What You Need To Know About #Autism and Incontinence

By Allison Barfield.

No matter where a child falls on the autism spectrum, caring for them comes with a lot of unique matters to overcome on a daily basis. However, one of the challenges that is least spoken about includes the fact that autism increases the chance of developing incontinence. If your child suffers from autism and incontinence there’s no need to worry. With a few simple changes to your child’s daily routine, you’ll be able to manage autism and incontinence with happy, accident-free adventures.

Autism And Incontinence

Incontinence is simply defined as the lack of voluntary control and accidental voiding of urination or defecation. Children with autism or other learning disabilities are at a higher risk of developing pediatric incontinence due to developmental delays that may impact proper toilet training or the inability to communicate their need to use the bathroom.



There are three types of incontinence found in autistic children:

Urge incontinence occurs when a child doesn’t realize that they need to use the restroom until they feel a strong, sudden urge to go and fail to make it to the restroom in time. The bladder often becomes overpowered by the sudden urge and contracts when it shouldn’t. This type of incontinence may occur when children are distracted by video games or other stimulating activities that cause them to miss the urge to go.

Functional incontinence occurs when a child recognizes the urge to urinate but can’t make it to the restroom in time due to mental or physical disabilities. Also, some children may have anxiety when they have to tell someone about the need to go to the bathroom due to sensory triggers such as loud flushes or seeing their reflection in the mirror.

Fecal of bowel incontinence consists of unexpected leakage from the rectum due to diarrhea or chronic constipation.

How long a child struggles with incontinence is dependent on those triggers. Incontinence can be treated with proper toileting techniques, but in some cases, it can only be managed. In the meantime, it’s important to help your child remain clean and comfortable with the proper incontinence supplies.

Incontinence Supplies Through Medicaid

One way to reduce stress and save on a monthly basis is by to receive incontinence supplies through Medicaid. The child can typically qualify when diagnosed at the age of three or four.

Part of qualifying requires a written note from your child’s doctor the explains that their condition contributes to incontinence and the frequency of using the supplies daily. If speaking with your doctor and submitting all of the proper paperwork to have incontinence products sounds complicated, then let a durable medical equipment (DME) provider handle all of the for you.

Connecting with a proper DME will help you get matched with a professionally trained incontinence care specialist to verify your coverage and ensure that your child’s incontinence supplies are shipped directly to your home on a monthly basis.

They will also serve as a trusted resource to help match your child with the best items to suit their personal needs. Once a month they’ll check in to see if any changes need to be made, such as switching to a different size after a growth spurt or requiring something that’s more absorbent.

Incontinence supplies through Medicaid may include:

  • Diapers

  • Pull-Ups

  • Changing Gloves

  • Underpads (Chux)

  • Wipes

The type of products and amount your child qualifies for depends on their insurance coverage, specific needs, and how many items their doctor communicates that they need on a daily basis.

Allison Barfield is the Aeroflow Healthcare content writer focused on helping raise awareness for conditions such as autism and pediatric incontinence. When she isn’t writing she’s often found volunteering at charity events, reading with a large coffee, or watching college sports as a University of South Carolina Alumni.

This is a contributed post and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this blog or its author.

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