Potty Training Issues and SPD

by Megan
(Arizona)

Hi All,


I am a Mom of an almost 4 year old. He was diagnosed with mild SPD at around the age of 18 months. Since that time, I feel that he was overcoming SPD issues and seemed to be developing normally. At 2 1/2 we began to potty train him, nothing big, but just to introduce him to the concept. He clearly was not ready at all, so we completely backed off. By 39 months, we thought we would try again. With better luck (and strong encouragement) we finally got him to use the potty to pee. Currently, it has been 8 months and no matter what I do, I cannot get him fully potty trained. I am beyond frustrated, worried and very concerned about my child. I attribute this to SPD, but I am not sure if it this, something else, a combination of factors, or a more severe disorder.

Please, tell me your experiences with potty training your children with SPD and if you have had similar experiences. What has worked for you?

As a side note, these have been my other experiences with my child. Since he was born, I noticed that he was different from "typical" children. He never wanted to be held for long periods of time as a newborn. He would arch his back and squirm to be put down. By six months old, he would wear himself out by kicking his feet, sometimes for half an hour. He would fall asleep shortly thereafter- I am only now beginning to believe, he didn't like his feet being enclosed in the onesie.

He never splashed in the bathtub. He displayed texture aversion by 10 months old and basically liked a liquid, softfood diet. He absolutely detests vegetables and by 15 months, we noticed that he would first touch his tongue to his food before he would allow his lips to touch the food or even place the item in his mouth. He hated Cheerios! What kid doesn't like Cheerios?

Loud noises scare him and it takes him a while to warm up to new situations and things he has not had exposure to. And just last week he had a panic attack when he was scared that a storm was coming. Coupled by the "loud" music that was playing- pushed him to the extremes. I desperately want to help my child. And I am completely scared that more may be wrong with him. I can relate to some of his experiences, as I found my own diagnosis of SPD while researching his "atypical" behaviors. We are scheduled for an evaluation with his pediatrician this week to explore these issues and give him the attention and help that he needs. I just hope that it's only SPD....

Thanks for listening,

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Apr 24, 2012
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You are not alone
by: Anonymous

I have 2 autistic children a boy who will be 10 in Oct. and a girl who will be 8 in May, neither had an interest in the potty till I made them sit there. My oldest son sat there for 3 hours he had breakfast on the toilet. He woke up dry and sat there, til he went. After that it was easier. Now fast forward to today, I have a 4 yr. old boy with SPD and forget the potty. From birth I knew he was different. I tried from very early on to start the potty training knowing that the other ones started so late. So that he wouldn't have a chance to be scared. Very soon I realized I was going to scrub the carpet off the floor. He was just at 2 when we tried this. So now he just turned 4 and we are trying again since he has the mentality of a 2 yr old. I've read the articles about cutting holes in diapers and sit him on the potty. That is just too messy and what happens when I cut a hole in the diaper and he doesn't sit on the potty? I managed to train the others on my own but this one is beyond me. Help...

Sep 13, 2011
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SPD and toilet training
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My son has been diagnosed with SPD. He just turned 3 and is not interested in the potty at all. His twin sister is in pull-ups and has been using the potty for 4 days now during the day without accidents. She would use the potty but with resistance and it seems the last week she has just wanted to be a 'big girl' and go on the big toilet like mama. It seems like she just all of a sudden was ready. My son is not ready and I am not going to push him. I encourage him to use the potty and he has successfully peed 2 times in it but he is just not ready. One of his OT's said not to worry about it that it is likely sensory. Today was his first day of preschool and the teacher announced it in front of all the toddlers and parents that I would be called if he messed in his diaper. I could see the other parents cringing because their toddlers as well were in diapers. I do not know your son but from your description he sounds like my boy and it sounds like sensory issues to me. Good luck and he will be trained even if it takes a bit longer.

May 30, 2011
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8 1/2 years old and still having accidents
by: Anonymous

My daughter is 8 1/2 and still has urine accidents daily. Same story almost exactly. Watches, rewards, punishments, urologist, medication, etc.

She does not feel it or even know that she has had an accident. Looking for any answers or help...

