I work for the autism family support team in Northamptonshire and we are often asked for advice or support on toilet training issues.
the fact that your son is happy to go to the toilet to have his pad changed is really good.
2 1/2 is quite young for a child with ASD to become toilet trained but that’s not to say he isn’t ready. If we were working with you we would ask you to complete a chart for 12 weeks to see if your child have made the mental connection with how he physically feels and what is coming out of his bottom/willie.
For example does he show any sign that he knows he is about to wee/poo (just before he wees/poos does he jiggle around, stand still, move to a room on his own etc.) If he doesn’t we would probably suggest leaving it a while before attempting toilet training.
I know it might sound a bit negative but we wouldn’t recommend sitting your child on the toilet with a book as it may be giving your child the wrong information about what a toilet is for. Generally children with ASD are very routine led and it may be that your child could begin to associate the toilet with a place to read rather than a place to wee/poo.
We would suggest that first you start by teaching your child that wee/poo starts and ends in the toilet.
You could try:
– storing the pads in the toilet
– putting pads on in the toilet
– changing pads in the toilet
– flushing anything ‘solid’ down the toilet.
if we were working with you at home we would back up all of this by using visual supports (TEACCH based) and working slowly at a pace your child can cope with.
don’t know if that’s any help.