I posted this little video of Violette going potty over on the Baby Center Potty Dance Contest and she won! Her little potty going self was up on all of the Community Home Pages for everyone to see! The video got over 1000 views that day, which was pretty cool.
Video aside, we are still a LONG way away from Violette being potty trained...and I have no idea when kids with Down syndrome typically get started, but...here's what I can tell you we did to get started...
1. I tried to play on the visual nature of Down syndrome. So, she has watched me and my two other girls pee on the potty more than once. I know that sounds gross (and my 10 year old didn't just love it, lol), but I thought that seeing what she was supposed to do was a good idea. I also when I was doing it I would sign WATER and IN the Potty as soon as I started peeing.
2. I have found that she likes it to be very quiet, and I'll say things like "Violette is going to go pee pee in the potty" then I'll say "shhhhh, let's listen for Violette's pee pee go to IN the Potty" and I'll sign it too.
3. I have a pee pee song that we sing (to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle)...
Tinkle Tinkle Little V,
How I like to see you pee pee,
Pee pee here and pee pee there
Make a Little pee pee everywhere
pee pee pee pee Little V, How I like to see you pee pee.
4. We have a big book collection and video collection. I have titles from my girlfriend and my other two girls that she sees and watches.
5. Sometimes we play with Elmo or Dora in the bathroom (little bath toys, actually) and I'll ask her to show Elmo (or Boots, or Dora) how to go potty. I'll pretend to be them. She likes to pretend that Boots or Elmo or Dora are going on the potty (she'll hold them over the potty and say "pSSSSSSSSS" - you can hear her do it at the begining of the video.) Seems like sometimes she'll do things for them that she won't do for me (stinker).
6. Take is slow when you need to - she didn't like sitting on it for a while, so I just encouraged her to sit on it with her pants on, then tried again later.
7. Lots of "Big girls go on the potty. When you are a big girl you will go on the potty too!" talk.
8. The biggest issue I think we will have with her is having her tell us when she needs to go (requesting skills are apparently weak in our kids). I got some good advice to get a picture of a potty (or her on the potty) that she can grab when she needs to go. I'm going to laminate some and start taking that picture with us whenever I put her on thinking she needs to go.
9. This is from my other kids - I would tell them that their pee pee LIKES to be in the potty. I've heard some kids think that they are giving a part of themself away by giving up the pee in the bowl, so if you say that is where the pee pee is happy, or where it likes to go, it can help that emotional barrier.
10. She is private about it (which surprised me.) When she wants to poop on the potty, she will cover up my eyes with her hands, or bury her head in my shoulder.
Wow, who knew I had this much to say about potty! I think they all of our kids develop and meet thier milestones on their own timeline, in their own way. I can tell you with no uncertaintly that I NEVER would have dreamed Violette would be doing this well with the potty at this age!