Son refuses to go to the bathroom

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cinnamongrrrl
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27 Nov 2011, 6:08 pm

My son is now 10 years old. He was diagnosed with Aspergers about 3 years ago. We went through a hurricane when he was 4 but I suspected something when he was a year old. He was fully potty trained for the most part by the time he was 4 the begining of that summer. Well needless to say the hurricane happening in August (hurricane Katrina) threw everything off. So badly until this last year. He would go #@ in his pants but not #1. This went on from 4 years until just last year. We made a lot of mistakes throughout it all. We tried punishing him, we tried making him clean it himself, I even made fun of him a few times during my frustration. It cause many problems between my husband and I as well. We ended up putting him on a regimen of MIralax so we would know exactly when he would be going. It would never fail within the hour he would go. FInally we also stopped this because it hurt his stomach. We ended up ignoring it completely, and not aknowledging it at all. He stopped when he decided to stop and no sooner. His father and I have had a long rough road. WE have made a lot of mistakes but now I am hoping we are on the right track. We were also very young when we had him as well. Im so thankful there are resources out there like this one.



Senath
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23 May 2012, 12:20 am

Kailuamom wrote:
Eureka-C wrote:
I was just wondering, who does the cleaning after the accidents?

Here is my thought. Logically, if the time taken to have the accident, take a shower/rinse to get clean, put on clean clothes, clean the floor and toilet and put clothes in washer and start it is much longer than the time missed by waiting a few extra minutes of a game or otherwise, it may put incentive to following the timer/reminders et cetera. This is of course without yelling, fear, shame, just the logic of You made the mess so you have to help clean it even if it was an accident. Throw in a few comments of "boy this takes a lot of time." "It must be hard to keep having these accidents and use up all your fun time to clean up afterward. Is there any way I could help you remember to go?"


Hi Eureka -

Your suggestion is the preferred management for NT kids. At least my AS kid can't tie in his physical signals, sensory issues and priorities.

My NT. son didn't much like going when he was little, I trained him how to do the laundry and let him manage the issue. It took care of itself. There are just too many missing links for our AS kids Btw, before I knew what was up, we tried and tried that approach - just couldn't figure out why it wasn't working.


Just came across this and wanted to post from personal experience. I had huge issues with #2 throughout most of elementary school. It was so embarrassing. The social consequences of being someone who went in their underwear were dire, and I was constantly afraid that my peers or teacher knew. Who knows, maybe that's one of the reasons that started my difficulties with social anxiety (diagnosed w/anxiety disorder). I wish I could have gone normally. But I couldn't. First of all I would wait until the last possible moment to take care of it. A lot of the time I was "busy" focusing on something and didn't want it to be interrupted. By the time I got to the bathroom I would be constipated and/or I would freeze up. Or more likely, I wouldn't go to the bathroom at all until my automated bodily actions overtook my conscious desire and it would come out in my underwear. And I didn't know what to do. My mom was frustrated but she thought the problem just went away over time. It did subside, a little (mostly around the time that I got my period at 12; I could be wrong but I think somehow my change in hormones made it easier to go), but I would also have an accident every once in a while and I would just throw the underwear away, or do a shoddy job of washing it off in the sink and then throwing it in with the laundry.

Wow, I haven't thought about all of this in such detail in years... I am embarrassed to admit but for the sake of possibly helping someone's child- I still have accidents in the morning sometimes, especially on the weekends when I don't work early in the morning and I have time to spare and get involved with a "special interest" first thing in the morning before going to the bathroom. My boyfriend/fiancee of 5+ years doesn't even know it's still happening. Ugh.



Wreck-Gar
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23 May 2012, 8:44 am

KariHari wrote:
Hi! I'm brand new here, so I apologize if this question has been asked and answered before.

My son is 9, was recently diagnosed with Asperger's, and has always put off using the bathroom until the last moment (or too late). He says he doesn't have to go, even as he's doing the "pee-pee dance". I don't know if he can't sense that he has to go, doesn't like going, doesn't want to stop what he's doing to go, or hates washing his hands after, (all could be true) but it's a big issue in our house and I'd love some ideas from those who've experienced this. Even timed toileting isn't working because he really fights me.

Thanks!


If he coudln't sense he had to go, he wouldn't be doing the pee-pee dance.



