Where do I start?
We knew Matthew was ready. He was showing all the signs… literally. He would sign “potty” to me as he squatted to fill a diaper. He could stay dry for hours at a time, he knew what the potty was for, and had even successfully used the toilet on occasion when we caught him at the right time and in the right mood.
But, it was starting to become a battle. He did NOT want to sit on the potty – didn’t want anything to do with it. His stubborn streak – which is very, very wide – was asserting itself, and he was saying he did NOT want to do what we wanted him to do!
I knew I needed help. Thinking back to how we potty trained Micah, there were a lot of conversations, a lot of bargaining, bribing, etc. I knew that approach just wasn’t going to work. There is NO bribing or bargaining with a stubborn 3-yo whose verbal skills are still quite limited.
So, I started looking for books. As usual, most of the resources I found were written for kids with autism, but would have something in the subtitle about “…and children with other developmental disorders.” grr. Down syndrome and Autism are very, very different, and sometimes I still get frustrated by the lack of resources available for our little T21 kiddos.
One book stood out to me, though: “Ready, Set, Potty!” I liked it because it made potty training “fun,” encouraged you to tailor the method to fit your child, and had success with kids with limited verbal skills. We decided to read the book, commit 100%, and go for it. With the carpet cleaner on stand-by, we embarked on our adventure.
That was two weeks ago.
Today, I’m excited to report a major milestone. A breakthrough! Matthew had NO accidents for the entire day today! He went #1 and #2 in the potty without a single fight or complaint!
Getting there wasn’t easy. The last two weeks have been difficult, exhausting, and frustrating to say the least. We had to modify our methods, try different strategies, beg, plead, scold, and celebrate like you’ve never seen when there was a “success.” We started going “by the book,” but deviated significantly by the end. I’d tell you all about it, but I’m too worn out from the past two weeks. I’ll share more details later for those of you who embarking on your own adventure … because there is no book titled “how to potty-train your especially stubborn 3-year-old who has speech delays & Down syndrome.”