I take a lot of bathroom breaks. It can be very annoying to me and others. I feel nervous about it and never want to ask to go because people may think that I am lying because I ask to go so often. I have had incontinence issues in the past, so whenever I feel like I might have to go, I panic and ask to go to the bathroom. It is even more annoying when I am in public because I have to have someone take me. Some people are more understanding about it than others. It is embarrassing, but it is something many people with autism have to deal with, so I think it is important to share about anyways.
Toileting is something I have learned to deal with, but it is a constant thought in the back of my mind. I think about where the nearest bathroom is, how I will ask at the right time, and how my caregiver will react. I hope that one day I won’t need help in public because I don’t need any help at home. I could probably go alone in public if it weren’t for my epilepsy, but that is part of having medical issues, the constant need for support. I have no warning, just the sudden urge to go. From what I understand, neurotypical people don’t have the sudden urgency to go that I do, it comes on more slowly and with more of a warning.
Really, being supported in the bathroom isn’t something we want, so it is important as a caregiver to give autistic people some autonomy so we still feel like we have some control over our body and what we need. Sometimes we may ask more or less than is needed, but that is part of us learning our bodies. It is important not to punish or criticize us for asking because that makes the bathroom even more dreaded and scary. We are listening to our bodies and need our caregivers to listen to us.