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Avatar universal

Our 4.5 year old has extreme rectal manifestations

I'll try to make this as short as possible but we have a complex issue. Our boy never had any problems with his urethral and rectal material. We potty trained him at the age of 2 and he wet his pants only a couple of times since then, both times in his sleep. He hadn't rectally expulsed once, even though he was reluctant to go to the kindergarten toilet at first. Everything changed about a month after is 4th birthday. One day my wife went to pick him up and the nanny told her he pooped his pants and she had to clean it up. At home we took turns asking him for hours why he did that and he only laughed at us like a maniac and said he wanted to do so because Tom (his favorite toy soldier) was feeling bored. Next day same thing. Only this time he didn't mention Tom, he said he was personally feeling very happy so he had to do it. He kept doing this on an almost daily basis but it was only the beginning.

One day, about 4 months ago, we found a huge pile of poop under our blanket on our bed. I became truly worried. He said he didn't do it. Both my wife and I got mad and told him to get over there and smell it. He did that... and he refused to stop. Then he grabbed a large chunk of it and put it in his mouth, laughing crazily. We took him to the doctor, praise the lord he didn't get any infection. But the psychologist couldn't get any information either. Every time he went to an observation, he just kept laughing and laughing, almost not saying a single word.

We came to a conclusion it's all just a weird game for him and did everything to make it less fun for him. We forced him to clean it up himself. We made him help us wash the underwear. Nothing helped, he didn't even protest against those. He said he loved the smell, and from his reaction you could see he was honest. One day he went to the bathroom. He was inside for almost an hour. When we went in to check in on him, we saw the brown stuff everywhere. Washing machine, walls, mirror.

In the kindergarten, he started pooping and even peeing on toys while nobody was watching. We had to stop bringing him there. Right now our life consists of switching from one babysitter to another, as not a single one wants to keep going after receiving a picture of her... drawn with feces! His obsession with his bodily products became his only preoccupation. Even psychiatrists are not sure what to do. I intentionally refused to write their current opinions here. We'd like some fresh answers. Everything is welcome. Please help us!!
8 Responses
13167 tn?1327194124
It's a little hard to tell what's going on here,  but it sounds to me like your son is trying to stick his thumb in your eye.  

I was a little curious about "questioning him for hours" about a bowel accident at under 5 years of age.  Nurses keep extra clothing at schools because bowel accidents aren't all that uncommon in younger grades.  I'm surprised you made such a huge deal about this,  considering at the time it seemed like it may have been purely an accident of timing bathroom trips.

What has gone on from there,  my guess is,  he's figured out to stick it to you.   The poop on your bed,  under the covers is a pretty clear missile aimed right at you.

There is a condition that causes uncontrolled bowel movements in children,  called Encopresis.  But that is characterized by hiding the accidents,  or at least not flaunting them in the way your son is doing.

A good discussion for the therapist would be to ask your son what things he could change about his home life,  and his parents if he were given the choice.  My guess is a flood of rage will follow that discussion.

Did you tell the therapists about questioning him for hours after the first bowel incident?  I think they'd be interested in hearing about that.
4851940 tn?1515694593
I am sorry to hear about your son acting in that way with his bowel movements.

Do you have any other children or is this your only child?

A lot of children do things that are unacceptable to get attention regardless of what type of attention they get.

Have you tried a different approach to him being the way he is?
There clearly is a mental issue going on and as he is not able at the age of 4.5 years of age to express exactly how he feels, this is his way of "getting to you".  

Because he cannot be trusted not to make a mess in your bathroom, I would suggest that you do not let him go on his own.  Go with him and supervise what he does.  Wipe his bottom for him and encourage him to wash his hands after using the toilet no matter what he does. Encourage him to always wash his hands before eating too and after touching any pets.   Reward him for good behaviour and give him lots of hugs and tell him that you love him, but that you do not like what he does.

Read him bed time stories and allow him to choose his own story book.

I do not think that your son has Encopresis.  It seems to me that he is deliberately doing this to get your attention - by doing this, he is in control. You need to gain the control back - but not by punishment with shouting, etc.

You must not let him be on his own or out of sight.  If you notice that he starts to fidget, take him to the toilet so that he can do his business.  

Do enjoyable things with him by playing games indoors and outside.  Take him out for walks and to the park.  Be aware that this unacceptable behaviour will take time to stop.  Hopefully soon.

You also need to make his kindergarten teachers aware of his particular problem so that he is never out of their sight.

There is no point in dwelling on the past.  You need to focus on how to change things for the better and encourage him to do the right thing.

