Day to day life and self help skills cam be very challenging to children on the autism spectrum- as many of you parents know.  Focusing on these skills are crucial in helping  your child live independent and socially successful lives as well as being crucial to making life easier and more manageable for you.  This is why we have decided to do a series on life and self help skills (as opposed to our usual goal oriented games) so that you can help your child progress in this area as well.

Life Skill Activity #1 Toilet training on the Toilet Throne
As many  of you have read on previous posts, I recently worked with a 9 years old (let’s call him Sam) for over a year and a half on this skill.  After much persistence and creativity, he is now toilet trained!  A huge feat for him and a definite break on the laundry load for his mother. Some kids want to have privacy when going to the bathroom (Sam was one of these kinds of kids).  If yours is too- this activity is perfect for your child.

Ask your child to sit on the toilet with his clothes on (and with the lid down if he has a challenge with the open lid/water) and then bring a child size table and slide it over his lap (of course only with his permission- if he resists, let it go!).  Then bring a highly motivating activity  that he can do on the table by himself.  He can  play with play dough, a bowl of bubbly water or his little figurines- any activity that will help your child relax and stay in one spot for a period of time.  After doing this several times over a course of several days, ask your child to sit on the toilet with his pants down and the lid up, and then slide the table over his lap and bring his favorite activities.  Do this special ‘toilet throne’ several times a day (especially after your child has had a lot to drink) and wait for the magical moment when it just comes out.  Then of course, celebrate and cheer in the way your child likes best so he will want to do it again ( or keep it cool, as hard as it may be,  if he does not want the big reaction).