Potty training children with additional needs can be done in much the same way as teaching a child without additional needs. Look at our general tips for potty training, ERIC’s Guide to Potty Training and ERIC's Guide for Children with Additional Needs for more information.

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.

  • You can also contact Bladder and Bowel UK (formerly PromoCon), who are part of the charity Disabled Living. They provide specialist advice and information for children and adults with disabilities who have bowel and bladder problems. Their helpline number is: 0161 607 8219 or you can email them at: bladderandboweluk@disabledliving.co.uk