occupational therapist for over 25 years.  And everything I have learned from families and their children.  

Using the toilet is not a behavioral skill.  

It is a sensory-motor skill with behavioral components.  


The essential ability to sense urgency (gotta go) and get to the toilet, manage clothing, eliminate into the toilet, manage clothing again, wipe, flush, and wash your hands are all …sensory and motor skills.  The cognitive and language skills needed are at an 18-month level.  But the other skills are directly compromised by autism.  Each skill has to be taught, and often the environment as well as the teaching has to be adapted.

Occupational therapists do that.  ADL skills are our “jam”.

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What’s Inside?

  • Learn what comprises real potty training readiness.  Hint:  the family and professionals have to ready as well!  There is a checklist and a resource list in the appendix of the book.
  • Understand how autism creates specific challenges for learning what to do in the bathroom.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t train them; you train them carefully and completely.
  • Learn how my two unique concepts, Targeted Pre-Training and Collaborative Diapering allows any autistic child, at any level of development, to begin the process of potty training today. With Collaborative Diapering, the adults will not necessarily spend a minute of extra time caring for the child.  They will change their actions and their communications.  This will change everything!
  • There are parts of toilet training that no one wants to think about.  Behaviors like smearing and playing with poop, withholding, defiance, and fears have to be addressed.  This book discusses them with honesty and compassion.
  • Toilet training is not really finished until an autistic child can independently use the  bathroom in a public area.  This can take a while, but it never happens by chance.  Prepare for it and teach it, just like every other part of potty training.

If you are looking for the paperback version, you can find the paperback on Amazon !


For the e-book, go to Your Therapy Source, a terrific site for therapists but also for special education teachers and parents!

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By Cathy Collyer

I am a licensed occupational therapist, licensed massage therapist, and certified CBT-i sleep coach in private practice in the NYC area. I have over 25 years of professional experience in adult and pediatric treatment. It has been a joy to help people of all ages improve their ability to grow and thrive! Occupational therapists are focused on enhancing a client's functioning in everyday life. We are practical healthcare providers, interested in teaching, adapting actions and environments, and building a client's useful skills for living their best life, regardless of their challenges. I am the author of five books, including "Staying In The Room: Managing Medical And Dental Care When You Have DID" and "The Practical Guide To Toilet Training the Autistic Child". I lecture on many subjects, including sleep, trauma, and development. Contact me to learn more about how I can help you achieve YOUR goals!

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