March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This is a good time to consider the affects of incontinence on children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.
Incontinence is the inability to control urination or defecation. It is a common problem in children with developmental disabilities, especially those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cerebral palsy. Incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, including physical limitations, sensory issues, and behavioral problems.
Common developmental disabilities with a risk of incontinence include:
- Spina bifida
- Cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- Angelman's syndrome
There are a number of things parents and caregivers can do to manage incontinence in children with developmental disabilities. These include:
- Ensuring regular toileting. Children with developmental disabilities may have difficulty understanding or responding to cues to go to the toilet. It is important to establish a regular toileting schedule and to provide consistent reminders.
- Using continence products. There are a variety of continence products available, including diapers, pull-ups, and underpants. Choose products that are comfortable and that provide adequate protection.
- Teaching self-care skills. Children with developmental disabilities can learn to manage their own incontinence, with the right support. This may involve teaching them how to use the toilet, how to clean themselves, and how to put on and take off continence products.
- Providing behavioral support. Behavioral problems, such as refusal to use the toilet, can contribute to incontinence. There are a number of behavioral interventions that can be effective in managing these problems.
- Seeking medical advice. If you are concerned about your child's incontinence, it is important to seek medical advice. A doctor can rule out any underlying medical conditions and can help you to develop a management plan.
Incontinence can be a challenging problem, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you manage incontinence in your child with developmental disabilities.
Here are some additional tips for managing incontinence in children with developmental disabilities:
- Be patient. It may take time for your child to learn to manage their incontinence. Be patient and consistent with your toileting routine.
- Be positive. Focus on the positive aspects of your child's progress. Praise them for their efforts and accomplishments.
- Take care of yourself. Caring for a child with incontinence can be demanding. Make sure to take care of yourself by getting enough rest and eating healthy foods.
- Talk to other parents. There are many parents who are dealing with the same challenges as you. Talk to other parents about their experiences and tips.
- Join a support group. There are many support groups available for parents and caregivers of children with developmental disabilities. These groups can provide you with information, support, and resources.
If you need high quality products and supplies to help manage your child's incontinence, the Product Experts at Rely Medical Supply can help! Please call, toll-free, at 1-888-529-2308. Our friendly and helpful representatives answer calls from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Standard Time. Each representative is trained to help you select the right products for your child's needs, so they can stay dry and comfortable.