Mar 18, 2011
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7 1/2 yo that still pees in pants daily: HELP!!
by: Anonymous

My daughter is 7 1/2 years old and still pees in her pants daily. Sometimes she poops in her pants but infrequently. I have tried every single idea/suggestion that you can imagine. I have rewarded, punished, cheered, given up, star charts, beeping watches... you name it. I have taken her to a pediatric urologist and had an ultrasound done twice over a six month period. She is anatomically correct. I have honestly thought at times that I was going to lose my mind from this. In desperation I found this website yesterday after yet another accident. My daughter does not display any of the other symptoms or signs of SPD, however she has always said she did not feel the urge to pee or when she did it was "too late". When I ask her if her panties are wet, she has to literally feel her panties with her hands to determine whether or not she has wet underwear!!! She also does not care one bit if she sits in wet underwear, soaking wet tights, poo-poo... even all day!!!! and she admits that when she does feel an urge to pee, she doesn't want to stop what she is doing to go to the bathroom. It drives me insane!!! Does anyone have any new suggestions? I am about to cry. again.

Nov 25, 2009
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Don't drug your kid
by: Anonymous

I highly recommend you don't medicate your child, especially since no one knows the long term effects of these new drugs on children (especially at such a young age).

I too have a child with SPD. She is 3 1/2 and still cannot tell me if she is wet or dry. I keep her in pullups when we are out in public. And she wears panties (with plastic pants) while we are at home. Her OT explained to me that the message her body gives to her brain concerning her full bladder or her wet pants has some sort of disconnect. You basically have to potty-train these type of kids on a schedule, not on their sensations. And every time they pee in the pot and/or stay dry, you celebrate! (My daughter and I do a little potty dance.) I also let her put a sticker on a chart; she likes the tangible reward as well.

The most important thing, I think, is to be patient and not pressure the child. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it won't be like this forever. And as a parent, I am here to help my child learn this new skill as painlessly as possible. And since my daughter has SPD, I need to accept the fact that she needs more time to become fully potty-trained. And I need to give her that time.

Aug 20, 2009
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Ditropan Worked For My Daughter
by: Anonymous

I had this same issue with my Daughter. I tried anything and everything. Her Pediatrician and I felt like the medication, Ditropan may work since all else failed. And it did! She is hypersensitive in some areas, but hypo in others. I wondered if maybe her bladder was hyporsensitive which caused the accidents. She no longer has accidents during the day and hardly has accidents at night either.

Jul 30, 2009
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Nightmare
by: Kim Sullivan

My son is seven and potty training was the worst experience of my life! Life teaches humility. My daughter was easy to potty train at 2 and I couldn't imagine why parents had trouble until my son. He would get so stressed about it all that he would pee on things, poop on the register vent in my daughter's room, and all sorts of weird things. He would go all night dry and yet pee small amounts in the evening watching tv. It was insane. He is potty trained and everything is so much better now. Just know that somehow some way you will get him potty trained and it may take much longer than you would expect. You are not alone! I wish you the best of flushes. :)

Jul 28, 2009
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Potty Training Problem
by: Anonymous

My grandson will be 6 the end of November. He is finally going to the bathroom on his own for BM's, but still is not telling us when he has to urinate. I think SPD children have a difficult time sensing when they need to use the bathroom. We have been working for 3 years with our grandson. Just don't give up. He also has several other issues you mentioned such as kicking his legs as an infant. Also is a very picky eater (likes only crunchy things or pudding and ice cream and only vanilla yogurt). He has become aggressive at preschool and we have an appt tomorrow with a behavior specialist. We parents need to get doctor's to come up with a diagnosis for these children and to get the insurance companies to cover this illness.

Jul 28, 2009
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Potty Training Issues
by: Anonymous

Sounds just like my daughter. She was diagnosed with SPD and potty training was a nightmare. Our pediatrician told us that with SPD children that potty training can be very difficult. We got our girl to pee in the potty bu the age of 4-5 but the other part she did not do till she was 6 years old. At school if she had to go potty she would hold it till she got home.

Now she has no problem going at age 7 but still does not like all the automatic flushing toilets. Don't panic with your child, just be patient and it will eventually happen when he is ready to do it. My daughter also wore diapers till she was 5 but has since been out of them.

Good Luck,
Michele

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