Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A First Then Potty Schedule that Works Like Magic!!!

A parent approached me about how she could get her son potty-trained over the summer.  We know he understands the concepts because he pulls his pants down and potties when playing outdoors. But when he is at home or in the classroom and asked to go potty, he gets very upset and resists the whole thing.  

Recently, we started using a First Then clipboard schedule with him in the classroom to transition from one activity to the next. Our Individualized First Then Visual Schedule was very effective for him so we decided to give a First Then Potty Schedule a whirl! 

His mother gathered several of his most preferred toys (trucks, tractors, and dinosaurs).  She sent me pictures of them via her phone, then put them in crate and placed them up high.  I imported the pictures into Boardmaker and created picture icons for a choice board, as well as a green & red First Then board.  (First is represented in green for "go". Then is portrayed by red for "Stop, this activity is next.".)  


Go to Boardmaker Share and access the ConsiderateClassroom group to print my first then potty template.    
I put the First Then board on a small clipboard for easy access.  Next, I put velcro strips on the inside of the clipboard for the student’s choices.  


Preferred Activities used as "Then" options.
Whenever his mom asks him to go potty, she presents him with the clipboard and says "First potty, then. . ." and flips the First Then chart up to let him pick what he wants to play with after going potty.   The idea here is to get him to comply with the restrooming process. Even if he does not go potty, he can still have the "Then" choice if  he sat on the potty without resistance and gave it his best shot.  

After he successfully goes potty or successfully tries to go potty, his mom presents him with his "Then" choice.  She sets a timer and lets him play with it for 8 minutes then puts it up as a possible choice for next time.  


I am excited to say he was successful on his first try with the system.  The key is going to be staying consistent so the success continues, as well as making sure he doesn’t get tired of the toys in his "Then" box.  It will also be important for his mom to only allow him to play with the toys for a short time after restrooming. It's 8 minutes now, but down the road that time allowance may be even shorter.  By limiting the amount of time he gets to play with these highly preferred toys, he continues to be reinforced for using the potty.


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