does my 8 year old need diapers?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nlwright, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. nlwright

    nlwright New Member

    i have an eight year old son who i am certain has ODD (though has not been diagnosed he displays almost all of the "symptoms"). this is challenging enough but i have a more distressing issue with him at the moment. he keeps having bowel movement "accidents" (use the term euphemistically here). about 6 months or so ago i realized that he was making himself constipated. he gets involved in an activity and is so focused on it (no ADHD i think) he does not want to interrupt what he is doing for a trip to the bathroom. instead he was attempting to push his stool back up inside of himself. he must have been doing this for years because we have frequently had poop stained underpants and related "accidents". i finally figured it out and took action. i began increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables he eats and i dose him with a fibre supplement in his juice. my intention (aside from better nutrition) was to make his bowel movement so urgent he would not be able to push it back in and would have no choice but to get to the bathroom.

    apparently i have only made the problem worse. he still delays getting to the bathroom and because he can't get it back in himself it must come OUT. and out it comes. it gets everywhere. then to make things even more fun, he went through a period of deciding he just wasn't going to wipe his bum AT ALL. i think (hope?) we have gotten out of that but it's such a recent development, who knows? this weekend he had an urgent poop and for some reason was not wearing any underwear. he left a sizable poop in the middle of the floor of his playroom and did not clean it or tell anyone else it was there. consequently my husband (wearing shoes) stepped in it and tracked it all over the house. we are going out of our minds with frustration! i am constantly cleaning up his poop! i have a 16 month old baby and i clean up more poop from the 8 year old than i have for the baby! my furniture is getting ruined, the car smells and needs a professional cleaning and it just feels like the harder we try to correct the problem the worse it gets. so now, at the end of my rope, i am seriously considering getting the boy diapers and even professional help. i am reluctant to see a doctor yet because i hope to fix this myself and because my son is afraid to see the doctor for this problem.

    does any one have any thoughts, opinions or advice? does anyone else have to deal with a similar problem? i feel like i'm all outta everything!
  2. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Don't despair because you aren't alone. This topic comes up routinely. There are several threads so do a search on this topic including archives. You will get tons of support and advice.

    I'll try to find them too.

    My difficult child didn't wipe. If he didn't wipe he wouldn't stop to wash hands and could go back to what he was doing. He had bowel issues for a loooooong time. Into puberty and then some.

    It's a horrid, embarrassing, disgusting mess but they aren't doing it to anger their parents. I believe they have decreased sensation or don't make the connection from the urge to the act. Many of our kids end up with mega colon from holding it so long and so hard. Imagine the amount of energy that must take.
  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I haven't dealt with this problem, but I have dealt with the ODD part. My daughter's ODD went away when she went on a gluten free/dairy free diet. She didn't suffer from the bowel problems, but many adults have similar problems before they are diagnosis'ed with celiac disease/gluten intolerance. Of course, they don't just leave the poop where it lands, but they do have the control issues.

    I would encourage you to look at it as a medical problem rather than a behavioural issue. If you try the gluten free diet, it is possible it will solve both of your son's problems. You don't need a doctor to try this.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You could be describing difficult child 2. For the longest time he would do that and then suddenly... Oops, there it is! Biomom stated that he was so scared of husband that when we dropped him off, he would poo in his pants. Now come on, if that were the case why would it happen when he got to her home?

    Anyway, we still have this issue. He will get so involved in his videogame or whatever, he'll come upstairs with a huge wet spot. When asked about it, he's surprised. And a few weeks ago, he came out of the shower all upset. Apparently he was soaping up and then all of the sudden there was a pile behind him. He just didn't notice. He was freaked out by it.

    Telling him to pay attention doesn't help. The only thing we can do is remember to go bother him about every 30 minutes from whatever he is doing, and break his concentration. And if we forget... Sigh.

    Hopefully the neuropsychologist will give us a possible reason... Something we can do... Sigh.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I'm just coming in from the rain so I didn't read all the responses :D.

