So by now you've probably read that Mini wets himself...often. He does it at night (usually before something different at school, or when we have something exciting or different planned for the weekend), and from January up until half term he was also wetting nearly every day at school too.
We know his wetting is anxiety based. We know when he's feeling secure at school as we get drier beds more often than wet ones, and dry days too (this week, he's had no daytime accidents - big well done Mini!), and only 1 night time accident.
For me, wetting is one of the hardest things I deal with. It sounds pretty minor in the grand scheme of things....the violence, shouting, hurting, threatening, the destruction. But, my house is so often full of stinky sheets, pjs and clothes that need washing, damp sheets, pjs and clothes that are drying and a stinky mattress drying out, plus a stinky, yet stubborn child who refuses to shower or get cleaned up. My house pretty much smells of pee all the time. It gets me down. It doesn't seem to get Mini down. Sometimes he doesn't notice that he's wet himself. Sometimes he denies it. Sometimes he's ashamed and tries to cover it up. But mostly he just seems to accept that it's how things are.
But enough about me.
Mini came home from school quite regularly at the start of term in wet trousers. School hadn't noticed. Mini hadn't noticed, and if he had, he hadn't told anyone. He started to get rashes...nappy style from sitting in wet things, despite always having a spare set of clothes at school.
Now to be clear, Mini really really does not notice sometimes. The look on his face when it's gently pointed out that he needs to change is one of surprise and amazement.
But I was getting worried that sometimes he did know, and was just too ashamed to ask to go to the toilet or ask to change. I had to talk to school about it, to save Mini's skin from getting sore if nothing else!
I must say, school have been brilliant with this one.
Using various resources, they found some poems about going to the toilet, and I now have a copy of one of them at home. Mini and one of the teaching assistants look at it together sometimes, and it's to reassure him that as long as he asks, he can go whenever he wants/needs to. When I looked at it with Mini at home one day he confided that often he doesn't go because the other children are only allowed to go at break and lunchtime. Not only was it fantastic that he opened up to me, but it meant I could reiterate the poem and reassure him that he could go whenever he needed to as long as he checked with a teacher first.
They've also invented a special fake job for Mini, a 'shame-buster'. This is so Mini feels able to go and change when he is wet, without it being obvious to everyone where he's going. So if Mini asks or is told to do his 'blue star job', he wears a sticky blue star and takes himself off to the accessible toilet where he can change without any of his friends/classmates knowing - they all think he's off doing something to help the teacher.
Inventive of them really. It does feel a bit gimmicky, but for now it seems to be working, and even on the wetter days, his skin has been rash-free, so he's definitely been changing quicker.
We've still got a long way to go, but now one aspect is being addressed, we can look at other areas of his emotional well-being and school-life. At the moment, thankfully academically he's doing well...above average in every area except for his handwriting and letter formation, and we're working on that at home, and it was built into his IEP too. The first review for the IEP is next week so we'll see how that goes. Watch this space!