I recently got asked to review a book for Amazon about toilet training autistic children. I'm only half way through, but it got me thinking I should really give the whole toilet training bit another whirl. Janey is in no way at all trained. She has never ONCE used the potty for urine (or once, at school, but I didn't see that and it was years ago). She seems to be to have next to no awareness of when she needs to urinate. She can hold it for half a day, so I think she must have some control, but she doesn't seem to know how to let it go at will. I gave up for a while after a few years of no success. I don't mean I was trying hard every second of that time, but at least as hard as I tried when training the boys, and they were both trained fairly easily. But I know at some point, it just has to happen. So I decided to put her in underwear during the day all the time, and take her to the bathroom every half hour or so. We've been doing that for a couple days now. Still zero success. She wets herself about once a day---she's dry the rest of the time, and she will sit on the potty for a minute or two fairly happily, but never, ever actually pees there. I'm partly motivated by how much pullups cost, and how much she seems to hate them now---we were running through them like crazy as she took them off constantly, whether they were wet or not. That's a lot cheaper with clothes, and I don't mind washing them and cleaning up. So I guess it's worth a try.
The other full court press I've been trying is teaching Janey to talk about feelings. That one is going a little better. When she cries or is upset, I right away rush over, say something like "Oh, no!" and then say "Are you sad or angry?" She picks one or the other, I think probably at random, and then I ramble on about the one she picked "Oh, you might be sad because you wanted Mama to snuggle with you and I was doing something else!" or "You might be angry because I said no more videos right now!". I'm trying to teach her that she can express why she is upset, and that being upset usually has a reason, even though I'm not always sure it does for her. I'm trying to talk a lot about happy, surprised and scared, too. I point out my own feelings to her a lot "Mama felt happy you picked out your own shirt! Mama was scared when you screamed really loud like that!" Like so many things with Janey, it's almost impossible to know what's getting through, but often months later she surprises me with knowledge of something I said long ago, so I can hope.
9 days till school starts!