    My big bit of advice is to not diagnose him yourself. YOu don't know if your son has ODD (it rarely stands alone) or ADHD (many mimickers to ADHD). I'd see a neuropsychologist and get him the treatment he needs. Many kids have bowel troubles. It is common with autistic spectrum disorder--I have no idea if he has that, just know it's a common problem. These kids mimic ADHD/ODD and are very socially inappropriate. They don't "get" the right thing to do socially and need to be taught. I see some red flags in your child fort his, but I'm no expert. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids have sensory issues (badly) and sometimes don't even know when they have the urge to go. It's not intentional. I would take this child for a complete evaluation at a neuropsychologist's office--that is the best evaluation you can get--they are VERY intensive and thorough and will lead you in the right direction.

    Welcome to the board!
  7. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    nlwright, your child's problem is called ENCOPRESIS. There are all sorts of reasons for whatever it is that causes the constipation, but it is the result of constipation. I sympathise with you, because I know how ghastly it is to cope with it and all the surrounding complications in the house and in the neighborhood and in school etc. My difficult child had it from age four and a half until thirteen.

    Please please please make an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist. He will know what to do. There are ways of coping with it that are not so horrible. There are two sorts of medicines that are gentle and help to get a handle on the problem: One is something that will make the stools softer and easier to pass, the other one is to help the bowels move. You will also probably be given advice on behavioral aids to get things going the right way. Just don't carry on trying to solve it yourself, because it is obvious that you need some outside help.

    I feel for you. Please get some help for your child and for yourself, and please keep us informed how you are getting along. You are no longer alone.

    Love, Esther
  8. I support that is sound like [ame=""]Encopresis[/ame]. We had it in our family too.

    As for food:

    Stay away from Bananas, cook carrots and nuts (For some odd reason raw carrots are not a problem). Make him drink a lot. Time toilet times to at least 10 minutes. Our family was ordered to force him to the toilet 5 times per day and at the school had to help too as one his visits was in the school time. It is a sensitive matter, so keep it hidden for his friends at school unless the school has a very good anti-bullying policy.

    As for medicine:

    [ame=""]Movicol[/ame] tastes like h... I had to taste it when we look after our nephew. Drinking it and at the same time smiling to the child telling him that is taste normal is hard. Some kids can be fooled by hiding it in cacao milk but don't count on it. Bad news is that it works by keeping the fluid from being consumed by his body. It can end up like looking as diarrhea.

    An alternative is [ame=""]Lactulose[/ame]. That's also awful. It works in a different way which for some is better.

    The bad news is that if you enter a structured treatment with fixed toilet times and medicine you have to do it for six to twelwe months with a resisting child.

    Talk to your doctor before starting this. Get some help making tables, so you can count and have clocks with alarms so you dont forget when it is time for the toilet.
  9. Mandy

    Mandy Parent In Training

    I actually just took my 8 yo son (easy child) to the Dr. for this very same problem(constipation) We started on an all natural diet high in fiber and miralax daily. So far it is slowly improving. It is actually quite common in this age group and one of my coworkers had to take her daughter to the ER because it was so bad. The dr. said they get so busy they constipate themselves so that you should make them sit after every meal for 15 min relaxed (have them read a book). I know exactly how you feel... it *****.
  10. nlwright

    nlwright New Member

    thank you all so much! as i am sitting here, reading the responses as well as the links that fran posted i have tears in my eyes. i don't know i guess it is relief. i have been carrying around this kind of problem since potty training (a mutually traumatic success till just before kindergarten, and obviously limited success at that). we excused a lot of the past accidents because of his age but enough is enough. i have been blaming myself. if i didn't get so angry about the problem it wouldn't BE a problem, right? some of the stuff posted in the links made me laugh out loud because i could so readily identify with it!

    i will definitely keep you posted on our progress. i can't thank you all enough.

    thank you thank you thank you!!!

