Is Their A Link Between Incontinence and Cerebral Palsy?

standard July 10, 2011 4 responses
loving a child with mild cerebral palsy

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.

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 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.

  • 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.

But 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

  • Drooling
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Poor nutrition
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Constipation
  • Early Puberty
  • Reflux
  • 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.

Do you know anyone who has cerebral palsy? Are you a parent of a child with cp? Share your stories in the comments below…

P.S. My son fears cerebral palsy makes him different and Do you have the disability tax credit for your child?

( Photos by Jodi Shaw and CP for life )


Named one of Vancouver's top 30 most fabulous bloggers. In the past nine years, Jodi has appeared on CTV, CBC Radio, Telus, Rogers, Abbotsford News and Times and various online publications. A top brand ambassador and marketing influencer, and published author, Jodi loves sharing relevant stories and products that help make family life easier, more affordable and fun!

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4 responses

  • Betsy

    Hello. I was interested to read this because my 6 year old daughter has a very similar problem. She has cerebral palsy and I think aspergers too though it is not yet official. She poos herself frequently rather than wetting. She is bothered by my reaction but not bothered by the poo itself. I don't know what to do about it either but would be interested to know how diet has helped. Poppy is dairy free as she gets constipated otherwise.

  • Rob

    Ok, this is a shot in the dark, but have you ever asked his urologist whether hed be a canidate for an external collection system, like a condom catheter? I don't know if they make them for kids as young as him, but i do know they do exist. Beyond that, I dont have any ideas

    • Jodi Shaw

      No we haven't. Not even sure if we can do that. I'll check into that. But he is getting better we changed his diet and it's something he has to live with mostly.

  • This is a very hard problem. But being a mom, to a child suffering such ailments, do require to learn how to handle it properly as it really needs more patience and understanding to cope with the situation and to help your child surpass it.

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