Saturday, July 07, 2012

Nine Things Nobody Told Me About Potty Training a Child with FX

I knew this was going to be a long, painful process.  Children with Fragile X Syndrome and autism don't train quickly.  It can take years for them to both understand what to do, and have the physical ability to do it.

I feel like I'd heard all the tips and tricks.  Read all the books.  Talked to all the experts and nonexperts.  I thought I knew it all.

And yet, there are few things that I have learned in the last few weeks:

1. You won't need one exciting gift or reward or prize, to give your child after he is successful.  You will need a huge box of gifts, prizes and rewards, because the first success might be a random fluke.  You might have to reward more than one success.

2.  In fact, the first ten successes might be random flukes.  Success doesn't mean he's got it.  It might mean you've just spent so much time in the bathroom, that inevitably it was going to happen in there, eventually.

3. Some days you'll use every single prize, reward, and trick you've got just to keep him going into the bathroom to try, and then you'll find yourself wondering what on earth you can offer him in the event of another seemingly random success.

4. Your child will go through phases of being angry and then sad. Actually it won't be phases so much as just a revolving door of first angry and then sad, and angry and sad, over and over.  It's hard to be happy about spending lots of time in the bathroom.

5. Your child has a bladder the size of the Hindenburg, apparently, because you will pee nineteen times for every time he pees.

6. Invest in a carpet and upholstery steam cleaner, and be prepared for your house to smell like pee.

7. Be grateful if pee is all it smells like.

8. There is nothing wrong with food in the bathroom. Or drinks. Or toys, books, TVs, or computers.  That's why there are outlets in there.

9. Every bathroom should be spacious enough for a big, comfortable chair or two.

1 comment:

The Slacker Mom said...

I really thought we were getting somewhere over here. But we are absolutely nowhere. I need to lower expectations. And I need some titles of good books because whatever wisdom I've gleaned from friends who have potty trained their kids is obviously not going to cut it. Then I wonder if I should just not worry about it...they are only 3.5 after all. Then I kick myself because maybe I don't push them enough...and then I feel like I'm just not cut out for this and where the hell is the person in charge here because I *really* need an instruction manual and/ or someone to tell me what to do next. This doesn't end, does it?

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