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SPD son and extreme misbehavior when he has to poop...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Since my son was about 18 months old we noticed that when he had to poop his behavior would take a turn for the worse. He would become reckless, angry, prone to a meltdown at every turn. The best way to describe it is that his energy becomes fractured. he moves in unexpected ways, runs off, throws things or yells when someone tries to interact with him. He is almost four now and this behavior has gotten worse; over the last few weeks his tantrums have gotten very violent. We recently started OT for sensory seeking behavior and have seen success using the techniques UNLESS he hasn't pooped yet. Our therapist recommended setting up a "good choice" jar in the bathroom and having him sit on the toilet for a minute or two four times a day just to get into the habit. every time he does, he can put a coin or token in the jar and when it reaches a certain level, he gets a reward. i tried to do this but he refused and got very angry any time we brought it up. in fact, whenever we mention using the bathroom he gets mad. has anyone else experienced this? 

post #2 of 5
My DSQuote:
Originally Posted by jessicav View Post

Since my son was about 18 months old we noticed that when he had to poop his behavior would take a turn for the worse. He would become reckless, angry, prone to a meltdown at every turn. The best way to describe it is that his energy becomes fractured. he moves in unexpected ways, runs off, throws things or yells when someone tries to interact with him. He is almost four now and this behavior has gotten worse; over the last few weeks his tantrums have gotten very violent. We recently started OT for sensory seeking behavior and have seen success using the techniques UNLESS he hasn't pooped yet. Our therapist recommended setting up a "good choice" jar in the bathroom and having him sit on the toilet for a minute or two four times a day just to get into the habit. every time he does, he can put a coin or token in the jar and when it reaches a certain level, he gets a reward. i tried to do this but he refused and got very angry any time we brought it up. in fact, whenever we mention using the bathroom he gets mad. has anyone else experienced this? 

 

Your DS sounds a bit similar to mine, who is now almost 7. He is quite sensitive to physical sensations/irritations. Reward schemes didn't work at all. What worked was to make bathroom visits calm and special by letting him play Angry Birds on DH's phone while he sat on the toilet. If he got agitated he couldn't poo, so we never pushed it. We noticed which time in the day he had a poo and encouraged toilet visits at that time. It worked out very gradually. In my experience with my three kids, around four has been high season for tantrums, but they grow out of it. 

I don't think there is any point in making an extra problem out of the meltdowns that are caused by the irritation caused by the discomfort of needing to poo soon. In my experience, making tantrums, which are after all normal in most kids' development, into a "behavioral problem", causes more frustration and more tantrums. When the pooing is no longer an issue, the tantrums will be reduced. Your DS is only four, and young kids yell and run off when upset. It is completely normal, and learning to control your behaviour when under emotional distress, is a long and gradual process.

We can still occasionally see that DS is irritable when needing a poo, but meltdowns are infrequent and he doesn't have any behavioural problems or problems with using the toilet.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 In my experience with my three kids, around four has been high season for tantrums, but they grow out of it. 

I am sincerely hoping this is true!

post #4 of 5

My older son has always gotten a little hyper, sometimes difficult in the half hour or so before he poops.  Its not every time, but its a pattern that we've seen for years.  He doesn't have any special needs.  

post #5 of 5

Yes! From 18 months on, and I remember 3-4 was horrible. Later I understood he must be SPD. The pre-pooping behaviour oh wow, and he had a lot of atypical bowel movements a day, between 3-9 I believe... And the behaviour and tantrums, ohlala....and frequent too (thos not only pooping related though). When I realised  that some behaviour and frustraion must be related to pooping and probable oversensitivity and discomfort, we checked into food allergies and intolerances. We figured out he must be sensitive to milk sugar. he was still nursing but I didn't want to quit yet, he would grow out of the nursing one day by himself, but we cut out animal milk (except for yoghurt, butter, and some cheeses). It took some time but it got better. Pooping frequency, messiness and related issues (intestinal discomfortd etc.) have been waaaaay better. But SPD in general is an issue here as are other things. Tantrums still happen, can still be very intense at 6, but do not happen almost daily (or several times a day) anymore, a few per month on average. Once in a while he can act out and sometimes it's 'ping' he's probably having intestinal discomfort. I guess it can trigger some disrupting behaviour in sensitive kids like ours.

And through him and the above issues I realised I have the same dietary issue. (Now) I feel way better, physically and emotionally without the irritation causing food substances and when I consume it by accident, I undergo it and it really gets me irritable because then I do not feel well at all.

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