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Poo handling driving me mad - lost it with DS2 tonight

(39 Posts)
sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 20:20:39

If anyone's read my thread in Health you'll know that my whole family has been down with a vomiting bug this half term - and now DH has it very badly, with diarrohea as well.
This is a bit of an excuse for the post that follows sad Apologies to those who've heard parts of the saga before...

DS2 (7, ASD) has been toilet trained for wee since last Feb. but we've had no success at all in getting him to poo on the toilet. He goes in his pants - and usually scoops out the contents with his hands. During the day he has recently taken to putting it down the loo (which we see as positive) but at night, even though he has a porti-potty in his bedroom, he deposits it over the stairgate we have on his bedroom door. Tonight I went up very soon after putting him to bed as I knew he needed to go - and there he was covered in it, throwing it over the barrier and laughing. I got him into the bathroom where he started trying to hug me with his poo covered hands - which is when I lost it. Normally I'm very calm where poo is concerned - and DH and I have made a recent decision to be deadpan when he does it, as the ' No, DS2, poo goes in the toilet' approach wasn't working at all. But I spent all day in bed yesterday feeling like death, DH is really poorly, and I really, really have had enough of this. I was much rougher than I needed to be when I was washing his hands and I even smacked his hand at one point when he was trying to get to his bottom again blush. Of course, this just made him scream and shout - I KNOW it doesn't work with him because he just doesn't get it sad. Now feeling very guilty - have been up again and he's fine - but who knows what effect it had on him?

The wonder is that we don't get bugs more often, the amount of poo that we, and he, must be exposed to.

MonsterousNasalPustule Thu 29-Oct-09 20:23:10

It can be very hard. I do think for the most part we become immune to the regular bugs that we have in our homes.

anonandlikeit Thu 29-Oct-09 20:25:39

Poor you sphil, i feel for you.
But i bet you both have really well developed immune systems, could probabily eat in the grimiest of restaurants with no ill effects.
DS2 will be fine, i think you had a natural reaction to a shit experience (pardon the pun). Don't be ahrd on yourself!

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 29-Oct-09 20:29:53

Do not beat yourself up: after a long day, what you went through with the pooey hands/child/bathroom would send anyone into a screaming fit. We are all only human, and this stuff is very tiring and debilitatin, particularly when you are under the weather. For what it's worth, I think kids should learn that spreading poo all over the place makes you angry - it's not ok, it's not a quiet voice situation. You are teaching him that poo spreading gets a bad result - ie your angry face, shouting etc. If that is aversive to him, he may start to get the message. He obviously knows that the poo needs to GO somewhere (chucking it over the stairgate), which is a good sign. How I got my DS (asd) toilet trained is by basically sitting him on the loo for hours when I was pretty sure he needed to go, and I do mean quite a while. Could you do that at bedtime, give him a book or toys and just insist that he stays there? It is very boring, but it did work for me after many long hours spent sitting at the toilet door? I think in the end my DS gave up too and realised the only way he was getting off that loo was by doing something in it!

silverfrog Thu 29-Oct-09 20:49:17

oh, sphil, I am not surprised you lost it. FWIW, I regularly lose it with dd1, and have been in the exact same situation wrt being rougher than needed with her and smacking hands.

I don't know what to suggest on the poo front - dd1 is, perhaps nsurprisingly, the same as your ds2. trained for wees since early this year, but never a poo on th etoilet. oh, I tell a lie, she has doen 2 on the toilet. one as a result of a dodgy tummy - dh sat her on the toilet while he was cleaning up (envy that he can do stuff like that - if it had been me, she would have been doing as your ds2 did and hugging me, wiping it in my hair etc) and the second was an actual result grin that shows no sign of being repeated sad)

I know it's grandmothers and eggs etc, but do you have him in a nappy overnight? maybe a houdini suit would work? I think you're ahead of us and ds2 is dry at night (or coping with potty at least) but I would be so tempted to go back to nappies, even for a bit tbh. LIke any situaion, if he's not getting it, then remove the flashpoint and re-think. the overnight nappies would give you a chance to re-group, without dreading hearing any noise form upstairs and wondering what you will find by the stairgate...

sorry if no help, but lots of sympathy

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 20:51:47

We've tried that, but he won't sit for long, even with a DVD. About ten minutes is his limit. I just don't think he connects sitting on the loo with doing a poo, iyswim (even though I've demonstrated blush). As soon as he's in his room, with the light off, he goes - which is why we put the porti-potty in there. He does wees in there with no problem (we get the occasional wet bed when he's asleep) but the poo, for some reason, has to go over the barrier. It may be the smell or look I suppose - though why he doesn't mind it on his hands is beyond me.

