TIP of the WEEK: Enuresis

Enuresis is the inability to control urination and a common problem in children and adults diagnosed with PWS. More often than not enuresis is the result of a delay in the signal that a typical person feels letting us know that our bladder is full. This signal is not functioning properly in the person with PWS therefore when they feel the need to go, it is often too late. This is seen very often in nighttime enuresis, they simply don’t feel the signal strong enough to wake. Here are some things that can help:

  • Determine if the issue is medical or behavioral. You can easily get this information if you use reinforcers for staying dry. If they are able to stay dry with the promise of a reward then you know that it is within their control.
  • Talk to your child’s doctor about medication that may help to decrease the amount of urine that their kidneys make. There are a number of options that you can discuss with your child’s pediatrician.
  • Limit fluid intake in the evening.
  • Document when your child drinks and when he/she has accidents and be sure your child’s school is doing the same. This will give you vital information regarding how long your child can wait after ingesting fluids.
  • It is possible that you will need to wake your child overnight to urinate.
  • Refrain from using negative consequences after an accident. If it is medical then it is out of their control. If it is behavioral then they are attempting to communicate something to you. Either way showing that you are upset will only add to the problem.

Above all else expect that accidents will happen at the most inopportune times and plan accordingly. Have a change of clothes everywhere!

Patrice Carroll
Manager PWS Services

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