April is National Autism Awareness Month. One of the common challenges for children who are on the autism spectrum is that they deal with issues with incontinence. Apart from offering the best incontinence products on the market today, we wanted to provide some different tips and tricks for parents looking to help their child who is struggling with incontinence due to autism.
Autism can delay the speed at which a child is able to be properly toilet train. It’s also possible that a child with autism may struggle to properly communicate when they need to visit the restroom, which can lead to accidents. Kids have a lot of distractions. And whether it be a video game or a television program, children with autism will often be distracted by stimulating activities, which causes them to not notice the urge to visit the restroom. The good news for parents is that children who simply don’t take the necessary steps when they have the urge to urinate or defecate have what is called functional incontinence. Involuntary incontinence is much more difficult to overcome.
The best thing a parent can do for their autistic child struggling with incontinence is to be supportive. It’s no one’s fault and it’s certainly not something that a child should be punished for. Parents need to stay patient and offer reassurance while teaching their child. One of the best teaching tools for children with autism is often a reward system of sorts. Resistance to changing of patterns is typical for autistic children. Every parent should look to personalize the rewards to their child’s interests. The more rewards are offered, the fewer home delivery for incontinence supplies orders should be needed down the road.
Every parent should help their child by staying prepared. This means having a game plan for every event. Whether it’s traveling on a vacation or just heading to a playground, a parent should have plenty of incontinence products with them. Another way to stay prepared is to take note of normal bathroom routines. Routines can help reduce the number of accidents as a parent can ask their child to try the bathroom during defined time periods. Sometimes, all it takes is reminding a child that their activity will be there when they get back to remove them from the activity and have them visit the bathroom.
Every bathroom trip can come with sensory triggers for children with autism. Parents should take the time to notice things like how loud the toilet flushes and how that could impact their child’s behavior. Something as simple as adjusting the brightness of the lights in the room may make the bathroom a more comfortable place for a child with autism.
Finally, there are dietary steps that can be taken, which will help children with their incontinence. Diet will go a long way towards keeping a child’s movements on a routine. The more a child can stick with a routine, the more likely they are to avoid accidents and utilize fewer incontinence supplies over time.