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TAI is a good long-term solution that does not require invasive surgery or drug therapy. But TAI is not a quick fix. It is important to have realistic expectations of what TAI can do for your child and how long it may take to achieve satisfactory results. An initial commitment of up to 4–12 weeks is necessary in order to stabilise the bowel, to find your child’s optimal treating parameters and to develop a good individualised defecation routine.
Comprehensive training is very important when you start. Your healthcare provider should guide you and your child through his/her first session and continue to support you until you feel confident to do it on your own.
For some children it may feel scary or uncomfortable to insert the catheter, for others it’s not an issue at all. For some children, who have had longstanding constipation, when they first experience the peristalsis (movement of the bowel) with the water pushing the poo out it can be perceived as unpleasant, with reassurance and support these initial fears and concerns soon disappear.
Letting your child be involved in the TAI routine already from start can be a good way to take away resistance, suspicion and hesitation towards the therapy. It can also ease acceptance and give your child confidence. From the start it can be as simple as carrying the system to the bathroom. Helping take pieces out of the bag is
a good way to learn the use and name of all parts. Let your child become comfortable with the system itself – to hold and feel the different parts, perhaps play with it on a teddy or doll.
When older or ready, the child can be more involved in the procedure, perhaps help filling the water container. Eventually you can let your child hold the catheter while you hold and steer the child’s hand and catheter during insertion. Give your child attention for every step learned.
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