Autistic individuals are more likely to experience toileting problems such as enuresis, encopresis, soiling and other toileting problems more so than the general population (Van Laecke, 2008). Problems with incontinence past the age of expected training are reported in between 23% to 86% of individuals with intellectual disabilities with the average prevalence likely being between 60% and 65% (Van Laecke, 2008). Toilet training methodology has typically focused on achieving urinary continence but many children do not achieve bowel continence after achieving urinary continence alone. This presentation will review function based approach to bowel training. Reasons encopresis can occur include a medical cause, skill deficit, fear of eliminating, non- compliance and ritualisation (Cicero, 2012). All reasons, excluding medical cause, can benefit from behavioural interventions, such as reinforcement, skill acquisition, stimulus fading and prompts. Each of these interventions has characteristics that make them optimal for certain environments and individuals, but less optimal for others but these decision should be based on what the current barrier to continence is. This presentation will summarize these difficulties, will provide a clinical decision model for selection of interventions based on client characteristics and the function of the behaviour and the constraints of the therapeutic environment.
Super Kids acknowledges each individual’s personal preference to use identity-first or person-first language to describe themselves or their loved one. We interchangeably use both language conventions and therefore refer to both autistic children and children with autism.