Yep! I’m going to talk about the good, the bad and the poo! Stress-Free Potty Training for Speech Delayed Toddlers! Why? Because there weren’t enough resources for me that catered to what we go through on a daily basis with Beck having a speech delay. With that said, I want to be clear that every child is different, especially when it comes to speech delays, so it’s important to know that just because this worked for us, it might not for you and your child. This also worked for us because Beck stays at home, so kids that attend day-care might not have this luxury.
When Beck turned two, we started noticing he would have a potty corner or hide under the table. He knew he had to go and needing that security/privacy is a tall-tell sign. For about 3-6 months, we would talk to him about what he was doing. Ask him if he’s going potty, tell him he’s pooping/peeing, signing the “potty” sign and made a clear statement that he’s going potty. This is when we started purchasing potty training items like a potty, undies, etc. Everything with him for speech and connecting words takes time, so we didn’t rush it. Build that receptive language as much as you can. I can’t stress this enough.
Between 2 and 2.5 years, I started reading the “how to potty train” tips/blogs/books and they were basically all the same: three to five days, every 30-45 minutes, it’s going to be terrible but stick to your guns, etc, etc. I had purchased absorbent boy’s undies earlier, and then got pull-ups, flush-able wipes, M&M’s for bribing and an array of potty seats. I set off to train him and frankly, it was hell. An entire week of crying, accidents, tantrums, etc. He couldn’t say the word “potty” and never picked up the sign for it (ASL has played a key role in certain ‘asks’ for him like signing more, want, me, etc when he’s learning a new word). We tried the typically training process two or three times but, it was pointless since we had no way of him prompting us that he needed to go. And because he’s strong-willed, he HATED us forcing him to go.
After 2.5 years of age, he started becoming more interested in the potty, not wanting to wear clothes and telling us “ewww” when his diaper was full. The key for us was talking about it a ton with him, letting him see us go and celebrating when we did. We would let him flush and we’d tell it “bye bye!” At officially age three, we are mostly potty trained. He goes on his own, doesn’t ask us for help, can pull down and pull up his undies and we can typically make it through public outings without an accident. By taking our time and letting him lead the way, it was ‘stress-free’ and much easier than I imagined.
Here’s a list of items you’ll need:
Those are the essentials! Beck also has little magazines he can reach, read if he wants to sit and hang out for a bit. We have done the whole “bribe with candy” but he’s not stupid, he just has a speech delay, so he knows that if he sits on the potty, he’ll get a treat. That bribe quickly turned into a “let’s sit on the potty every five minutes” trick and ask for candy. Lastly, we’ve never really done the “watch an ipad and sit long enough” strategy as well.
The is the process we took over the course of 6 Months:
And there you have it! It’s been a longer process but he never cries or puts up a fight when we ask him to go, or try to go. I’ve also read that the health benefits on the liver and bladder is better long term when taking it slow and letting your child learn when to go rather than forcing. Yeast and UTI infections have also been stated as being lower when choosing to train later and slower. The best benefit for us was that he feels pride and a sense of accomplishment all while making it much easier on all of us. Good luck!