Title: Talking Poop
Tags: Eunice Crankyponts Poop Toilet Autism Sensory
Blog Entry: If anyone knows me, I have two children with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified or more specifically and generally referred to as autism spectrum disorder. Incidentally, both have had gastrointestinal issues. My daughter was not fully potty trained until she was seven and my son is still working on it and he is 8. I have come to loathe the bathroom. I know that many people have given me advice about changing his diet, recommended medications, and using a reinforcement technique. I find that people in the Autism community have great advice but it is not his diet that is causing him to be afraid to use the toilet to void his bowel. Personally, I think it is that he does not want to stop what he is doing. Yet, last night he actually went because I sat in the bathroom with him and this was after he lost some on the floor just outside of the bathroom. I stepped in it and was grossed out. I made him clean it up. He would have left it there and never told me about it! This happens all the time. I find poop everywhere in my house. I keep having conversations with him that people can get very sick if he poops somewhere and then doesn’t clean himself up and the place where he pooped up. I have explained to him that he will not be able to participate in summer activities like swimming and the water park if he continues to poop in his pants. Incidentally, last night I was really frustrated. I tell him not to flush because I need to see for myself that he has voided. I saw it and said to him “you can do better than that!” He sat again and voided more and I was so proud of him. To be proud of your child for pooping is a big thing; especially, if they are eight-years-old! He gets frustrated because I tell him that he has to sit. He gets so frustrated that he yells, screams, and bangs his head. When asked why he is afraid or reluctant to poop on the toilet, he tells me because it hurt. Last night after he voided, I asked him if that hurt. He said no but it was hard! Progress! His gastroenterologist prescribed Miralax which, I stopped giving to him a month ago because all it would produce was diarrhea and that, as you know, is harder to clean up. I started him again last night because he has to get the poop out of his body. I fear he will get a perforated bowel! This kid can hold it. Thankfully, his teacher is working with me on getting him to go after he comes in from lunch/recess. I feel if we train him to sit after meals that eventually, he will get the hang of going! This is progress toward the end goal of not soiling his pants. With him soiling his pants all the time, I have to wash his pants and underwear separately from all the other laundry in hot water and twice to make sure they are clean. Listen, I have basically been dealing with poop for 10 years now and I am sick of it. Sometimes I feel like Mommy Dearest when handling his lack of using the toilet. Sometimes I feel that people in my family do not understand this is a very hard thing for my son. Some have advised me to say to him that babies only poop their pants and tell him that this one poops on the potty. Let’s just say that THAT has not and does not work! The training part is getting him to sit after meals and not coming out until I tell him to come out. This is a very difficult task for him to master. I know eventually he will but waiting is the hardest part and having patience is getting harder and harder. I want so much for him to be able to participate in summer time activities like swimming in the public pool or any pool. I want him to be able to go to the water park, too! As a parent of a child that has this issue, it makes me feel like a failure as a parent somehow. Though, I know that I have done everything right to help ensure that he knows that soiling his pants is not something he should still be doing. I know he cannot help it but it is just so frustrating. I fear that because he is going to a new school next year that the children will pick on him and I do not want him to experience that! We will be working very hard over the next few months until the school year begins to ensure that he stops soiling his pants. I am confident that he will “get it” and go! For now, I am so proud of him for voiding on the toilet last night! I made a big beetroot about it, too. I praised him and made him give me a high five. As I see it, if I continually reinforce how awesome it is for him to do this that eventually he will see that it is not going to hurt and that he can do it if he puts his mind to it. The hardest part will be teaching him to stop what he is doing and go. Honestly, I am sick of this poop! Love him but I am sick of it. We’ll get to that point but sometimes it seems like a daunting task to overcome. One day/one meal at a time. I believe this is a sensory issue for him and he has been struggling for a VERY long time with this. I do not need any more advice about it because I have tried EVERYTHING. For now, he is back on the laxative and we are going to get him on the toilet after every meal to train and retrain him to go when he feels the urge, its all we can do. (who is this we? – well, I mean he and me). Thank you for reading, Eunice Crankyponts There were no animals harmed in the making of this blog; although, I do think there are flies in my house for a reason!
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