Rochester, New York 14642


The purpose of this pilot study is to compare an innovative toilet training strategy with a standard behavioral intervention in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as implemented by teachers in the school setting. Thirty classrooms with a total of 60 children with ASD (aged 3 - 10 years) will be enrolled in the study. Each classroom will be randomly assigned to either the innovative strategy group or the standard behavioral group. The innovative strategy employs an electronic moisture pager that sends a signal when the child begins having a urine accident. Outcome measures include rate of urine accidents and rate of toilet use in the two groups.

Study summary:

The goals of this proposed study is to develop a teacher-mediated model of toileting instruction for children with ASD in school settings that incorporates our innovative manualized moisture pager intervention (i.e., the MP intervention) and conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to compare the efficacy of the MP intervention with a standard behavioral treatment (SBT). The specific aims and related hypotheses of this proposed study are: Aim 1: To prepare the teacher-mediated moisture pager (MP) intervention for large-scale testing in classroom settings by modifying the current parent manual for classroom use and evaluating the feasibility of the study protocol. Hypothesis 1. The study protocol will be feasible, as indicated by achievement of recruitment targets, successful randomization, and 80% retention of both participating classroom staff and children with ASD with complete data collection. Hypothesis 2. Teachers will deliver MP and standard behavioral treatment (SBT) intervention with >80% fidelity (as rated from teacher training fidelity checklists), and teachers in the MP and SBT intervention groups will adhere to the intervention with >80% fidelity (as rated from treatment fidelity checklists). Hypothesis 3. Teachers participating in the MP group will report greater satisfaction with MP toilet training experience than teachers participating in the SBT group, based on teacher satisfaction surveys. Aim 2: To compare the efficacy of the MP intervention and SBT by conducting an RCT (N= 30 classrooms with a total of 60 children with ASD aged 3 - 10 years). Hypothesis 4. At the close of a 3-month intervention period, children in the MP group will have fewer toileting accidents and higher rate of toilet use for urination than children in the SBT group, based on data collected by teachers on pen-and-paper toileting data logs. Hypothesis 5. At 3 months following the close of intervention, teachers in the MP group will report fewer toileting accidents and a higher rate of toileting success than children in the SBT group, as indicated through completion of toileting data logs for 3 consecutive days.


Inclusion Criteria: Inclusion criteria for participating children are as follows: 1. ASD diagnosis confirmed through administration of the ADOS-2, 2. status consistent with DSM-5 diagnosis of primary daytime enuresis, with the exception of DSM-5 criterion that child is at least 5 years old, confirmed by the K-SADS, 3. a positive determination of readiness for toilet training, as determined through a Toileting Readiness Checklist, developed through a review of relevant literature on toilet training children with ASD (with 4 out of 7 signs in the checklist, with 3 of these criteria required), 4. not on medication or stable for the past three months with no anticipated changes during the three-month intervention period, and 5. consent from participating teachers and parents. Exclusion Criteria: Exclusion criteria are: 1. medical conditions that would interfere with toilet training procedures and are not well controlled (e.g., diabetes, urinary tract infection, or seizures), 2. physical disorder that may contribute to incontinence (e.g., physical disabilities, chronic constipation) and 3. medication for enuresis.



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Daniel W Mruzek, PhD
University of Rochester

Katherine Zanibbi, BA
Phone: (585)-415-6376

Backup Contact:

Tristram H Smith, PhD
Phone: (585)-273-3515

Location Contact:

Rochester, New York 14642
United States

Daniel W Mruzek, PhD
Phone: 585-273-5980

Site Status: Recruiting

Data Source:

Date Processed: June 25, 2018

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