Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Getting My Autistic child to drink from a cup
    dannyb5093 posted:
    My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS @ 18 months. He has had alot of help and is making good progress. But now we have two hurdles that we are having trouble with.
    1. Any suggestions on how to help him drink from a cup? He always puts his tongue on the inside of the cup. Any suggestions
    2. Potty training?
    Anyone who has experience with these two issues, I would love to hear from you.
    PriscilaG responded:
    Hi, danny!

    I can't answer your question, but I was wondering how old is your son now?
    dannyb5093 responded:
    Hello, Daniel will be 5 on August 12th
    motherofrob responded:
    Potty training has been very difficult. We still struggle with pooping issues with my eight year old son. Since autistic kids are so ritualistic I would do like the do in school and make a pic of a potty and send him to the bathroom at regular intervals. Like the modified pecs that school uses for the schedule of the day.

    Would a straw work for him? Maybe that might help start him off and show him how to manipulate that tougue to drink out of a cup.
    NikiCl responded:

    My son is 4 and I have yet to figure out the potty training. However, I figured out the drinking from a cup. He would put his mouth on the top of the cup and pour it on himself and get very upset because he doesn't like to spill things on himself. He would also put his tongue in the cup.

    Here is what you do...get some little dixie cups or something that size. Put a tiny bit of water in it and hold it to his mouth as he sips so he sees how to do it. Give him lots of praise while he is doing this. Even if it doesn't work out. Next, give him sippy cups with a tiny bit of water in them and let him pour the water from cup to cup. Show him how if he doesn't know how...its only water so if it gets on stuff it will dry...if you are worried about doing this indoors have him do it in the tub while bathing or outside. For some reason the action of pouring water from cup to cup helps them realize how to pour it in their mouths. After a few weeks of water play my son wanted water and the first time he held my hand for reassurance to get it to his mouth. After that he just started drinking it the right way! It was a miracle! I still only give him a little and let him come back for more. And we do have occasional spills and he does sometimes pour things into whatever container he can find but my son is very immature so I deal with this with a gentle but firm "no" and I clean it up...its a process but he now can drink from a cup - something a therapist couldn't get him to do!

    Best of Luck!!!
    NikiCl replied to NikiCl's response:
    Hi again - i said sippy cups but i meant dixie cups - the little ones you get fr the bathrm...

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    My daughter is now 10 at age 6 she was dionosed with Asperger's Syndrome.let me explain a few things first,she was developementally delayed as a b...More

    Helpful Tips

    ipods for autism
    I am an autism specific teacher and this year have made huge language strides using ipods. Check out this video about my students. ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    11 of 17 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.