How do I get him to wipe?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Gina55440, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Gina55440

    Gina55440 New Member

    I'm the mom of an almost 8 year old son with an unsure diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, and ADHD. He rarely uses the bathroom at school and as soon as he gets in the car he is wiggling because he needs to go. He will not have a bowel movement anywhere but at home and he refuses to wipe himself. Even going to pee in a public bathroom is a huge task. At home he will not go to the bathroom unless someone goes with him. He is almost 8 and this has got to stop. Does anyone have any advice?
  2. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hello and welcome. Many boys on the spectrum have bathroom issues. My difficult child told me that if he doesn't wipe, he doesn't have to stop to wash his hands. Can you see my hair stand on end? Anyhow, he had bathroom, staining issues, lack of wiping occasionally until he hit puberty.
    Anyhow, it sounds like your son finds bathrooms a place for germs. Have you asked about why he doesn't wipe? If he is a bit of a germaphobe, see if disposable gloves will make him more comfortable.
    It's one of the most frustrating symptoms because it feels like I failed and my son was uncivilized.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Wish I could help, I still have to use flushable wipes on Kiddo after #2. She did it in the psychiatric hospital (all of twice) but said she did a poor job. And she does do a poor job, but I can't convince her to practice either.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    The physical coordination required to wipe after a bm is actually pretty complex. My son is 15 and only recent appears to have gotten good at it. When my son was about your son's age I was frustrated for the same kind of reason. His pediatrician said it is not uncommon for boys in particular to have trouble with this and to expect it might take a few years.

    Not wanting to go to the bathroom at school is also pretty common for both girls and boys according to my daughter's pediatrician.

    My suggestion is that you consider taking a behavioral approach with peeing in the bathroom at home. If you can get him confident there then he may be able to get more confident away from home. I'd approach it the same way as if you were potty training him all over again. First he gets a reward or star on his chart for going in the bathroom by himself and leaving the door open while he pees. Then he gets a reward for going pee when he closes the door. You could try putting the little targets in the toilet for him to shoot. If his father is in the picture make sure he's participating in giving him rewards so he knows he's got Dad's attention too.

    As for the bm's. My son has had constipation due to his Crohn's for several years. In the process we have learned a lot about managing that bodily process.

    The human body is designed to have a bm about 20 to 30 minutes after eating. What we were told to do that was helpful was to have my son eat his meal and then go and sit on the toilet for at least 10 minutes. When he was younger we did a chart with a star every time he sat for 10 minutes following a meal. What's supposed to happen is that he will start to have a bm after a meal with predictable regularity. And he will have learned to go sit and expect that to happen. Hopefully he will end up going after breakfast before he leaves for school.

    He may need Dad to get specific about helping him figure out how to wipe. I would get flushable wipes if the texture won't bother him and one of those baby wipe warmers so they're not cold when he uses them. If it's a matter of poor motor coordination you can get a tool from the medical supply store that's used by disabled people to help them wipe. You put TP in the end of an curved sort of wand and you use it to wipe. Depending on the design he may not even have to touch the dirty TP to put it in the toilet in case that's part of the problem.

    Another option would be to get a bidet attachment for your toilet for him to use after he's wiped.

    Finally, I would also just be no-nonsense with him and show him how to swish his underwear out when they get poopy and what to do with them after that.

    Good luck,

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We used wipes on the kids who were being difficult with this. no shame or anything, just insistence that they looked after themselves, or we would insist on doing it. So for a while, after a BM (and when they don't go that often, you know when they've just been!) I would insist on checking, ad re-wiping their bottoms. We kept wipes next to the loo, and a bin to put them in (we can't flush them here). We also, for quite a while, had to put an oil-based cream on their tails to protect the skin from the damage due to having leftover fecal matter there. The kids learned that if they didn't clean up properly they would get red and sore round the tail. It took time, but they did learn to do it for themselves.

    Oh, and the tail inspection - we kept having problems with threadworm (it's rampant through the schools especially in the younger grades) so I was often inspecting bottoms late at night when the kids reported "itchy bottom" problems, and a positive finding meant heading for the cupboard to dose with Combantrin or similar. So bottom inspections were not that unusual.

    But necessary.