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 29-Oct-09 20:57:07

oh you poor thing. That sounds very difficult to have to put up with.

To cheer you up and reduce your guilt. Yesterday I was cooking fish pie and ds1 grabbed my phone, I wrestled it off him, then he started doing this thing where he hangs his entire weight off my neck - he somehow managed to pinch my chin at the same time as using his chin to jab my neck back. It makes me really unbalanced and I am scared about falling backwards and landing on my neck (he is the same size as my Mum now so he's not tiny). Anyway i kept trying to remove him, and kept trying to get him off me and he kept coming back for more. In the end I totally lost my temper (which he loves, so he was killing himself laughing) and I was shouting 'JUST SIT DOWN, SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW'. Like you I rarely lose my temper with him because it really doesn't work- he just does it more laughing his head off. Immediately after shrieking like a fishwife I realised he'd dialed the number of one of ds2's friends. blush. I have no idea whether they heard anything- the whole episode could be on their answer phone. I am still mortified, and feeling guilty.

I rang a friend earlier to talk through it with her because I felt so bad, and she said that if we didn't lose it occasionally we would be like robots. Ironically the person he phoned has told me in the past that she is impressed with how calm I remain. Well she won't think that now.

Share the guilt around. Honestly sphil you would have to be a saint not to get cross with having to deal with that.

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 29-Oct-09 20:58:51

sphil- if it's always the barrier- it could just be an association. Ds1 has loads of things he has to do because he did it once. As soon as he sees a trigger the rest of the sequence follows.

Could you try changing the barrier? So potentially it doesn't trigger the rest of the sequence.

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 21:03:25

Sorry - that reply was to Sickofsocalledexperts.
SF - we've only just taken him out of night time nappies because he was getting a nasty fungal rash which kept recurring. We also though it might be confusing him - and it wasn't helping us to make progress on the poo front because he always goes at night, so no other chances to practise during the day. However, I did put him in a nappy tonight because I knew I couldn't face a poo incident, feeling the way I do. When I tried to put his Houdini suit on he made a HUGE fuss ( he hasn't worn them since we took him out of nappies) so I relented and put him in PJs. Whether he has a nappy or or not makes no difference to the scooping - and tbh he can get his hand up the leg of the suit too, if he's really determined.

I remember a post from MrsTurnip ages ago on a similar topic - I'm sure she managed to get her DS to stop doing something (taking off nappy??) by saying he couldn't have his favourite duvet if he did it. I'm wondering whether putting DS2 in a houdini suit when he handles his poo would work - but I'm not sure he makes those sorts of connections.

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 21:06:02

Ooh, crossposting for England tonight! MrsT, just the person! Do you remember what I'm talking about?

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 29-Oct-09 21:06:25

Have you tried faking him out on going to bed, putting light out then running in and whizzing him onto loo? I'm sure you have tried everything and advice is just annoying, but I actually MADE my DS sit on loo, as in sitting right by him on bath and holding him on there. I have no patience at all with cleaning up poo/wee, so for me it was a battle of wills and I was going to win it! Maybe wait till you are stronger and over all these bugs though! I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I also have a pal who toilet trained her asd child in a single weekend, by giving him a cold shower every time poo got all over his room. It is perhaps harsh in the short term, but to her it was less cruel than letting him be the smelly kid at school or the teenager stil in nappies(he was due to start school shortly after that weekend).

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 29-Oct-09 21:07:52

It was more stick that carrot. He suddenly went off the waterproof duvet cover. I told him he could have a normal duvet if he kept his nappy on. He did that night (for the first time in over a year I had no wet bed!)

He responds better to things he finds sensory aversive rather than rewards iyswim. Unfortunately he is so sensory seeking there is little that he finds aversive!

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 21:10:38

You may well be right about the association. Funnily enough, we are thinking of removing the barrier altogether and letting him have access to the bathroom - at least the floor is lino and he may drop the poo in the loo there. But we have to find some way of immobilising the taps first - when we tried this before he flooded the kitchen - absolutely loves taps and water.

Another thing - he NEVER does this at school! So associations again - and maybe he does know he's not supposed to do it?

