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need advice about DS2's poo-related behaviour

(14 Posts)
sphil Fri 12-Jun-09 22:24:26

Sorry - this is going to be a bit long, but I need to explain the background first. Warning - don't read if you're eating...

DS2 (6, ASD) is now completely toilet trained for wee in the day time. He goes independently to the loo and can manage hand-washing and flushing, though he needs reminding. He asks to go if a toilet isn't readily available, at home, at school and when we're out.

However, he has never done a poo on the loo. Since he's been out of nappies (about 4 months) he's had numerous poo accidents in his pants, though never at school. Recently he's stopped doing this in the day but always goes in his night-time nappy, usually just after going to bed, but sometimes in the night. We usually dress him in all-in-one pjs to prevent smearing. He has always had a stairgate on his door to keep him in his room - he is usually very excitable when he goes to bed and takes about 2-3 hours to fall asleep.

Last weekend DH and I decided that we weren't helping him to become poo-trained at all by this approach. So two days ago we moved the barrier further up the corridor, which gives him access to the bathroom. We put his toilet chair in the bathroom and are getting him to sit on it before he goes to bed (we thought it might be less intimidating than the toilet itself, especially as he trained v quickly for wee using it). With a huge gulp we took him out of all-in-ones and put him in two piece pjs.

Both nights so far he has been as high as a kite. He has smeared and thrown poo horrendously - worse than ever before. On both nights he has eaten some of the poo - again something he has never done. Tonight for the first time ever he climbed over the barrier (DS2 doesn't climb!) and put some of the poo in DH's wardrobe. He doesn't seem at all distressed - just the opposite in fact.

I'm afraid we caved in - we put him back in his all-in-ones and moved the barrier back (making it very high). It'll gave us easier evenings, but it's not going to help in the long run, is it?

What is going on? And what do we do? I would REALLY appreciate your insights on this.

silverfrog Fri 12-Jun-09 23:05:13

going on how my dd would react (since dd1 and your ds2 are twins wink) I would sya too many changes all at once.

dd1 is also trained for wees (can't go independently, as can't manage dressing/undressing, but asks, and will do so when out and about)

she is the same for poos. never done one ona toilet, and always uses her night nappy. she doesn't (so far) have a record of smearing, but she does fiddle, and so the result can be the same, when she tries to wipe her hands clean, so she too is in all in ones (where do you get yours, btw? dd1's are creaking at the seams, and she needs new ones)

if I were to tackle it, I would change one thing at a time, slowly, giving time to get used to the change.

so move the barrier first, and let him get used to the boundary change, while still in nappy and all in ones. then intro the toilet chair, once he is used to the new space, like a "oh, you know what, I just had a htought - you could use this now, couldn't you?" type of intro.

incorporat the chair into routine, and then let him get used to it (using it last thing at night/first thing in the morning, still prompted)

and only then, when I was sure that all the other steps had been assimilated, would I get rid of the all in ones.

dd1 would go sky high at that kind of change in routine, and she too would be giddy with the excitement, and doing previously unheard of things jsut for a reaction.

I know that sometimes, because dd1 is so adaptive and flexible over some things, I overlook the impact that changing what is a very deep-seated routine (calming before bed) will have. we are gradually unpicking the result of having dd1 share with dd2 on a long weekend we took in France - dd1 has been a nightmare about bedtime ever since, no idea why, but something fundamental has changed for her...

silverfrog Fri 12-Jun-09 23:07:52

oh, and meant to say, I am a real shocker for a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude blush

dd1 has done really well with her toilet training so far, and in many ways, it hasn't really taken long at all, for sucha huge change. I am hanging on to the belief that poos in the loo will happen, one day, but at the moment, it really isn't such a big deal if she still uses her night nappy...

sphil Fri 12-Jun-09 23:39:00

Thanks SF - I think you're right. Your post has made me think that I also underestimate the effect change can have on DS2, because he's pretty adaptable, like your DD1. I also forget that we don't actually change things that much. But I think (and this is a positive thing) he's starting to notice change more - for example today I was five minutes late picking him up from his classroom and he was in tears sad. Six months ago I honestly don't think he would have noticed.