Teredia
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23 May 2012, 9:46 am

He could have a psychological fear of something to do with the toilet. I know i do, and still do and really hate to admit what it is. but im scared for some reason of being flushed down the toilet...
This is a fear ive had since god knows when, n it was worsend by airport toilets in singapoor which flush automatically and a scene in the Watchmen....

This is actually the 1st time ive ever talked about this... but i brought it up cause it could be relevant to your little boy.

Though my 3 year old son sill refuses to use the toilet, where at 3 I was using it without any problem..



ASDMommyASDKid
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23 May 2012, 12:04 pm

We have had so many issues with this issue and our son, but I will limit what I say to the issues that you are having.

The number one problem we had was the transition. He did not want to interrupt his fun. It took a long while to convince him that going when he needed to took less time than when I had to to clean a mess (I was cleaning it, but he had to stand there in the bathroom, while I cleaned him, and he had to wait for me to clean his chair and surrounding area before playing.) I did social stories on this .

If you think this is an issue for your child I would really reinforce how he will have more time for fun, if he goes when he needs to. I think younger NT's do this, too because there is a Dinosaur Train episode where Tiny was doing the "pee-pee" dance, although the "Everybody Poops" episode was mainly about, well, pooping.

The number two problem was sensory: Small enclosed space, flushing and faucet sounds, and he doesn't like the feel of water.
We let him keep the door open at home, we flushed it afterwards until he was able to adjust to it, and we used hand wipes until he was willing to wash his hands the regular way, and we picked out a special interesty soft soap dispenser.

He could be waiting until the last minute because of a dread of sensory issues as well.



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23 May 2012, 1:12 pm

I had toileting issues when I was a kid. I was very hard to potty train and then I stopped wearing diapers and I had accidents until I was five years old. I used to be afraid of using the toilet for a while so I used to wet my pants and mess in them even though I use the toilet sometimes. I remember feeling scared about using the toilet. But once I started using it for both, it wasn't scary anymore. I am not sure what my mom did but I think as I got older, I started to use it on my own. I can remember her putting me on it. I think it had to do with the change and transitioning to it an change can be scary for all kids, even autistic ones.

Toilet problems seem for be very common for kids on the spectrum. I also remember I would clean up my own accidents at a very young age. I would just put on some clean clothes and put my dirty ones with the dirty clothes. I never liked being in wet or messy pants so I would go change and I knew where to put my clothes. I guess that made it easy for my mother eve though she had to clean up the wet spot. I am surprised she didn't go tough love on me about all this.



CockneyRebel
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02 Jun 2012, 9:27 pm

I wear pullups and diapers, because I can't always make it to the washroom and I'm in my 30s.


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NTMum
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07 Jun 2012, 6:19 am

Hi - my Aspie daughter had a similar problem when she was 9, she refused to use public toilets. It started around the time everyone was talking about the Swine Flu, there was a big push in the media and at school to wash your hand properly after using the toilet. She took that message to the extreme and started to believe you could catch the swine flu from a public toilet.

I only discovered that there was a problem after she started developing urinary tract infections. Then I learned that it had been going on for quite a while, she would hold it until we got home and then race to the toilet. She was wetting her pants daily at school. I went to her teacher and got permission for her to use the single toilets at school - she did not want to pull up her underwear until after she washed her hands, which is difficult in a stall. That didn't help, because she was embarrassed to be different from the other kids. I finally got the nurse to come and bring her to the toilet 2xs a day for a full term. She gradually developed a pattern of using the toilet and eventually would go on her own to the nurses office. We also rewarded her for using the toilet. She had to earn 5 toilet ticks a week and I would arrange for an ice skating lesson on the weekend, she got a tick for each time she used the toilet.

It took us a really long time to crack this, but 1 year on she's using the stall toilets and has overcome her fear.

I would suggest setting a schedule and rewarding your son for sticking to it. There were times when I dragged her kicking and screaming into a toilet to use it and she eventually did with relief. I did carry wipes and purell with me, so I could clean the toilet and then let her wash her hands immediately after.

Our younger NT daughter struggled with waking up during the night to use the toilet, so we bought her alarm pants. They look and feel like regular underpants, but are wired to an alarm that goes off if a drop of liquid touches them, they remind the wearer to use the toilet. She had a few accidents the first night, but eventually got the hang of it and was able to wake herself up from a deep sleep to use the toilet. It might be worth a try if you're home one day with no one around, so he doesn't get teased. It's a habit he needs to learn.

Good luck - it's a long process but you'll get there.