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 29-Oct-09 21:13:27

It does sound as if he has a whole little routine there. Light out, potty, throw the poo. I would be looking at ways to try and break anything to do with that routine (and ds1 would be doing his best to cling to it). Those little set routines become very important to ds1 (I think they're like a safety thing) so he finds them very hard to vary.

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 21:18:06

We have tried that, SIckofsocalledexperts, but I think we need to try harder! He is very very aware when we are still upstairs - spends all his time hanging over the barrier and laughing - and I'm pretty sure he realises what we're up there for too, so it turns into a battle of wills. Holding him on the loo is almost impossible now - he's too strong - and even while I'm doing it I'm aware that the muscular tension involved in him trying to get up is not going to help him poo!

I am wondering whether the Houdini suit might be our sensory aversive thing? He loves his PJs - so maybe... How old was your DS, MrsT, when you told him he could have a normal duvet if he kept his nappy on? I'm not at all sure DS would get an 'if' statement.

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 29-Oct-09 21:18:24

oh I have just thought of something, but I will email you as it's not my story iyswim.

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 21:19:59

You are all making me feel much better btw! Love the fish pie/phone story smile

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 29-Oct-09 21:24:30

That is hard if he is seeing it as a game and laughing when you stay upstairs - sounds like it has become an attention-seeking behaviour. Perhaps you should put his mattess in the bathroom one night to break the habit! And tell him that poo goes in loo so he has to sleep there if he's going to poo in bed. I know that is probably a stupid idea, but the thing with my DS is that he is pretty non-verbal, so we have to SHOW not TELL him what to do, and bargaining with him doesn't work as he doesn't get "if... then " concepts. The other thing you could do is get some of those plastic disposable tablecloths and put one on the floor outside the barrier each night just so you don't have so much cleaning up to do when you're ill. It is so hard! Have you tried bribes of sweets or chocs to keep him on loo (I'm sure you have?)

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 21:31:24

Yep, got plastic outside the door! Tbh it's the hands I find difficult rather than the carpet - his poos are normally solid thank God (though not tonight...)
Tried choc a while ago but could try again - he has tooth decay so trying to avoid just before bed. Trouble is, I was saving that for when he actually poos - don't know what I'd use as a reward otherwise.

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 29-Oct-09 21:38:14

I reckon it will all come to you when you and DH are fully recovered. Maybe then both of you can tackle it over a weekend, ie holding him physically on the loo while chanting "poo in loo", copious choc, then lots of teeth cleaning? NB - the dentist painted some stuff on my 8 year old's teeth to stop her getting fillings if that's of any use. I am dreading dentist with ASD DS though, as even a filling would necessitate a general anaesthetic (there's no way on earth he would sit still). This stuff is hard sphil, can you have a medicinal glass of something now? I am off for a fag once I've got DC to bed. x

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 29-Oct-09 21:49:47

Dentist said if they ever have to do anything to ds1 then they will paint his teeth whilst he is under the GA. I have it at the back of my mind to ask if a GA ever happens.

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 22:04:46

He's down for the teeth painting - apparently his back molars are coming through with v thin enamel. He's had a bit done on front teeth but there's no way he'd keep his mouth open long enough to do the back without sedation. As it is, it takes a dentist, two nurses and me dancing round with our mouths open all chanting ' Do this DS2' before he'll even part his lips!

sphil Thu 29-Oct-09 22:06:32

Still on plain rice and chicken broth - I must be ill if the thought of a glass of wine makes me shudder...

ouryve Thu 29-Oct-09 22:09:49

DS1 has had the sickness bug all week, too. It's weeks like this I'm glad he's still in nappies, because he's squitting for England. The only problem is, now he's over the fever bit, he's drunk and giddy and so hyper and defiant he's worn me out today.

I'd pour you a virtual glass of plonk, but we're all out (hic!)

silverfrog Thu 29-Oct-09 22:21:35

I can see this whole type of routine happening with dd1 tbh.

I totally agree with trying to break the routine; sometimes wrongfooting dd1 (and then immediate distraction while she's trying to work out what's going on) works.

would your ds eventually settle if you stayed upstairs? have you tried sitting outside his door?

I didn't ever think dd1 woud, and that she would get far too wound up and hyper to even try to settle if i was there, but when sleep went ot pot earlier this year, and we were having a horrendous time, that is what worked.

It was such a total change of routine (sadly one that si still ongoing, but that's another story!) that it completely broke the screaming/hysterical behaviour.

would it be worth a try? we settle down now on some cushions, with an ipod to watch a film/catch up with iplayer or MN. if you are right there, he might be less likely to lob the poo over?

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