ADHD and Bedwetting: the Connection Worth Knowing About
Bedwetting is fairly common in all children with the prevalence in boys being greater than in girls. There are two kinds of ADHD; those with Inattentive ADHD have difficulty paying attention and staying organized while those with Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD are overly active and impulsive. However, it is most common to have combined ADHD where the child will have symptoms of both. Children with any type of ADHD are about 3 times more likely to suffer from bedwetting because both conditions are linked to the delay in the development of the central nervous system. And some researchers theorize that because children with ADHD have a harder time recognizing bodily cues they may not wake up enough to sense a full bladder or may just sleep through altogether never getting the cue their bladder is full. Although one condition is not believed to cause the other, there is a strong correlation between the two and so it is recommended that children with ADHD be screened for bedwetting and vice versa.
Things for Families to Consider:
- Keep in mind that there are many ways to treat bedwetting so if one doesn’t work there are other treatment plans to try.
- Treatment plans may include behavior modification, hypnosis, psychotherapy, medications, and evaluation of allergies.
- Decide which symptoms are more important for your family to concentrate on since dealing with too many at a time can become overwhelming. You may want to wait on the bedwetting while addressing other issues associated with the ADHD. Sometimes bedwetting problems improve as the child ages. Look to the child to see how much the bedwetting is a real psychological problem. Maybe the more immediate problem is in social situations such as sleepovers and camp-outs. Ask your health care professional about medications that can be taken occasionally that may help alleviate the stress of these social situations.
- Although punitive behavior techniques are not recommended for any child with bedwetting problems, be especially careful to avoid these techniques with ADHD children. Children may be more sensitive to these techniques from being teased and ridiculed for their ADHD symptoms.
The ADHD child may already be on medication when bedwetting treatments are first being considered. Keep in mind that some of these medications can increase bedwetting so talk to your doctor
As families of special needs children to work through these issues it is good for them to keep in mind that there are many products available to help ease everyday hurdles such as keeping the child comfortable and dry. Besides overnight diapers for children, there are many types of washable underpads. A package of cleansing wipes handy can also add to the comfort of the child.