Tuesday, May 31, 2011
POTTY PARTY! Day 1
So here we are, Tuesday May 31st, 2011 -- the first day of our "Potty Party" for our son Aden! Our day started at 8AM when our case supervisor Jenn (for his ABA team) arrived so she could be there when Aden woke up. As soon as he got up, we took him straight to the potty and started the Party! Well, it wasn't much of a party yet, but I was still pretty excited. Not long after he sat down, I had to run to Kohl's to buy him some "big boy underwear" since we didn't have any yet. I managed to find 3 different 5-packs of SpongeBob underwear! Score! So I came home (nothing happened while I was gone) and washed all his new underwear, then came upstairs to see all the action (or lack of)... and pretty much he was just sitting on the potty while Jenn read him a book. And then they did some puzzles, and drank some juice, and sang some songs, played some games, drank some Pediasure.... and just sat there! He was being a really good sport just sitting there! So then we read the social story that we wrote about the potty, and we talked about what we do on the potty, and we told him that as soon as he went pee pee in the potty, he could get up for a break... but still nothing was happening... but then around noon (12:09pm to be exact), we could tell that he was really holding it in, so Jenn turned on the water and that's all it took! He went a little bit in the potty, and as soon as he did, he said "Ok, now I can get down" -- we were amazed! So he really did understand that if he went in the potty, he could get up -- this was great news because we weren't even sure that he knew what we were trying to get him to do... but sure enough, he knew that he did something right because he knew it was time for a break! So we got him off the potty and put his new big boy underwear on him, and he wanted to go downstairs and play. At first it was really funny watching him walk in his underwear -- I guess he had just never felt what it was like not having a big diaper or pull up on him! So we let him play for about 6 or 7 minutes, then brought him back up to sit on the potty again. When we took his underwear off of him, we noticed they were wet -- he did go in his underwear, but not a huge amount -- but he didn't tell us or seem to mind.... So then we just waited for him to go again.... I brought out daddy's Xoom (its a tablet, like an iPad, but with Android operating system instead of Apple) and played some SpongeBob videos on it, and he really liked that... and then at 1:05pm he went a little more in the potty! This time we could kinda see it on the seat (haha!) so we congratulated him, and he wanted to get down again for a break -- so we put new undies on him and let him go play, but this time, after just a few minutes, he started to make some whining sounds (I figured he had lost his toy -- usually he'll make these "upset" sounds when he looses something or needs help) so I came over to him and brought him his balloon back because I thought that was what he wanted, but he wasn't taking it - he was just standing there and fussing, and I realized he had peed in his underwear and some was on his leg. So we took him back upstairs and put him back on the potty and talked to him about telling us when he has to go, and that is ok to go on the potty, but if he goes in his underwear he will feel all wet... so then we decided to eat lunch since it was a little past his lunch time anyways. We brought a tray table upstairs and had him eat lunch while on the potty... but then he started getting fussy and Jenn had mentioned that the aides had been tracking his bm's and wet diapers for the past few months just to get an idea of his patterns, and she said that typically every day around 1pm or so, he has a BM (goes #2) -- so we figured he must be feeling like he has to go... and now that he was eating food, it was probably increasing that feeling... and then it kinda smelled like he was going to go too... so we put on the water again and waited... and he started to hold himself up kinda funny and we really thought he was going to go, but nothing.... and then at 2:36pm he let a little bit of pee come out again and of course we celebrated! And we asked him if he still had to go, he said yes, but then he said he wanted to get down, so we let him get down and we put another set of undies on him (3rd set of the day) and I told him that if he had to go poop, he needed to tell us and we will put him on the potty and that he can't go poop in his underwear. So he went downstairs to play, and we let him do his own thing for a few minutes, but then he said to us that his "shin" was wet (needless to say, he knows all his body parts, even unfamiliar ones like shin, calf, and ankle, haha!)... and sure enough he had peed a little bit more and it was on his leg. So I asked him if he needed to go poop and he said yes, so I said "ok, let's go upstairs and poop on the potty, and then you can come back downstairs and play" and he agreed to go back upstairs (I was very surprised -- you would think that after being on the potty for hours, he wouldn't want to go back up -- but we figured he must really need to go and want to so that he could go back to playing)... so back up to the potty we went... but no #2 or #1 for that matter... but then at 2:56pm we heard him get upset that some got on his leg again... So we waited to see if he would go some more...
Basically we have discovered this pattern happening... he will hold it as long as he can on the potty, then he will finally let a little bit out, and then we put big boy underwear on him, let him go play, but he then starts to let some more pee come out while he is wearing his underwear and he gets all upset that he is wet... so we bring him back upstairs and sit him down thinking he will finally let it all out... and instead we wait an hour or so, and some more will dribble out here and there -- so far, he hasn't let it all go, just a little bit here and there. To be honest, I think it startles him when it hits his legs or shins (in case you haven't figured out, we are having him SIT on the potty to go pee -- I would have no idea how to potty train a visually impaired child how to stand and where to aim and all that stuff!!!!) and the few times it has shot out and hit his legs, he got upset and asked for us to dry it off...
So right now its 3:50pm and he's getting kinda fussy. I think he's tired of sitting on the potty (obviously) and he's probably uncomfortable from having to hold it all day... He is squirming a lot like he's trying really hard to hold it in... We are getting to the really tough part where he is getting upset and starting to cry. This is very sad for us to watch - he is obviously miserable trying to hold his pee... Hopefully he will let it go soon...
