Tips for Caring for Someone with Incontinence and Autism
by Gary Sattin on Aug 18, 2022
Children with autism commonly experience some form of incontinence due to difficulties with communication and concentration. Though there are many different types of incontinence, the circumstances that children with autism face often vary from what other people experience. Some reasons why children with autism may experience incontinence include the following:
- Fear of the toilet
- Forgetting or not realizing they have the urge to urinate
- Not knowing how to express their need to use the restroom
Managing these causes isn’t impossible—you may just need to adjust your routine accordingly. Here we list some ways you may be able to help your autistic child manage their incontinence.
Create a Routine
If your child has difficulty remembering to use the restroom, create a schedule. Determine how often your child needs to relieve themselves and space out the schedule accordingly. You can make this easier by spending a week or so gently asking your child throughout the day if they have to use the restroom. Bringing it to their attention is often the best way to determine this need.
Make the Bathroom Comfortable
If your child is scared of the toilet, try to determine why. This may be difficult if they can’t communicate verbally, so you’ll have to observe their reactions to different steps of the process. If they dislike the temperature or texture of the tile, place a rug down for them. If they’re afraid of falling into the toilet, hold them stable while they use it. If they’re sensitive to sound, wait until they’ve left the restroom to flush the toilet.
Don’t Get Upset
The process of familiarizing your child with using the restroom can take time. As such, you may become frustrated and impatient. Remember, your child isn’t doing this on purpose, and they likely dislike accidents just as much as you do. Don’t ever get upset at them or make them feel as though they did something wrong. You’ll both feel better once you’ve discovered the necessary solution.
As you deal with this process, do your best to be prepared for any situation. If they go to school or have a babysitter, let their sitter know about the schedule you’ve prepared and any accommodations they must make. You should also prepare a bag for when you go out with your child. This bag should include:
- An extra pair of clothes
- Waterproof underwear
- A plastic bag
- Wet wipes
TotalDry offers high-quality incontinence products that keep people of all ages comfortable. If you wish to be economical instead of using disposable materials, try our women’s or men’s waterproofing underwear.