Best of luck.

13167 tn?1327194124
jamma, I completely agree that it sounds like this child doesn't have encopresis.  Sorry to have been confusing.
4851940 tn?1515694593
No worries.  

This child clearly has some psychological issues that needs to be addressed.

I have come across this situation before, but not as bad as this.

Avatar universal
Thank you for your current answers but both we and the experts have known all this for several months and still it helps us very little. The hour long questioning wasn't aggressive and nearly as drastic as it sounds, it was all done gently. But I apologize for being so stupid, I wrote this in a rush and left out some of the most important stuff. First, he is our only child.

Second, I completely forgot to say anything about his grandfather, my wife's dad. He has dementia and his own wife takes care of him, but we all visit both of them about twice a month. We think it's good for our kid to know his grandparents. the problem is, grandpa has certain behavioral issues as well, rectal and urethral manifestations being one of them. However, he never blew his diapers in front of the kid as far as we've seen. But something strange started to happen AFTER our son started manifesting himself. The first time we went to grandma and grandpa after a few of those "accidents", our boy ran up to grandpa all excited, hugged him, and then they both started laughing and screaming. Even besides the fact the scene itself was absurd, something else struck us even harder. The two of them absolutely loved each other, they used to play and grandpa would tell him stories, but the jumping and shouting was usually reserved for us at home. He was peaceful and polite with grandpa. And while we were questioning each other, they both simultaneusly dropped their pants and started peeing on the floor. The two of us and grandma rushed in and tried to stopped them to bo avail, as they only laughed like madmen. Our son's pants were full of poop as well.

After that incident we didn't visit for the next two months. The psychiatrists explained grandpa's dementia is slowly progressing, but nobody had an idea what in the world happened to our boy. The next time we visited, our son already started screaming and shrieking in the car (screams of joy and excitement, not fear), and he kept screaming while running through the hall. We could already hear grandpa's deep shouting and howling in the living room. Before we even managed to catch up, they were already expulsing next to each other on the floor.

Visits were forbidden after that one. But one day, our kid suddenly started screaming during dinner, jumped down from his chair and pooped on the floor. When we took him to the psychiatrist the next time he couldn't get anything about grandpa from him. We all thought grandpa told him to do it, but when we compared the therapists' ideas with our own, took into consideration our son's and grandma's stories, it was almost certain our kid started doing this before being affected by grandpa, and nobody was sure how they managed to influence each other later on.

To make things worse, about a month ago woke me up in the middle of the night. There was something moving on our bed. I thought it was our dog, but I turned on the light and it was our son instead, naked, caught in the middle of taking a dump on our bed while we were sleeping. He didn't scream this time but there was a huge grin on his face. He jumped down and ran to his room. I have to admit I was close to punishing him severely this time, but I managed to control my rage and I felt desperation instead. The desperation we both feel today.
13167 tn?1327194124
I'm not quite sure what the answers are that you're looking for here,  BrainTriumph,  but it is crystal clear to me that your son needs psychiatric intervention for mental illness.  

I wish you the best.  
13167 tn?1327194124
I'm sorry that last post sounded dismissive.  

One other thought I have,  is this behavior is fairly typical of children with asperger's syndrome.  Google asperger's syndrome pooping in public,  and you'll get a myriad of different asperger's websites discussing this exact behavior.

What's curious and unusual is it seems your son didn't have any of these behaviors at all until age 4,  and it's atypical for asperger's to have sudden onset.  

You may also want to post this on the asperger's syndrome forum on medhelp.

Best wishes in your quest for answers.
Avatar universal
Sorry for replying late, but I didn't have time to think about the forum during the past several days. While we were sleeping, our son got out of bed and took a dump in the living room. Then he smeared the material all over my laptop and my smartphone, in his mother's purse, and he peed on his clothes in the closet. Also, yesterday grandma and grandpa came to visit. It was planned, as we called psychologists to come to our home and witness the scene. The grandparents got out of the care and walked towards our house like regular old people. When we opened the door they were perfectly normal as well. Then grandpa saw the kid, immediately dropped his pants, got down on all fours and started running around like that screaming, while peeing and pooping at the same time. And our kid became wild and grabbed a chunk of grandpa's feces, putting it in his mouth...

Anyway, the scene ended with both psychologists and grandma calming down grandpa for three hours, while my wife took our son to the hospital. I remained there to clean the mess. Psychologists' and psychiatrists' conclusion? Still unsure, but Asperger is very unlikely. They started to speculate the granpa has a bigger role in all this after all.
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