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Q&A: Potty Training Sensory Under-Responders?


I see several children who are sensory under-responders and not potty trained. I use the basic approach of using activities that increase proprioceptive input to help children be more aware of their bodies. Do you have any additional suggestions that might help me with these children?


You are on the right track. The potty-training process relies heavily on body awareness. Another important factor is tactile feedback. These kids need to be able to feel the wetness. As long as they are wearing diapers and pull-ups, the sensation of wetness probably won’t be significant enough for them. Choose a week when mom can stay home and be with the child full time. Have the child wear a long T-shirt and nothing else. Keep the potty seat close by at all times. As soon as the child feels the potty starting, rush him/her to the potty seat. I did this with my own kids. We stayed in the kitchen all day (tile floor) to make the cleanup easier.

I also have a 2-hour webinar titled Toilet Training From a Sensory Perspective if you’re interested in a more detailed discussion.

Let me know how this works for you! I’m always interested in feedback.

Best Wishes,