Kids and adults with autism spectrum disorder may experience various challenges related to communication, sensory issues, and behavior. However, children with autism may also sometimes struggle with incontinence or the process of potty training.
Here are a few quick tips related to working with your child on their incontinence issues. Plus, you can find out more about the various types of incontinence supplies that may fit their needs.
Stick to a Potty Training Routine
When potty training your child, sticking to a routine is essential. Many children with autism prefer a set routine on which they can depend daily.
First, it may be a good idea to talk to your child’s pediatrician about how to help your child learn a more regular bathroom schedule. Then you can start creating a schedule with timed potty breaks throughout the day.
Try setting reminders on your watch or phone to make sure your child tries to go to the bathroom at the scheduled times. However, keep in mind that your child will not always be able to follow set times.
You may also want to keep a journal to track when your child has the urge to go. This may help you better determine which times of the day are best for taking bathroom breaks.
However, many children with autism have difficulty communicating when they need to go to the bathroom, especially when they’re in the middle of another activity. This is where sticking to a schedule helps the most.
Above all, just stay persistent with this new potty training routine. Progress can be slow, although when it happens, it’s a very positive sign.
Prepare For Accidents
In addition to following a schedule, it’s important to keep enough incontinence products on hand. This prepares both you and your child for any accidents before they happen.
First, add up the number of supplies your child uses in a day, based on your child’s average usage and doctor’s recommendation or prescription. Make sure to include any and all supplies they use, including children’s diapers, training pants, underpads, and booster pads. Multiply that by the number of days in an average month (30 days), and that will be the monthly amount of incontinence products needed each month to cover your child’s needs.
Also, you may want to keep incontinence wipes available at home and carry them on the go. Many children with autism, as well as adults, experience incontinence-associated dermatitis, which is also known as diaper rash. It can cause redness, inflammation, itching, burning, and even lesions.
Keeping a tub of incontinence wipes at home or a travel pack of baby wipes in your bag is a good idea. When accidents happen, you can be prepared to properly clean your child’s skin to reduce the risk of skin irritation or infection.
Get the Right Incontinence Products for Your Child with Autism
Lastly, you want to make sure your child has the best possible mix of incontinence products for their needs.
To find the right incontinence products for your child with autism, consider:
- Your child’s physical activity level and lifestyle
- Body size
- Absorbency levels (light, moderate, heavy)
Children with autism who are potty-training need incontinence products that are easy to put on and take off. That’s why training pants and pull-on underwear for kids are a good bet. Youth training pants look and act like real underwear while being absorbent enough to catch leakage so they may help your child get used to a bathroom routine.
If your child has heavy urinary incontinence, children’s diapers may be a good option. Diapers are often highly absorbent, and they’re easy to make quick changes too.
In addition, if your child frequently experiences nighttime bedwetting, incontinence underpads (chux) may be a good product for you. Underpads are a thin, absorbent incontinence product that lays flat underneath your child in their bed or car seat as backup security against leaks.