While potty training can be difficult for any child, most parents of deaf children fear that potty training is going to be a huge struggle. The truth is that it can be just as easy as training a child with normal hearing. While the instructions won’t work for every deaf child, they are tried and true ways which work for most children.
Recognize when your deaf child is ready to start using the potty. Note the typical signs such as your child removing his dirty diaper on his own, choosing a certain area to hide while he urinates, offering to help you flush the toilet or communicating to you by grabbing himself when he needs to go.
Communicate that it’s time to use the toilet. When you notice readiness signs, take him to the toilet and sit him there for a few minutes.
Even if he doesn’t actually use the toilet, perform the wiping and hand washing process as if he did to show him the routine. Even flush the toilet.
Take your child to the toilet to clean up messes from his diaper to show him that the bathroom is the proper place for this. Communicating that it’s time for your child to use the toilet helps him to learn.
Switch your child from diapers or pull-ups to underwear. Let your child feel the wetness and discomfort of a dirty diaper. If your child makes a mess in his underwear, sign to him that he had an accident and take him to the toilet to clean it up.
Reward your child for successfully using the toilet or even just for trying. Make a small celebration out of it on the pot with hugs and kisses or even a small treat. Praising and rewarding your child will encourage her to use the toilet more often. Never punish your child for making mistakes or having accidents.