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Almost all children can learn to be clean and dry. Children with special needs may take a little longer and find the process harder, but the process is the same.

Some things to consider:

  • Children with additional needs can’t always communicate their thoughts and feelings so you can’t rely on their signals to tell you when they’re ready to potty train. Knowing how often your child goes for a wee or poo will really help. Complete a bladder and bowel assessment chart to help you decide if they’re ready. You can then create a potty or toilet routine based on the information in the chart.

  • It’s important that your child feels relaxed, comfortable and secure about using a toilet or potty. If you start with the toilet you should use a footstool to help your child feel confident and safe. A footstool also helps children get into the best position for doing wees and poos, with their feet supported and knees above hips. You might want to see an occupational therapist who can advise which support is best for your child while potty or toilet training.
We have lots more information in our Guide for Children with Additional Needs. This resource has been designed for when toilet training is not so straight forward and for those children for who it is unlikely to be possible. Other resources including children with sensory difference and anxiety around using the potty or toilet can be found in our resource hub.