silverfrog Fri 12-Jun-09 23:50:29

oh, poor ds2, but it is good that he is noticing.

we think dd1's awful bedtimes are to do with the fact that she has realised dh is not there for most bedtimes.

she has always known this ("daddy is at work"), but I think that she has, since our last holiday, realised that (in her opinion, anyway) it doesn't have to be this way, and that another outcome is, theoretically, possible

sphil Fri 12-Jun-09 23:58:58

How funny (well not funny, but you know what I mean) - DS2 has started crying in bed every time DH is away for the night. Twins indeed!

silverfrog Sat 13-Jun-09 00:09:18

spooky grin

in case you haven't tried it yet, dd1 is greatly soothed by "talking" to dh on the telephone - she mostly listens, tbh, but is very eager to do so, and bounces up for her turn, and even managed a spontaneous "love you daddy, big hugs" yesterday.

if she manages to "speak" to dh, her behaviour is better at bedtime, and there is less insistence on "see daddy vary soon" which is what I get otherwise...

sphil Sun 14-Jun-09 21:42:52

I might try that - though DS2 tends to grin and push the phone away if we put it to his ear!

We have taken your advice (DH, who pays very little attention to MN, has taken to referring to 'your mate Silverfrog' grin) and have just moved the barrier, keeping everything else as it used to be. So far so good...

silverfrog Sun 14-Jun-09 22:12:50

that's exactly what dd1 use to do too. It's only since dd2 has come along that she has started to be more interested (mostly because dd2 is interested, tbh - sibling rivalry at it's best!)

and I think she only takes notice of what dd2 does because she is smaller then her, and therefore less threatening, iyswim? but she has noticed dd2 being praised for stuff, and then tries to emulate (on a good day), althoguh that sadly goes 2 ways, and she copies the 2 year old pesky stuff too.

today when dh phoned, I couldn't hear a word he was saying, as had both of them dancing around me demanding their turn ("talk to daddy! talk to daddy! talk to DAAAADDDDDDDYYYYY!" - and that was just dd2!)

we might have to do the smae with cordoning off an area, as, toilet training aside, dd1's going to bed issues aren't easing, but tonight, she managed ot open her bedroom door mid-scream/handle rattle, and then she was peaceful, sitting on the landing. maybe she jsut doesn't want ot be shut in? so might put the stairgate across, giving her some corridor and access to bathroom...

sphil Sun 14-Jun-09 22:19:26

Funnily enough we had this with DS1 when he was about 2.5 and first went into a bed. We put a stairgate across his room as he didn't like the door shut. He was/is a very calm, laid back child - but he went ballistic, screaming and throwing toys and books out of his room. Altho' he doesn't have any dx SN he was quite slow to talk, so couldn't articulate how he felt. As soon as we removed the barrier from his door and moved it to the top of the stairs he was fine.

silverfrog Sun 14-Jun-09 22:34:47

the thing is, i don't think I'll be allowed ot leave her door open (if being shut in is the problem in th eifrst place) - that would be too simple! Her door has always been shut, and so that way it will remain, and we'll probably hae ot put up with her shrieks each night until she "escapes".

But at least ahving the gate up will mean she is contained (just have to clear up the bathroom and make sure it is safe) rahter than playing the piano, which is what finally prompted me to go and incarcerate her again tonight grin

sphil Sun 14-Jun-09 22:38:51

grin. Something makes me think it wasn't a gentle tinkling of the ivories...

Yes, bathroom safety a real issue. Found DS2 with the duck from his Rosie and Jim bath set wedged in his mouth last night. He's not a chewer of toys normally - but bed time boredom makes him do strange things.

silverfrog Sun 14-Jun-09 22:47:21

oh, if only her playing could match her singing, which is actually pretty good...

I am so lax about safety stuff, as dd1 has always been so passive, but she is becoming less so now she has a devil for a sister, so i need to sort it out soonest, methinks...

sphil Sun 14-Jun-09 22:53:35

Yep, I'm lax too, for same reasons.

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