Ok, so at 4:48pm, we had our breakthrough.... we had the water turned on, and he was all squirming and fussing -- and we just kept encouraging him to go pee pee and let it out -- his bladder must have felt like it was going to explode because he was doing the potty dance on the toilet, and squirming around and his face was all red -- and we were cheering him on, telling him it was ok to let it go in the potty and that he would feel much better... and then he let a little bit go and I immediately cheered and clapped for him, and we told him to keep going... and then a little bit more came out, and then a little bit more -- each time we clapped and praised him, and he was starting to get excited! Although he wouldn't let it all go and have a full stream at once, he was letting it out little by little... but it was starting to click - I think he finally made the connection that it was OK to do what he was doing! The more we praised, the more he went and the happier he got! He must have been so relieved to finally let some of that pressure out! So after a few minutes of the start and stop pee, we asked him if he was all done and he said yes.
So we happily let him get up and have a break.... And we thought that maybe we should call it a day since he did so good finally... we thought he really made the connection and we wanted to reward him for what he did... so we thought that maybe we would tell him he did a great job for today, and that we would do a potty party again tomorrow.... But we had another surprise...
So during this last break, he did pretty good... he played for about 10 minutes without an accident (the previous breaks he was going pee after only 5 minutes or less), so when he did start to go, I could see it through his shorts and I asked him if he had to go pee and he said yes, and I asked him if he wanted to finish going potty upstairs, and he said yes! So then we took him back upstairs and turned on the water and watched closely to see when he would start to go so we could praise each and every little drop that came out... and he started to let little bits go here and there -- and he was really getting excited! Every time he would go, he would laugh or say "woah!" and we would clap and cheer! I kept telling him that he was doing great, and to keep going... but then he sat up a little bit more and a stream came out and hit his leg and that upset him -- so I quickly put a hand towel over his lap and said that it was ok, he was fine, I wiped him off and said the towel will keep him from getting wet while he goes pee pee... so then we just watched the water (since we could no longer see if pee was coming out of his "winkie") and we kept seeing the water moving -- he was going! Again, it wasn't a full stream or anything, but I think he was slowly getting used to the feeling of going pee on the potty -- it must be such a different feeling than going in a diaper since you can't even feel the wetness because the diaper is so absorbent! Think of how different that would be, sitting on a potty, all out in the open, feeling like you don't know what is going to go where and if its ok to let it go and afraid of what might happen if you do let it go... So after about 15 minutes of tinkle....... tinkle.....tinkle..... I didn't see the water moving anymore, so we asked him if he was all done and he said yes.
So we put a pull up on him and said the potty party was over for today since he did such a great job, and we would do it again tomorrow. He gets to take a break for the rest of the evening (this is how their potty parties go -- they end at a certain time, and the child goes back into the diaper or pull up until the next day -- until all areas of potty training are covered -- ie, once they are willingly going on the potty, you then have to teach them how to tell you that they have to go, before they have an "accident" -- so this was a very successful first day for all of us). Jenn told me that in all the years she has been doing Potty Parties, this was the first time EVER that she had a child request the potty on the first day (the last time Aden was having a break, when I asked him if he wanted to finish going pee pee on the potty, he said yes and went willingly -- you would think he would have wanted to stay on a break and just relax and not go back onto the potty he had been on for 9 hours! But he said yes that he wanted to go sit on the potty!). She was very impressed with the progress we made in one day -- we finally had our breakthrough moment around 5pm and he was happy and excited when it did happen! It was a huge success! He didn't even seem to be upset at all that I said we were having another Potty Party tomorrow! He told Jenn bye bye and "see you tomorrow!" Oh that reminds me -- after the 5pm episode when he finally started to go, when we got up to take a break, we let him flush the toilet because he had gone pee pee in the potty (he had flushed it a few times here and there when he first discovered it and we put an end to that - he is not allowed to flush the toilet unless he has gone in it!) so he was super excited about getting to flush the toilet -- and then, he stood at the toilet and waved and said "bye bye pee pee!" We all laughed and looked at each other like "did he just say that?" -- it was so funny!!! And when we came up for the last time to finish going pee, he came upstairs, went to the toilet and said "hi pee pee!" and that was pretty funny too, but we had to tell him that the pee pee was not in the potty yet, and explain all that.
Overall, I am completely amazed and so proud of Aden. He is truly a remarkable boy. What a long day to endure -- I know that he didn't completely understand everything in the beginning and it was kinda scary for him, and very uncomfortable at times -- but he did it... and when he made that connection, he was very happy! I think that tomorrow will go much better -- I think he will go a lot sooner, rather than holding it for so long -- now that he knows what we want him to do, and what it feels like, I think he will be willing to do it more. And then we just work on getting him to tell us when he has to go so we can make it there before an accident... and at some point he is going to have to go #2... so we'll see what happens then.
I imagine that he is going to do that later on tonight since I'm pretty sure he had to do that earlier. I just knew that as soon as we put his pull up on him, he would be soaking wet within minutes, and of course I was right. It wasn't 10 minutes after he was in the pull up, and I just thought to ask him -- I said "Aden, be sure to tell mommy when your pull up is wet so I can get you a dry pull up" and he immediately said "yes I'm wet mommy!" so I changed him, and there was quite a lot in there -- all that juice and Pediasure he had been holding in all day, he had let a little bit out for us, but the rest was in that pull up!
We'll see what happens tomorrow! :)
Labels: aba, asd, autism, autistic, legally blind, potty party, potty training, potty training an autistic child, toilet training, visual impairments
We are a warm, caring, and God-loving family with an amazing child with autism. I started this blog to share with others some of joys of raising a wonderful child with autism, and also to showcase my Autism Awareness jewelry. We love and cherish our autistic child and we are proud to show our support of him and his condition. Wearing Autism Awareness jewelry is just one way you can show your support, and since I love to make jewelry, that is what I've chosen to do :)