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Wetting

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My older brother is 32. He has autism. He has recently started wetting himself. Twice he has wet the bed and three times in public. He is quite capable and mum says he has never done this since the day he was potty trained. She's despairing as she doesn't know why he is doing it and he won't talk about it as he gets embarrassed. She is assuming it's to do with his Autism, worrying he is depressed or something. I've suggested it could be a medical reason, he tends to not tell us when he is in pain or uncomfortable. Anyone had any experience of this? Why would this begin now when he has never done this before? How do we make this better?

I'd urge you to support him in getting to see his GP. Even if it is a psychological as opposed to a medical reason, they are likely best equipped to refer him onwards to get the appropriate support. It isn't a particularly rare problem in men or women. It just isn't spoken about because of the associated taboo and embarassment. But I really do urge you to get him to visit his doctor - even if you encourage him to write down his problem in order to give to doctor (if he doesn't feel capable of voicing it).

- He's not getting the signal his bladder is full?  Muscle weakness/nerve damage? 

- Has he put on excessive weight recently? That can perhaps put more pressure on the bladder.

Regardless, support him going to see his doctor. He can write down his problem beforehand to limit his need to discuss it. Maybe (depending on your brother) give him links/print outs of various incontinence articles that make the point that he isn't alone. That it isn't something to be ashamed about. That it just means there is likely a fixable issue.  

I'm not any sort of expert. I just happen to be a big researcher and I do it without even thinking and before I know it I've started typing up suggestions. Good luck and best wishes. I hope anything I posted might be of any help at all. 

Get him to see his GP. There are also various discreet pads available for absorbing urine if he goes to the toilet suddenly... in fact, I actually saw a TV advert for ones intended for older women.

A common cause of urinary incontinence in people who usually have full control of their bladder is a urinary tract infection. (That's not specific to autism.) Definitely a reason to see the GP. Counterintuitively, drinking additional fluids can help flush out the system and, if it is an infection, help to clear out up more quickly. If he visits the GP then they can check ask questions to find out the fuller picture to help identify the cause.