My son is almost 5 years old; a little over a year ago we (my wife and I) caught him putting feces in his mouth, not everyday, but enough that we were worried/concerned about it. His reasoning was either he didn't want to have to go to the bathroom, his poop was hurting him or we didn't feed him enough. It went in cycles as to him doing this and us catching him; we asked the school psychologist to get involved and they met/observed him and told us there was nothing out of the ordinary and it would stop with time. Today we just caught him again with feces in his mouth watching TV; his reasoning was he didn't want to go to the bathroom. He acts like it's no big deal and doesn't seem to understand that it's not healthy, safe or acceptable. HELP! Open to any suggestions.
This is called coprophagia. Basically, eating poop.
In other mammals besides humans it's a sign of nutritional defiency, and in puppy mill puppies it's a sign of being left in a cage too long with feces and nothing else to play with or eat.
Worriedparents, this is very unusual that he is eating this rather than hiding it if he's having accidents. Usually children will hide their underwear, or leave the feces in their pants. Eating it is very unusual.
Have you taken him in for a complete nutritional check up and blood work? It may be that he has a deficit.
I would love to hear if you have an update or found a solution to this?
My 5 yr old daughter is doing the same behavior..but is also very aggressive & acts out quite a bit. We are waiting for her mental health referral as of now..but it is really disturbing to me , because as with your son..she does not seem to take in how harmful/wrong this is.
my son is nearly six and has been eating feces for the last three years, just after been diagnosed with autism, i know sounds bad, but your gut is telling you there is something wrong, at the moment cant stop him and know one knows how, specialist saying its a sensory problem, how do i put this but his intelligence is extremely good, so he is well aware of what he is doing but cant seem to stop. I too am looking for help, oh have had blood tests done and he is not lacking in any nutrients, i had wondered the same?
wow...im am going thru this as of right now, all ive been told is the lady (amog) that my child has autism an it sounds like a sensory disorder yet no answer on what to do my son is 2 years old,please if anyone has a ccurrent answer it would be great, im going crazy, dont know what to do...PLEASE HELP.
my child use to do this too. she would stick her hand inside her diaper and put it in her mouth and it seem like it didnt bother her at all . my daughter who is three years old nowhas recentlly been diagnose with mild autism.I havent notice this behavior for over a year now.
we've been to medical doctors and psychiatrists, counselors, specialists, OT's, homeopathists, naturopathists, and more for 6 years for this problems and it has only gotten worse. She is going into middle school next year and she still needs an aid to follow her around to make sure she doesn't do it in front of anyone. She's ADHD/ NLD and we all are suspecting Aspergers (she should of been diagnosed by this age but her insurance wouldn't pay for counseling if she has autism because they feel autistic kids cannot get better with counseling UGG!!!) Anyway, its pretty hopeless.. Whats really sad is that she could totally have a normal life, she is really smart, a good writer, a good friend. I hope that as she gets older she will gain more body awareness to be able to stop the habit. Its hopeless a little... her counselors just dropped us because they weren't able to help after so much work they did.
yes it is unusual, and because of that, we had people at her school who couldn't handle the thought of her problem to treat her very disrespectfully too. Watch out for people who can't handle it! We have had people first thing think there is some abuse or negligence or heaven forbid aweful stuff going on in our home, and its not.. we've been fully checked out and now I have many professionals who can back me up on that.. who have come to our home a lot to help and have gotten to know me and my parenting methods for a long time and know that this is just some strange thing that we all can't figure out. A kids behavior problem does not always fit into a box, I've learned.. and what you think always is the cause is not always true especially when you are looking at development delays and autism. We have had so much judgement and those same people who judged did us a disservice by thinking that my daughter has no disability that its just abuse.. we went through a few hard years with this and people. I'm happy that we have come out the other end..... with the problem still... but with people understanding at least.
My step son is 5 and he plays with his butt to the point where it is bloody and covered with poop. He wont stop. We have to literally watch him 24 7 other wise he does it in public at home to his 2 yr old sister.. it all started because his 9 yr old sister has been molesting him for at least 3 yrs.. cps said what they do to eachother is ok.. trying to take him to counseling all they can do is teach him boundaries of the body.. I think him and his 9 yr old sister need to be removed.. but my husband doesnt want to do anything to loose his kids.. but what can I do.. I need help. It has gotten to the point where im going to leave my husband if things dont change.. please help me. I live in kern county ca.. all the resources here suck..
My son is 10/ eat his feces. It is soooo hurtful. I try to get him help on it. He has been doing it since the age of five. I still have no answers as to why he does it. He's been Institutionalize a few times. Different treatment programs. Nothing seem to be working for him. He may stop doing it a day or so. I have been recently told that he doesn't have OCD, Autism that's been ruled out. My hands are tied. I ask him why do he feel the need to do it. He tells me he can't help it. And he is a digger. So, to only think he does it in the bathroom isn't the case. He use to be really good at hiding it. Now, its just when ever, however, he needs to do it. Someone please HELP ME.................... Mother really in need for my son to get better
My great niece is severely Autistic and at 13, is also not potty-trained. I feel she should be, but am not the parent and can't make it happen. I have never seen her eating her feces, but she does touch herself and will get feces on her fingers/under her nails, etc. Teachers have been changing her diapers and have seen her eating her feces. One reason may be called Pica. It is a condition where people/kids eat strange/unusual things. I read somewhere that the smell of strong coffee can help them stop. I've no idea if it works, but read there is something in the odor that calms the urges?? I just can't believe any doctor would say it is normal, particularly after a certain age.
Did anything work? My son started eating feces at 18 months. We stopped him of course. But thinking back, we were always careful to change his diaper quickly. When he was in third grade, we figured out that he was doing it again. We took him to a therapist and he made him talk about it. He has never cried so hard. It was very emotional for him and he stopped for years. Tonight, my wife told me that she caught him doing it again. He is 10 years old. The websites I have read say that it is associated with mental retardation, autism and schizophrenia. My son has a 130 IQ and is a gifted student. He is social, outgoing, and makes friends easily. I don't know what to do about this. Please help. I love my son and want to help him
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