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Incontinence Special Needs Child


I have a 10 year old child with cerebral palsy. He is developmentally delayed and although happy to sit on the toilet, never passes wees or poos. I am wondering if there is any help or tips you could give me in trying to get him to achieve toilet training. Many thanks



It is quite difficult to teach how to coordinate the correct actions to pass urine and bowel motions.  It may be that your son does not have the reflexes to pass a bowel motion or urine.  His developmental level may also have an impact – if he is functioning at an age that is early for a child without developmental delay to be toilet trained, he may not have the ability to recognise the signals that he needs to toilet.   Things you can do to help make it more likely to happen for your son are :-

      –     positioning on the toilet – use a foot stool to support his feet.  If he can lean forward a little that will help open up the passage for a bowel motion to travel through.  If he grips the sides of the toilet seat, he could be inadvertently drawing the muscles up and preventing emptying, rather than getting the muscles to open up.

- Timing.  Eating and drinking stimulate the bowel and bladder to empty.  Get him to sit on the toilet about 10 – 15 minutes after eating or drinking.

- Time.  Allow him to sit on the toilet about 5 minutes.  If nothing has started to happen by then, it is not likely to. 

- Train the muscles.  Get him to blow up a balloon, or blow on a whirleygig.  This helps the muscles “bare down” and help empty the bladder/bowel.

I hope this information is helpful to you.