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Poop anxiety

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My almost 3yo DS (SPD) has been pee trained for a year now, but he still has a lot of anxiety about pooping and needs very strict conditions to actually do it. He has to be in a diaper, upstairs by our bed, with some cars that he usually lines up while he's pooping. He then panics every single time about being changed. Sitting on the potty scares him. If we are out or he is with someone else, he will hold it for as long as it takes to get back home to his pooping place.

I get that some people have to be in the right place to poop, but this seems extreme. He often won't tell us until he's been holding it and panicking over everything else. I know he needs to poop, but he will often refuse the diaper until I wrestle him into it and set up his cars on the bed so he can be reminded of it.

We have talked about how the poop is made, that everyone does it, etc. I've told him that I feel good after I poop, that it makes me feel better, etc. I've tried just not saying anything about it at all and letting him choose, and that turns into a big panic fest all day. I don't know what to do. He doesn't want a diaper or to be changed, but he doesn't want the potty either. He absolutely will not consider pooping any way other than his current way. I have tried my very hardest not to put any pressure on him about the potty. I don't really know how to give him any more control over the situation either, since he is really unable to take any part in the diapering/changing process (beside flushing his poop, and the sound often scares him).

What do I do? It's been a year and I have no idea when he's going to be ready to use the potty.
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention that he is still pooping once a day and that the consistency is fine. He eats anything and everything (underresponsive orally) and I know he is not constipated. Hasn't been in ages (since he was an infant). He won't let me in the room while he poops, but from what I hear outside the door, he doesn't sound like he's in pain while he poops.
post #3 of 5
Can you introduce a little potty in the room where he likes to poop. I wouldn't expect him to use it right away, but just to get him used to it being there. Maybe eventually you could work him toward that...?

BTW, my DS, who has SPD, was nearly 3.5 before he was even pee trained, and a couple months after that he was doing poo in the potty. And we still have pee accidents .all.the.time. So, I wouldn't worry about your DS being older than some "norm". I think it's fairly common that boys take a long time.

But yes, it does sound like your DS is extra-super specific about the conditions to go poo. This kind of being specific is part and parcel of the SPD, I think. Is there anything else you could change, a tiny bit at a time, just to try and get him slowly used to something different. Like, if he always has the same cars...can you try leaving just one of them out...?
post #4 of 5
Our GI doesn't really get that this is sensory based for ds1, but it really, really is. Avoiding gluten actually mostly resolves this (ds also gets constipated and diarrhea from foods and from trying to hold it), b/c he's much less reactive.

Speaking of poop--gotta help him now! back later!

mrsfru
post #5 of 5
My DS 2 was like this for a very long time. Probably from the time he was 4 until the time he was about 6 or so. He had to be on the floor in his bedroom at his dad's house, or he wouldn't go. Fortunately his dad and I lived near each other so it wasn't a huge issue. He finally got over it when we took a trip. He wanted to fly on an airplane really really really bad, so the deal was that he would have to poop other places besides his bedroom if he wanted to travel. He still has anxiety about what will happen if he has to poop at school. He flat out refuses to go there and he freaks out if thinks he might have the urge. We just make sure that he poops every night so it's not an issue for him the next day.
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