Unless you have a child on the spectrum, you probably don’t know about the associated potty issues. Riley could speak in short sentences at 14 months. When it came time to potty training we thought we had it “in the can.” After all, she’s incredibly smart, right? Well, smart has nothing to do with recognizing bodily sensations. Or with the fine motor skills required for wiping. Or with the fight or flight response that comes over her when confronted with seemingly daunting tasks.
Five and a half. She was five (and a half) when it finally happened and now at six (and a half) she still needs some help.
This child goes potty at 7 AM and then holds it all day until 3:30 when she gets home from school. You see, the sink in the children’s bathroom is too hard to turn on, and she would never not wash her hands. The flush in the nurse’s office is too loud, so that bathroom is out too.
Even at 3:30 when she gets home she fights me.
“No! I don’t have to go!” she’ll say as she wiggles all over the place.
But I’ve found a strategy.
Somehow if she’s doing it for me, she feels backed into a corner.
However,if,in a high pitched puppet show voice I say,
“Riley….this is your poor bladder. Help me out here! I’m about to burst!”
She will giggle and get on the potty.
“Riley…I am so full? What did you drink today? A swimming pool?”
She’ll start to go.
Once she’s “in the swing,” I can leave.
Yesterday I turned toward the door and she stopped me.
“Mom. I think my poor colon has something to say too?”
Who says these kids lack empathy?