My son has mild cerebral palsy and faces many challenges in his life. One such challenge is the link between CP and incontinence and how to help or what to do in order to make your child feel better about themselves.
Trace is five now. He will be starting kindergarten in the fall. (Big tears for mom) and we are still waiting to get him assessed for Asperger’s from Sunny Hill.
I know that his education is going to be a roller coaster ride. One I may not be prepared for. One thing we are struggling with is the fact that still has some challenges he faces daily that I hope his teachers will understand.
Trace still needs help putting on his clothes, coat, and shoes.
He needs help going to the bathroom. He still has accidents.
He shows inappropriate behavior (pulling his pants down before going to the washroom) nakedness is okay in his books.
He still bites when he gets angry or someone gets in his space. He has repeated meltdowns, and these are just to name a few of the issues facing him.
The biggest challenge Trace faces is incontinence which has always been an issue when dealing with his cerebral palsy. On an average day, Trace may wet his pants at least twice or three times.
He always apologizes and I always tell him that it’s okay. I use a reward system when he manages to keep himself dry but reward systems don’t always work when the issue is basic bladder control and a child cannot tell if they are wet.
You can schedule an appointment with your doctor if you suspect your child with cerebral palsy has urinary incontinence. They will do a bladder test to give you a diagnosis.
Trace refuses to wear any aids to help him with this issue right now. I’m hoping in time control over his bladder will improve but due to his sensory disorder (pull-ups) are out of the question.
So, for now, we pack him extra underwear and clothes for school so he doesn’t feel ashamed.
Never make urinary accidents a big deal or wrong in front of your children. It is not a child’s fault and accidents happen. Be positive and uplifting as a parent with a child suffering from incontinence.
Trace still feels bad about the accidents he has. He sees the kids at school going to the bathroom normal and wonders why he has such difficulty.
Right now we are doing the best we can to keep his spirits uplifted. I wish he wasn’t going through this. I want his self-esteem to improve. This just one more hurdle we have to jump through that’s all.
Other Health Problems of Children With Cerebral Palsy
- Trouble swallowing
- Poor nutrition
- Bladder dysfunction
- Urinary tract infections
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Early Puberty
- Sleep issues
- Chronic Pain
- Other muscular issues such as hip dislocation
- Vision or hearing issues
- Dental care issues
It is important that children with mild to moderate Cerebral Palsy get checked regularly by their doctor or pediatrician and treated for any signs or symptoms parents may feel their child is dealing with.
All kids can have issues and the health of our children is important. Keep a regular journal if you suspect changes in your child with CP.