This post on How to Manage Incontinence in Children With Special Needs is sponsored by Aeroflow in collaboration with Chronic Illness Bloggers. As always, all opinions remain my own and were not influenced by the sponsor.
How to Manage Incontinence in Children With Special Needs
Incontinence in children with special needs is an embarrassing and difficult subject for most parents to discuss. It impacts every aspect of day to day life and requires lots of planning ahead. Many days it can seem easier not to leave the house. Not only that, but family, friends and professionals can be quick to judge the situation and even the most well intentioned advice can be unhelpful or even hurtful.
Many people don’t understand that learning appropriate toileting self care can be a real challenge for some children with special needs, and for many, can be a lifelong learning process. Some kids and adults are always going to need assistance.
Many children with special needs have low tone, which can mean that they do not realize that their bowel or bladder is full.
Some of the most common toileting difficulties that children might experience include:
*Knowing when they need to use the toilet
*Communicating that they need to use the toilet
*Adapting to changes in routine or environment
*Self care and wiping themselves
Sometimes there can be underlying health problems that could be contributing to the incontinence issue. If your child is struggling with incontinence, be sure to see a gastroenterologist to get lab work and see if there are any other underlying physical issues.
It’s a great idea to work with a speech or occupational therapist to improve self care and communication skills. Even a few small steps towards independence is a big stress reducer for everyone.
Traveling With Incontinence
If you care for a child with incontinence difficulties, you know what a headache it can be to manage unpredictable bathroom trips when you’re out and about.
It can feel easier to just stay at home, but it’s so important for all of you to get out and participate in life. And the good news is that with a little advance planning and preparation, you can minimize the stress and potential mess and embarrassment.
Get a bathroom request card or letter. Hopefully people will be gracious when they see you with your child, but it can also be helpful to get documentation from your doctor that explains why you need to get into the bathroom ASAP. If you or your child is a member of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, you can request an “I Can’t Wait” card.
Have a backpack prepared beforehand.. Here’s some ideas to pack in it:
Disposable pads for hotels
Cream or ointment
Fresh underwear, diapers and clothing
Large freezer bags for soiled clothes
Portable clothing pegs
How Aeroflow Can Help Make Your Life Easier
Aeroflow Healthcare carries a complete line of incontinence products for pediatric patients including briefs, pullups, underpads and wipes.
Aeroflow understands the hassle of dealing with insurance, and they do the work for you. They work directly with Medicaid to ensure you receive the maximum benefits that you’re entitled to. They’ll even ship your supplies directly to your door every month in discreet, unmarked packaging at no cost.
Finally, as an Aeroflow patient you’ll have a dedicated Supplies Management Specialist who can assist you with any sizing, sample request or billing questions you might have. And as your child grows, your Specialist will work with you to anticipate your needs so that you never run out of essential incontinence supplies.
Learn more about how Aeroflow can help you and child here.