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Part 2- Special Treatment for Children with Special Needs: Potty Training Dynamics

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

The term children with special needs does NOT imply that these children can’t be trained. It simply implies that they may not develop as quickly as their peers. Both children with psychological and physical disabilities may take longer to reach a point or preparedness, and may also take longer to coach. Experts make the following observations and suggestions:

1. Special needs children should be given enough time to properly develop. According to professionals, children with special needs may require more time and patience than their peers. Conventionally, experts suggest that special needs children should begin potty training around the age of 30 months or 3 years old.

2. Special needs children may require more tangible and visual aids (and something to identify with). Professionals recommend using a doll as part of these children’s training process. However, they note that many special needs children may not be able to grasp the significance of the doll, and may remain disinterested in using on. In this case, experts suggest simply discarding of the doll.

3. Establish a rewards system that your child is able to understand and looks forward to. Consider having them call a superhero (elicit the help of a friend), a special grown up etc….or take them for a special treat.

4. Offer extensive manual guidance. Physically guide your child while verbally and visually explaining to him/her what to do.

5. Remain “animated”, excited, and use gestures when you speak.

6. Be direct and simple. Make your statements and your requirements easy to understand and comprehend…and don’t leave any room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

7. Step outside specific time frames. Special needs children may require a bit more time and patience to achieve their goal. If your child is not initially successful, have him/her spend more time sitting on the toilet.

8. You may want to invest in some additional training tools. Consider potty trainer aids such as videos, tapes, books etc., and make sure you select the ones that have been noted for being the best quality.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Part 2- Special Treatment for Children with Special Needs: Potty Training Dynamics

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