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Support & Advice thread for children starting school with chronic constipation

(5 Posts)
Maki79 Tue 07-Jun-16 16:30:53

Hello!

I wondered if there's anyone else out there a little bit concerned about their child starting school in Sept due to chronic constipation, as our doctor assures me there are lots of us out there!!

My ds (Sept born) is SO ready for school in every other way. He's on 2 sachets of Movical a day and in pull ups. Sometimes we have 2 accidents a day, sometimes 3.

It's a fairly recent diagnosis, as previously we thought he was just lazy sad

The poor love has been traumatised in someway over going to the toilet and had stopped trying altogether but recently we've made a bit of progress with a combination of a comfy toilet seat, allowing him to play angry birds on the ipad whilst trying, and rewarding him with a marble every time he tries followed by a gift of his choosing after 10 marbles. It's getting expensive!!

Tonight we are having a parents evening for the new reception parents and I will chat to his teacher about it and I wondered if anyone has any advice about what to ask or suggest if she looks horrified about him having so many accidents??

I'm hoping to start training him to deal with the accidents himself, with grown up wipes, nappy sacks, spare trousers, and antibacterial handgel for after washing his hands in a special bag, but in reality sometimes the poo gets everywhere and it's going to be hard for him to do a good job of cleaning himself up properly. Dh and I have been chatting to him about this for sometime and he seems totally aghast at the idea and I'm worried he'll happily sit at school, smelling, rather than clean himself up. I don't want him to be teased for being smelly sad

Thanks for reading!

teacher54321 Tue 07-Jun-16 18:45:06

School starting isn't for another three months so don't despair just yet. We were in a similar position this exact time last year with Ds who was due to start school nursery In the September.

Is he witholding as well as constipated? What worked for us was getting him into a routine with the movicol of going every evening after his bath in a pull up. Once he realised he had that in his control he never had an accident again apart from one very traumatic day at nursery when he had a tummy bug, poor little mite.

I can remember the exact time frame if it's reassuring?!
Middle of April-potty training began
End April-witholding began (up to 5 days at a time) and was prescribed movicol. Accidents then at least once or twice daily, with a lot of emotional trauma.
17th July (!)-a breakthrough where he asked for a pull up and did a poo rather than just had an accident. Stopped movicol after about 6 weeks. Then he did one every single evening, regular as clockwork after his bath.
February this year-finally by following the advice on the ERIC website we weaned him off the pull ups and onto using the loo. He now still generally goes at teatime, but now will ask and go to the loo independently. He turned four in April.

So don't lose hope! I was convinced he'd be going to school in pull ups. Had many sleepless nights about it. Speak to the reception teacher about it, they should be supportive.

Maki79 Tue 07-Jun-16 22:44:12

Thankyou for your reply, it's helpful seeing the timeline.

Unfortunately I don't think there's any chance he'll be out of pull ups by school, but I don't think he'll mind that so much, I just hope he stops having accidents. He's not witholding at all, he has no idea when he's gone let alone when he needs to go. He often has to touch his bottom with his hand to know, but of course then hides or gets v upset as he's embarrased. He'll be 5 in Sept. We get him to try at the same time every morning and night so far not one poo has gone in the toilet, but at least he's stopped getting upset.

The teacher didn't seem phased today when we spoke to her. She'll be coming over for a home visit in early Sept so we can have a more in depth up to date catch up then.

I'm glad it all worked out for you!

He had toddler diarrhea for over 12 months from age 1-2, then lots of upset tummy, potty trained (wee's) day at night at 3.

teacher54321 Tue 07-Jun-16 22:57:46

Oh bless him. Glad the teacher was sympathetic smile sounds like a slightly different set of circs-with Ds it was predominately behavioural-he knew the signs but desperately fought it at every opportunity. Which led to a terrible cycle of trying to withhold and then accidents, as the movicol meant he couldn't hold it in any longer.

My friend who's a GP said it takes a long time to retrain the bowel after losing the sensation to go, but it doesn't cause any permanent damage, so hopefully that's reassuring? Have you had a referral to a continence specialist nurse? They're supposed to be amazing and the ERIC website is fab and has a helpline so might be worth a call.

PoppyStellar Fri 10-Jun-16 14:23:41

Hi maki, I have a daughter in Yr1 who had v similar toilet issues when she started reception. I talked to the teacher before she started school, they were unfazed by it - I think EYFS staff are very used to cleaning up pooey bottoms. She used to have multiple poo accidents a day, and sometimes not tell anyone for hours (until I'd started to notice the smell). I was very anxious about how she'd cope at school and how the other kids might tease her.

Just wanted to reassure you that you are doing all the right things in sending him in to school with wipes, nappy sacks, clean pants etc. Also wanted to reassure you that the teacher / TA were absolutely fine about cleaning LO up (fairly regularly as it happened), the other kids didn't and still don't make fun of her for having accidents, and that by the start of Yr1 she was pretty much over it. She still gets constipated, we are still on the movicol but as she has matured / grown up a bit she has developed the ability to mostly recognise when she needs a poo and gets herself to the toilet quickly.

Actually, thinking about it, one of the other things school did was allow her to go off to the loo whenever she needed to without having to do the usual 'please miss can I go to the toilet?' This flexibility to just get up and go at a moments notice was really helpful to her.

Best of luck with it all.

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