We often receive queries from parents who have a child or teenager diagnosed with autism or ADHD. One certain point is most children with autism or ADHD are suffering from the same factors that cause bedwetting in children without those conditions: Small bladder capacity, too much urine at night (caused by a hormone imbalance), very deep sleep and constipation.
Special factors to consider: Some children with autism or ADHD may react differently to an alarm sound. We have found most children can usually use any of the bedwetting alarms because we offer alarm options which give you both a choice: Alarms which do not attach to the body, others which can be recorded with a message and others which have a vibration setting.
Most children who wet the bed need a very loud alarm to wake them. Although these children are sometimes sensitive to noises we have found that the standard loud alarm will suit most children even those with ADHD or Autism.
Rarely, a very small percentage of children are put off by the alarm sound and would rather the alarm was left off on the second night. If the alarm sound works well to wake the child it may be possible/a good idea to put the alarm on after the child has gone to sleep. However, with some alarms there is the option of a recorded message and a variety of alarm sounds. You have the option of using other sounds as you are able to change the alarm sound and recorded message.
Perhaps try making recording the alarm sound, or setting the alarm to come on, a fun night time ritual to reduce anxiety.
Vibration with sound may be used for deaf children who wet at night. The parents will hear the alarm and the vibration will help the child respond. Several of our alarms have a vibration option.
The recorded message is usually set with a message from the parent or child telling them to wake up. For example: “Wake up Helen! - Stop wetting the bed”. Alternatively, use any other sound that wakes the child. The important thing is to use whichever setting wakes the child most easily. Again, think about including the alarm set up as a temporary part of your relaxed night time ritual
Some parents are concerned that their child will be frightened by the alarm. It is better that your child wakes to the alarm even if it does startle them initially. This helps to get the message through to the brain and you will find the situation resolved much more quickly. Using a gentle sound may mean you are still struggling months later.
Some children wet themselves in the daytime. Sometimes this is because they are too busy playing or concentrating on the computer. They just don’t sense that they need to go to the toilet. The alarm can be used with the vibration setting at home to let the child know what is happening. The recorded message can be used in the same way, to alert the child that it is time to go to the toilet. The alarm always needs adult supervision so would not be suitable for the child to manage alone. An alternative is a reminder watch to alert the child at regular times during the day to go to the toilet. These can be worn at school.
Query and Feedback from a mother in QLD
My 11yr old son wets the bed every night. He has autism and associated intellectual & speech problems. My reason for writing is do you think the alarm will work in his situation or is he likely to just rip it out as he doesn’t have the incentive to stop wetting the bed, whereas other kids are trying hard to stop. Do you think it would be worth a try? My paediatrician suggested trying an alarm? I would value your opinion on this.
Six months later ----- My whole family would like to send a huge thank you for your products and information. My son, now 12, who has autism, was dry at night from around 4yrs to 8yrs of age before reverting to bedwetting at night. At first it was occasional but as time went by it happened nightly. I purchased the full set of alarm, pads, quilt cover and DVD. I followed your protocol on the DVD and the results where amazing. Within a month he was dry at night again. It has been about 4 months since then and the alarm has not had to come back out of the wardrobe. He is getting up and going to the toilet in the morning. It has made life a lot easier.