Toileting for Children with Additional Needs

Children with additional needs are likely to take longer and need more practice and support with toilet training; however, most children attain some level of toileting over time, and the process to follow is mainly the same.  

Children can start potty training early, and you can start teaching them before they stop using nappies. ERIC have a ‘Go Potty’ method they recommend for all children, including those with additional needs.  

ERIC have a 4 part webinar currently available on YouTube: 

Children learn through practice and repetition, and young children are ready to learn new skills. Just because a child doesn’t show signs of readiness, it does not mean they won’t use a toilet. Children with delayed development, physical disabilities or autism may not show the usual signs, but are usually able to toilet train with a consistent and calm method. 

What can help? 

  • Children should drink 6-8 glasses of water per day to help their bladder and bowel stay healthy.  
  • Their diet should include fruit and vegetables as this will help their bodies get the fibre they need to form healthy poos. For more information on healthy poo, ERIC have a ‘Poo Checker’ based on the Bristol stool chart.  
  • Give your child lots of opportunities to move and be active, as keeping your child active can help in keeping bowels active. 
  • If your child is using nappies or pull-ups, change them in the bathroom while standing up. This can help them understand that weeing and pooing is related to the bathroom. 
  • If possible, include your child with the elements of toileting that they can manage, such as undressing, wiping, flushing, washing/drying hands. 


Toddler Fun Learning have a ‘Pirate Pete’ potty training video  



ERIC are a charity with a free helpline: 0808 169 9949 available Monday to Thursday 10am –2pm. They also have a webpage for children with additional needs. 

Bladder and Bowel UK have some information for parents on their website.


Manchester organisations and support 

Manchester children's continence service see children who have problems with: 

  • Daytime wetting 
  • Night time wetting 
  • Children not toilet trained for their bowels due to behavioural issues 
  • Children not toilet trained due to a physical or learning disability 
  • Children who aren’t able to become toilet trained and who need continence products 
  • Chronic constipation 


Website link

Tel: 0161 741 2030  

email: [email protected]