    (i notice you all do this so here goes...)

    me - 33, social anxiety disorder (married 2 years, together for 10)

    husband - 29, just a moody SOB (but he's MY moody SOB ;))

    difficult child 1 - 8, boy, likely ODD

    difficult child 2 - 16 months, boy, happiest baby in the world
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The others are correct. This is to the point where you should seek a doctor's help. I would say to your son something like, "I have tried to help you with this but can not find an answer. You need to get this under control and a doctor will help. Lots of kids go through this."

    I would then schedule set potty breaks for him which is a pain because that means YOU have to interrupt whatever you are doing to work with him on a frequent basis. The doctor can help you determine how often. You can set these up naturally between activities. When he has free play, give him a set time to be home. This can be a snack break. Most kids will come in or stop what they are doing for a snack. He is to go potty either before the snack is given.

    You can explain to him that you will be calling him in for a snack or at a certain time. If he comes in immediately, the other kids will not know why he was called in, just that mom needed him for a few minutes. Try very hard not to yell out, "difficult child, you need to come in for a potty break." instead, "difficult child, can I see you for a moment?" then praise him for coming to you when asked. Maybe a reward of some type? A quarter?

    Eight years old is also old enough to run a wash machine. It can be his job to put the detergent and soiled clothes into the wash and start it at the end of the day. This can be done before bedtime snack or special activity. If you don't think he is ready to set the machine, you can preset it so all he has to do is shut the door and press start.

    When my son had wetting problems, I would get so frustrated. When would it ever end? I know how you may feel like screaming and letting him know how angry you are. I know I may have let it slip once or twice but I usually said something like, "I don't think I have to clean this up. It is your problem not mine. You will not listen to my advise!" However, I tried my hardest to keep my cool and be very non judgemental about it. "Oh, again? Oh well, you know what to do." It is his responsibility to work on this. Don't let him make you frustrated if he does not.

    Keep looking for the answers with a doctor's help and hang in there, it will get better.
  12. nlwright

    nlwright New Member

    so i made an appointment with the doctor. probably she is going to want to refer us to a gastro entereologist (and my fear is that there may be a lengthy waiting list...but it's a start, right?). i have already put into place the suggestions mentioned here and while the situation itself is not improving (yet) my outlook and attitude have. i feel better now that i have some possible plan of action.

    again, thank you all very much.

    will be keeping you up to date!
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    David A, there is a LOT wrong with a 10yo who is an infant. A WHOLE LOT. You are actually keeping them from being adults, from having a chance to grow up. I hope and pray you are joking because in many areas this is abuse unless they have the mental age of an infant.

    I really hope that before you decide he just isn't paying attention or just doesn't want to stop that you get him checked fully by a pediatric gastroenterologist. It is entirely possible that as he grew larger the nerves did not grow to the ends of his digestive tract and sensation isn't there or is impaired. Step, if this hasn't been checked it needs to be. The every 30 min thing won't help if he is an adult with this problem. It also likely makes school VERY hard. i have a friend who managed to get the doctor to order the tests after the pediatrician was POSITIVE this was why her oldest had encopresis. her husband stopped the testing because no child of his had any problems of any kind except being indulged too much (by given regular meals, snacks, having toys, etc... not an overly large number of toys, ANY toys).They finally divorced and he blocked the local children's hospital where allt he pediatrician specialists practice from being able to treat the kids AT ALL. They couldn't even go to the ER with an accident. Had to go to an adult ER because dad would not give consent for any specialist. Yes, in OH a parent with shared custody can do this and it is NOT considered abuse. He simply doesn't eat until after school/work and takes extra fiber/miralax to make it come out before he leaves the house in the morning. He truly has no choice and now as an adult the procedure to fix it is incredibly expensive and complicated.

    Before you decide it is just laziness or whatever, go see the pediatrician gastro doctor. You must be sure.

    David A, I really hope you are joking or spoofing or something. What you posted is truly sick.
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    This is an old thread, and until I see a signature (get more info) on david a, I will not even engage those comments.