8 Yr Old Boy Pees Himself While He's Wide Awake

Updated on August 07, 2012
S.A. asks from Mount Laurel, NJ
6 answers

My 8 yr old son has mild aspergers syndrome, but does very well relative to other autistic children. I even find myself wondering sometimes if he really has the disability or if he just goes through defiant phases. He attends elementary school in a typical setting with typical students. He has never, ever had a bathroom accident at school.

It took us a while to potty train him as a toddler and he didn't start pooping on the potty everytime until he was almost 5. Now here we are at 8 years old and he's fully potty trained but for one problem; TV time, or video game time. Like any kid, he values his skylanders and time to browse youtube videos about supermario bros but he will not pause what he's doing to go pee without being prompted. Initially I thought it was sporatic that he'd just pee where ever he was and not care, but then he started changing himself and not telling me until I sat in a wet spot on the couch, yuck. I could see that he cared about his hygeine and was ashamed of what had happened and we were able to narrow down that it happens only during activities that he's fully engaged in. (This has also happened during tag in front of all his friends)

I've had a lot of time to work on this with him, usually I just watch for the potty dance during TV/Game time and remind him that it's time to go. I'll ask him to try and go when I feel that some time has passed again or after meals. Knowing when he needs to pee is second nature for me at this point. This works fine as long as I'm the one home with him, but he can't remember on his own that since he's uncomfortable (and doing the potty-dance) it's time to pause what he's doing and excuse himself to the bathroom. You can imagine I've tried talking with him, we go through periods where there's no TV allowed following this. I see some people suggest disciplining the kid by having him do his own laundry, but I've been helping him do his own laundry as part of cleaning his room regularly. I don't feel like it's a discipline issue anyways.

I can't go out to the grocery store and leave him with a designated adult without him peeing himself, and at this point I don't know what I can do to help him hear his body over ninjago.

What can I do next?

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answers from Biloxi on

Limit video time and TV time to specific intervals of time- say 30 minutes at a time. With the rule that he goes to the bathroom before and after the 30 minute interval. Leave these instructions for any other adult who is watching him.

Set a timer that will regularly go off in 30 minute intervals. Of put a lamp on a timer - so it will blink in 30 minute intervals - something that will catch his attention. Heck, put the TV and the computer on a timer, so they shut off in intervals.

When playing with friends - get him a watch that has a alarm - set it - when it goes off, he excuses himself and runs to the bathroom.

With cues - he must get up and got to the bathroom.

If you think it is a matter of his ignoring his body's signals, then you need to "train" him to listen to them. And a little discipline on this one really will not hurt him.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I want you to know you're not alone. Our nine-year-old son has ADHD and is the same way. If he gets caught up in video games, he hyperfocuses and forget it ... he might as well be two again, because he often won't make it to the bathroom in time. I'm very familiar with that potty dance! I know Asperger's and ADHD are closely related, so I wonder if your son may have the same challenge in hyperfocusing with things that interest him?

This is not something you can resolve through discipline. I just try to stay on top of our son's potty trips so I can check with him periodically. I think it just comes with the territory when you have a special needs child like we do.


answers from Hartford on

I just want you to know that toileting issues with children with Autism are completely normal. Regressions are very normal with toileting.

However, if this is a sudden regression, I would take him to the pediatrician for a urine sample to see if he has a UTI or bladder infection.

It's never his fault, okay? It's never about defiance. My daughter has high functioning Classic Autism, and she does occasionally have some toileting issues and she's 9 years old. She also has Sensory Integration Disorder and that's a major, major part of it. She hates using the toilet. She hates the entire process of having to go, but she also hates how it feels "to go." She withholds a lot, and that causes UTI's. Sometimes she just gets them for no other reason than she's prone to them at this point.

Just get him checked out by the pediatrician or even a urologist just in case it's a medical issue like an infection and not part of the ASD. You may have to consider putting him in big kid pull-up type underwear to help with accidents.



answers from Philadelphia on

Create a new habit for him. BEFORE he is allowed to turn on the video game/tv he has to go potty. I would also make him set a timer for 2 hrs when he starts. When the timer goes off he has to go potty again. Most kids should be able to last 2 hrs without having an accident.
As for playing with his friends....he can go potty before he starts. You could also get him a watch that you can set a timer on & again set it for 2 hours.
Good luck.



answers from Boston on

I agree with the set time for going to the bathroom. Every half hour should do it. If nothing else, get him some pull-ups to wear when playing outside so he does not have to be embarrassed. Mainly remember that he is not doing this on purpose, his brain and body are not tuned into this. I would also discuss this with his doctor, perhaps there are other causes besides just inattention.



answers from Denver on

You can buy a watch that will vibrate at set intervals to remind him to go. You set the intervals according to what he needs.
The watches look totally normal (and is normal....just the added
Functionality of scheduling multiple interval
Alarms)and they even make them for kids. Our pediatric urologist recommended this for our son. It puts the child in control and is discreet.

Google "wobble watch"

Sorry for any typos.... Typing on my phone

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