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My friend asked me to post this, as she is not big on forums.... Her son is 8, and he is still "afraid to poop". He will hold it in for days and days. He has been on medications for it... but it is always just a temporary fix. She thinks that it is a psychological problem, and not medical..... she is just wondering if anyone might have some suggestions.... maybe someone has been through this. She is a single mom, and so anytime he has an accident at school, he has to sit in the principals office until she can get there.... she does not drive either, so this is not easy on her. Any help, suggestions or what not are greatly appreciated!
Constipation is a self-propogating problem. If it hurts to poop, you won't poop. You will then hold it until it forces itself out and it hurts coming out. Especially if there is a tear and blood.
With my daughter, we had to really go back to the basics of what was going on and make sure things were more loose than normal so that she'd loose that fear of pooping. And yes, it can become a huge psychological block. A lot of kids develop anxiety that needs to be treated.
And the constipation must be treated as well. A bit of medicine here and there to force the poo out isn't going to be the key. It has to be a consistent and it has to be weeks/months of consistently looser poo before a child will give up that hellish grip.
My daughter didn't poop in the toilet until she was 5. We had an occasional poo in the toilet but not until she knew it wasn't going to be agony or a tearing pain when she went. It took about 4 months once she started going on the toilet until we got a daily poo.
Their is a ton of shame surrounding soiling and I imagine doing it at school is impacting him MORE than anything. And the fact that he has to sit and wait is probably killing both of them.
He needs a good paed and a gastro to check his bloods. They need to know if he's celiac, lactose intolerant and they need to get this kid onto a regular medicine. My daughter has been on lactulose, occasionally tolerating movicol, for more than a year, almost 2 years at this stage. She is taking 30ml which is a big dose for her size but it works.
They need to be aggressive at this stage because obviously something is wrong and the longer his bowel is distended, the longer he will NOT feel the need to empty his bowel. Literally, as the bowel becomes more and more distended, the feeling of urgency goes away, for both defecating and urinating. So, he may begin weeing himself as well.
He probably needs to speak with someone about the effects of it as well. He might have a lot of internal anxiety and need some talk-play therapy.
If she wants to chat via email, you can PM me.
Jen + Matt
Parents to Sophie, the Wondergirl Asperger's Syndrome
GERD & Constipation
Thanks! I have forwarded on your response to her. She called me from work today in a panic because he had done it again today at school, and she did not have time to walk home and all the way to the school on her break to take care of it. She asked me if she could borrow a pull up and some pants for him. She has a very hard time swallowing her pride and asking for help. I drover her to her house to get stuff for him and took her up to the school. I wish there was more I could do....