Many parents don’t understand what baseline data collection is. Knowing this will enable you to write your own training programs for your children. You can assist your autistic child to be toilet trained, to learn to brush their own teeth, bathe themselves, and wash their hands after toileting.  

Here is a sample of baseline data collection for toilet training your child:

Timmy went pee during these times:


Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday
8:00 X X
8:30 X
12:00 X X
12:30 X

Take data from waking hours to bedtime on every ½ hour for 3 consecutive days. This is called a 3-day baseline. This will allow you to see that Timmy will pee soon after he wakes up, so put him on the toilet at that time, then again before lunch and after lunch.

Time    Monday Tuesday Wednesday
2:00 BM
2:30 BM
3:00 BM

With this same data sheet you need to record when Timmy has a Bowel Movement (BM). Most people have a regular BM around the same time of day. Notice that by the data collected we find that Timmy’s usual time of day is in between 2-3pm. So that tells us that Timmy needs to have the opportunity to be taken to the toilet during this time of day.Then this information needs to be addressed to his school teachers and written in his IEP so they can also be consistent with Timmy and soon he will be on his way of being what we call: “Trip trained.” This means he will most likely go pee or poop when taken on a trip to the toilet during certain parts of the day.

Your own son’s or daughter’s mental abilities will likely still determine whether or not they will be fully toilet trained without accidents. Being consistent and making sure anyone who cares for your child is being consistent will enable your child to achieve the independent goal of being toilet trained. So be a great manager for your child and manage the people doing his care at school and at home. Let people know up front what is expected of them. Be your child’s manager.

This baseline will work, for children who are on medication for behaviors, seizures, or are tube fed, but it will also depend on the time of day those liquids are to be given. It would benefit your child’s success by ensuring his/her liquids are provided the same time of day on a regular basis.

I send my child to school with a 16oz jar of green juice, and another 16 oz of water. One is given at breakfast and one is given at lunch. My son is 18 years old and the medication he is given for seizures will back up his system if he doesn’t get enough liquid, and one cup of milk at lunch and breakfast isn’t giving him enough liquid for the day. So check into what liquids and how much is given to your children during the day.

To ensuring that your child is given enough liquid during the day will depend on your preparation and provision. Don’t trust that people caring for your child care for them the way you do. Like most people these days, if it isn’t easy then they most likely won’t do it.

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