Bedwetting and Autism
Bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis is a condition wherein one wets the bed involuntarily. While this is common among infants and toddlers, older children, adolescents, and teenagers also exhibit signs of bedwetting due to certain factors. Among these, being on the autism spectrum is one that is both crucial and sensitive. Research indicates that bedwetting and autism are closely related, with enuresis being more common in children and individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
For children on the autism spectrum, a lot of the routine activities that people generally carry out take longer to gain control on. One of these routine activities includes toilet training. There are several reasons that make toilet training difficult for children on the autism spectrum, with some of them being:
- Inability to recognise certain stimuli effectively in order to respond to it, such as the feeling of a full bladder or the need to relieve themselves
- Inability to imitate instructions well, which makes toilet training arduous
- Hypotonic conditions that make their control over muscles lax.
- Inability to feel the moisture on the bed to be able to recognise the feeling and be trained to overcome nocturnal enuresis
When Should You Visit a Specialist?
While there are no health risks to bedwetting, constant bed-wetting can lower a child’s self-esteem and make them irritable during bed-time, owing to the fear of bedwetting. Further, bedwetting can also lead to rashes around the genitals if the child has to sleep in their underwear every night.
It is essential to reach out to a specialist when:
- The child complains of pain or a burning sensation when they urinate.
- They start acting irritable or misbehave, whether at home or at school.
- They are wetting the bed even after the age of 7.
- There is sudden bedwetting after months of staying dry at night.
- They begin to wet themselves even during the day.
Before you visit the doctor, there are certain things you need to prioritise to prepare for the appointment. With bedwetting and autism both sensitive issues, dealing with bedwetting can require more patience and attention.
Some of the information you need at hand for the appointment includes:
- A list of all the medication your child is taking
- All the symptoms and behavioural patterns you have noticed in your child
- Any incident or event that may have taken place before the bedwetting began that could have caused stress in the child’s life
Bedwetting Alarms and Pads for Children on the Autism Spectrum
A common concern among parents of children on the autism spectrum is the effect of the alarm sound on their child. Since the goal is to have the child and the parents wake at the first sound, the alarm has to be loud enough. Most children with autism who have used the bed wetting alarm and pad have responded well to the treatment, without any feeling of aversion to the alarm. If a child grows anxious at the thought of the alarm ringing, professional help of a paediatrician or bedwetting specialist can work to reduce the child’s anxiety and familiarise them with the sound.
Overcoming Bedwetting with Happy Dry Nights
Happy Dry Nights has been effectively helping children and parents deal with bedwetting for years. Along with direct access to a paediatrician specialised in dealing with bedwetting, we offer bedwetting products and a program assistant to aid you in your journey to dry nights.
You can visit us or connect with us through a teleconsultation so we can dedicatedly help you overcome bedwetting in your child.