  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    We don't flush the wipes, it's just the one brand that doesn't irritate my skin. They're not as flushable as they'd like you to believe and kid's BMs alone are enough to clog the pipe sometimes, so I also keep a long screwdriver in the bathroom to chop those up. Every medication change = diet change to keep things moving properly without staying at one extreme or the other. She's just now adjusting to the last dose increase. Been fun, let me tell you.
  7. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I wish I had some advice but I have the exact opposite with my difficult child. When he does #2 he uses so much TP that he clogs the toilet ...
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Shelly, that's exactly why we use wipes. I used to do the same thing.
  9. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    HaoZi he won't use the wipes LOL He is a creature of habit !
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Even if it's the ONLY thing available in the bathroom?
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know ADULT men who will only poop at home unless there are really extraordinary circumstances. This used to drive me bonkers until I spoke iwth one adult openly. Boy were my eyes opened and I no longer make a big deal if we have to go home a bit early because this issue.

    Have you ever been inside the boys bathrooms at your child's school? In a gas station? In a restroom? In a stadium? In any public place? They are VERY different from women's bathrooms for the most part. Many do not have stall doors. My husband was SHOCKED as a teen when cleaning the ladies restroom at the ball fields where he worked in the summer. He didn't know women's bathrooms had stall doors. He had only rarely seen them before. He attended at least 5 different schools as a kid and NONE had doors on the stalls - IF they had stalls and not urinals and a john in a big open room with a few 1-2 foot dividers between them (1-2 feet from wall to the end of the divider).

    There is almost NEVER toilet paper in public men's rooms. Many places simply do not stock it - sometimes because it gets stolen, sometimes because the holders get broken and/or it gets tossed on the floor or into the toilet as soon as they stock it and sometimes guys have just peed on the roll so often that places stop putting it out. Then again, there are guys who wouldn't ever think about putting TP into men's rooms. I once worked in a convenience store and we got a magazine for convenience store owners. It actually had a poll about if you put TP into men's rooms or not back in the early 90s. At the time I thought it was a joke, but I was annoyed because every night I worked I had to put all new rolls of TP into the men's room when I cleaned it.

    Men's bathrooms are DISGUSTING. Almost universally disgusting. Go into about 10 of them if you can. First thing you will notice is the horrendous odor that will assault you. They stink - even when cleaned more often than womens. Sure, some places have nicer ones - there ARE nice ones out there. They are a sign that someone puts a LOT of work into cleaning and frequent repainting. I know one business that paints the ladies' room every 1-2 years and the men's room every 6 months. The walls in the men's room have to be scrubbed down weekly - and this is a very nice, high end business.

    This is one reason, in my opinion, that a LOT of guys have a really hard time with many bathroom things that we think are everyday things. I have been told that mens rooms don't have stall doors because guys tear them off, tear them up and pee all over them. I have no clue if this is true, but I know that there is NO WAY that I can use a public bathroom with-o a door between me and everyone else. If the bathroom is really gross i won't go.

    We took a trip to the nearest Sam's on thurs and had to stop at 2 places to find a bathroom for me to use on the way home. The first place was remodelling the bathroom and had a portable toilet out front. I HATE those and this one had two guys on their lunch hour standing outside trying to rock it while a buddy used it. NO WAY was I using that one. The second had a great bathroom, but husband went into the men's and walked back out because it was gross. I could SMELL it - cleaner and pee - as I went into the ladies room. NOT really nice smelling, but there was no smell of pee in the air or anything else gross in the ladies room.

    I DO keep a few ziploc bags in the car - each filled with 3 indiv wrapped sanitizing hand towelettes, a smaller ziploc with 3 baby wipes, and about 3 feet of toilet paper. I also have a spray bottle of alcohol in my purse. It came as a sprayer of hand sanitizer and is a little thicker than a nice pen and when it was used up I just filled it with alcohol to use on hands, toilets, tables, anything germy. My guys can grab a ziploc from the car and be able to use a public restroom fairly easily. Both the outer ziploc and the inner one with the baby wipes are in sandwich size ziplocs because these will fit easily into a pocket and hold all they need, plus they can put the trash into the ziploc when they are done instead of flushing.

    Sometimes the problem isn't so much not being willing to do it as not being able to do it everywhere. I have seen the difference in men's rooms all across the country in all sorts of businesses - did a family poll and asked members who travel to let me know if there was a big difference in mens and womens restrooms. Part of my curiosity on this was because at the time I had a very young daughter and wondered if it would be hard for husband if he had to travel with her with-o me. It was -he did take a trip with just her one year and it was very difficult because she wasn't really old enough to navigate a ladies room by herself.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Outside of an absolute emergency, kiddo and I both will hold #2 until home. Might be an hour's drive, but we'll do it. Overnight travel is another matter but in our ordinary days? We'll just finish the grocery shopping fast or half-done and complete that the next day long as we have what we need to get to next day.