Well, poop!

There has been so much going on and I haven’t had much time to sit down and write about it. In fact, I just got around to fixing my laptop so that I could get to some writing! The only thing I can think to write about is my daughter’s pooping habits because it is currently a struggle for all of us. Has anyone else had issues with potty training? How do you make it work? What worked for you? What didn’t work? Am I wrong to fear enemas? Does it get better?

My daughter had her adenoids removed and ear tubes placed in both ears. She is about two weeks out from surgery and doing well. Almost a week after, she developed a fever and a bloody ear. We were given a prescription for ear drops and that has helped. She’s been congested from allergies, but no fever or red ears since! She is also sleeping better! I’d like to say she’s even eating a bit better, but her poop habits still dictate whether or not she will actually eat.

She is still in pull-ups and just turned 4 in January. She knows how to use the bathroom both for pee and poop. She knows when she needs to go. She has horrid sensory issues about pooping, and it causes regression every single time, that it affects her not wanting to use the potty at all. I’m so frustrated and tired of it.

Yes, she is diagnosed with autism, but I want to use my own judgement as her mom and say I know she can do this. We have even tried backing off for a while. I just can’t figure out what to do about the sensory part of it. If she poops in a pull-up she refuses to let me change her. If I can get her to poop on the potty, she sits with legs crossed trying not to go until it’s so bad she finally does go, but only a little. She will actually let me help her wipe and there is less issues at the end of it, it’s just getting her there is a struggle. Rewards do not help.

She gets so upset and it turns into this chase and physical fight. I’ve tried letting her be and letting her sit for a bit in her pull-up, as was suggested by the pediatric gastric specialist (I did not let her sit for hours on end I just can’t bring myself to let it go too long). I even gave her a new pull-up and wipes as was also suggested and let her figure it out herself. Nothing has worked. She doesn’t go. She holds it until it finally comes out a bit at a time. Even our ABA team is baffled.

Her insurance will not cover additional occupational therapy because she has an IEP for school and “they should work on it”. The school is far more concerned with getting her to sit still for five minutes and attend to one activity than her being self-sufficient with the potty, which I do understand. They don’t have the people to sit with her in the bathroom and she’s only there for 2 and a half hours so it doesn’t make sense. She does wear underwear to school and hasn’t had an issue with accidents except once on the bus. She’s more prone to peeing while we’re out shopping even after taking her to a bathroom if she doesn’t get what she wants, she needs to poop, or she wants to go home.

The poop with-holding causes all sorts of behavioral issues when she’s backed up (worse than usual). She is more likely to have a melt down to the point she needs to be held so she cannot cause harm to herself. She will cry and curl up in a ball telling me how bad her tummy hurts. We give her miralax. We have not tried enemas because we do not want her to get to the point where that is the only way she will go. I’m wondering if this really needs to be our next step though?

We have potty discussions and try to discuss why people poop openly with her. If she needs to go she doesn’t want to hear any of it. It seems like she’s embarrassed about pooping sometimes, but I try to tell her that is why we use the potty cause lots of people are stinky when they poop and this way it doesn’t make her smell. We even tried cutting the pull-up and letting her sit on the potty, but she won’t even put one on if it has a hole. She has to stand and hide when she’s trying to not poop, legs crossed, muscles clenched, her face turning bright red…

She’s even agreed that it felt better to go on the potty when she was relaxed on a rare occasion. She is even interested in watching while others poop on the potty. She just doesn’t want to do it herself. Peeing has never been the issue though. She will refuse toys, games, food, and even special outings for pooping. She will say she no longer likes any of it.

She wants to attend preschool longer, but she’s not allowed unless she is potty trained fully and can’t even get into kindergarten without being potty trained. She loves school, but can’t attend fully until the potty issues are resolved.

There is other stuff we have tried that I didn’t mention, and other tactics, but it doesn’t work out. She can be in underwear for nap time, but she will purposely pee herself if she is trying to get a pull-up so she can “poop”. She’s not ready to go through the entire night with underwear and that is with drink restriction in the evening as also suggested by her doctors. The act of waking seems to make her go. She won’t even use a little potty in her room unless it’s only to pee and during the day. I’m not worried so much about night time for now. It’s more about the encopresis and her withholding that we need to address.

She is not constipated. Her poops are very soft to sometimes watery… This kid will hold diarrhea. :-/

No other psychological issues other than that she is incredibly independent, smart, has the vocabulary of a first-grader, strong willed, and has a hard time with her emotional response to things, which is what ABA helps us work on as well as social skill support.

Anyone have other suggestions we could try?

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