Thursday, August 21, 2008

Birthday cake anyone?

Connor got his first invite to a friends birthday party. Getting there was half the fun as Walmart was his preferred destination and when I pulled over to detangle the seat belt around his neck he thought we had arrived at the party. A few scratches later we did arrive at the party.

Guess what happens when you have three autistic toddlers, a couple NT children, and a bunch of adults at a child's birthday party. A good excuse to install a Xanax dispenser!

One toddler (mine) ran terrified looking for a dark place to hide when "Happy Birthday" was sung. One toddler withdrew and stimmed. One ate his cake, while looking for an escape route. One mom (the birthday boy's) had an anxiety attack. Then we moved the party out to the back yard.

Connor saw that there was a riding tractor exactly like his. He promptly grabbed it tipped it on it's back wheels and placed it where he could keep an eye on it. He scared one little girl away who tried to ride it, and ran faster than I had ever seen him when a boy said he wanted to ride it. He then hid it in some bushes. The birthday boy walked the perimeter of the yard and then went to stand behind a different bush. The other toddler ran from swing set to pool and back again rubbing his nipples.

It was really nice meeting up with the other parents and when we got home we were all nice and exhausted. Connor was fed, bathed and in bed when I happened to walk past his potty chair and saw PEE! I have never been so happy to see pee in my life and even though my youngest daughter suggested he may have poured some liquid in there, I was ecstatic.

He has been using his potty chair ever since Sunday night and I couldn't be happier for the progress he has made. But there are a few things to work out. First, if he has pants or underwear on he will not use the potty chair. He is to start school next week and I'm afraid of him regressing as I can't send him half naked. Secondly, he takes the potty chair to whatever room he knows he is going to be in, last night he grabbed it and ran to the living room so he wouldn't miss any of his video. Bowl movements still require a diaper and no one around, but I think the other problems should be remedied before we work on that one.

Any suggestions are appreciated, and a special thanks to Hubby, who modeled what to do for Connor even in that tiny chair!


Jade said...

I deal with potty issues all the time in my job. I do have a few suggestions that I've used that have shown to work.

When I started potty training my 3 year old client we first started with a schedule. Something he could see.. So it would be a small picture of something representing play time, then a picture of something representing work time, then a picture of a potty. When he got to this he knew it would be potty time (I would schedule it in when I felt that he would probably be needing to use the bathroom, such as after a meal, or liquids.)

Then I found a highly preferred item of his. He happens to like those hostess cupcakes. So I made a deal with him, "first poo poo then cupcake" It took a few days for him to catch on that if he went potty in the toilet he would be rewarded. After about 3 weeks he had it down, now we're weaning him off of the big cupcakes and switching to 1 little mini donut. Potty is ALWAYS on the schedule just to re-enforce the lesson. Even if he doesn't have to go, if it says potty time, he's got to sit on the potty, at which point he almost always goes pee if not both.

So my suggestion is find something that is highly preferred to him. You'll probably get a few tantrums at first, but its worked on all of the kids I've potty trained. They just start associating the two, and then you wean them off of the re-enforcement once you think they've got it.

Let me know how it goes!

Jeni said...

My granddaughter (Maya) started pre-school last September in a program with 7 other children ages 3-4, all who are autistic. When she started, she was not potty trained AT ALL. Within six weeks, she began to use the potty but pee only and we have been sort of doing battle with that ever since then. She knows but refuses to even consider sitting on the potty for poo! THe past three weeks or so, she has been telling us she will poo in the potty on Wednesday (she knows the days of the week) but when Wednesday rolls around, it changes to "next Wednesday." I have no idea where she gets this inate ability to procrastinate -said by the grandma who does procrastination better than virtually anyone else on the planet. Lately, we've been telling her that "Poppy" (my ex-husband, her grandfather) is going to get her the Barbie Jeep she covets but ONLY after she learns to poo in the potty. Apparently not even big ticket bribery items will sway this child. Perhaps politics (with strong ethics) could be a career choice for her? The other day, when I got up and walked into the living room, my noise was immediately assaulted by the familiar odor of you know what and I asked her "Are you pooping?" to which she responded, "Most certainly not!" No, she wasn't lying cause she had already done it! Ah the fun, games, excitement of it all, huh? So now we're bucking up for more struggles once she goes back to School in September.

mommy~dearest said...

First of all, congrats on the birthday party invite! It's been so long since we've been invited to one... *sniff*

My son always runs from the "Happy Birthday" song too. At his B-day, we don't sing, we clap how many years he is, and just say "Happy Birthday". That was his idea, so we went with it.

And... YAY for pee!!!
We did what Jade did, but Jaysen's "thing" was Tootsie Rolls". He is a hard to motivate kid, but back then it was the power of the Tootsie. No cheering, praising, jumping for joy...just gimme the Tootsie, Mom.

Suzy said...

YAY for CONNOR and his PEE!!!

One step at a time.

So happy Connor got an invite. The first of many!


Anonymous said...

Amy was five when I felt confident enough to not wrap her up in a nappy during the day. She was 7 when she stopped wearing Nite nappies. It kind of got to me in the beginning but she's healthy enough even though she is autistic.

The happy birthday song is one of her pet hates too. No one is allowed to sing it in front of her and she has to be taken out of the class if it's a kids birthday and the others are singing.

CJ xx