My 15yr son has almost always had encopresis, and soiling underwear, and at 15 he is still doing it. (diagnosis Pervasive Development Disorder ADD, & ODD). He has major behavioral/attitude issues. He just did a "clean out" w/Miralax under doctors advice, and started on the twice a day Miralax maintenance with with sitting on toilet twice a day 5 minutes, and he refuses to care or cooperate, and does it in his pants. In fact that was the second "clean out" process that didn't work, because of his uncooperative attitude. He gets psychiatric care/meds, and has had counseling before long term which most of the time there he complained about being bored. My husband and I are beyond our wits end... what do we do with this kid? We have tried everything doctors have advised and we are still nowhere with him. I wish there was some kind of bootcamp or professional that would take him on as a project... We have tried our best.. he is behavior/attitude is beyond my comprehension...
I can hear your frustration. I'm wondering whether he is involved in taking care of himself. Does he clean himself up, rinse his clothes and do his own laundry? I would be tempted to 'pass' on doing any of that yourself, even if it means letting things 'sit' until he takes care of them.
I know it can be a hassle to have to hear all that arguing but I think allowing natural consequences to occur; he needs cleaning=he takes care of it, could go a long way in encouraging him to use the john when needed. Actually, when he starts to argue, I wouldn't necessarily respond; just point the way to the washing machine and stand firm. You could try it for a week and see if there's any progress. Good luck!
A couple of thoughts. First, I have a dd with Asperger's and defiant behavior. At first glance I'd put him out back with a basin of soapy water and a scrub brush and tell him to have at it. A few episodes of that would probably soon be having him change his ways!
Another thought, though, is one a therapist taught me last summer. She suggests having the child tell you what it would take to make the behavior stop. Example: You smell his loaded pants and say, "You know, you're 15 years old and way beyond the age where this should be happening and I know you can control it but choose not to do so. Think a minute and tell me what consequence would it take to make you stop fillin' em?" He may say "losing computer for a week, having phone confiscated, etc" or he may say nothing. If he says nothing OR if he gives an answer that isn't acceptable to you, you come back with, 'OK, since that isn't workable, I will choose a consequence and I choose "xyz."
Then, if it happens again, YOU MUST CARRY OUT THE CONSEQUENCE.
Of course this can be renegotiated if needed, depending on how he reacts If it worsens, then tighten up the consequence. If it works right off, simple reminders will need to be given until you're reasonably sure the behavior is gone for good.
And meanwhile, the next time he does it, make him do the clean up! You can then discuss the consequence for future incidences.
Thanks for your reply. I really have tried everything before, but he is so stubborn and agressive. Consequences don't seem to have much of an impact on him. DH and I have tried everything, and keep trying.
I'm going to go out on a limb and offer suggestions which are only based on my interpretation of what you've written. Also, I'm not a licensed therapist, just life experiences.
This sounds to me like he's acting out on some really deeply rooted anger from a perception of being neglected. If he was raised in day care, that could be the start of feelings of abandonment & neglect. If he's had a life of being bossed around, criticized, and dumped off at babysitters by parents who are too busy for him, that could be it as well. He may resent having to go to a shrink and take medications. Sounds like he resented and hence didn't cooperate in therapy.
Also, again no disrespect intended and if I'm wrong it's because I'm only going by what I read, but when you say you wish you could send him to boot camp and asking "what can we do with this kid?" sounds like you view him as an inconvenience, or even an object. That you're more focused on what you want than what he needs.
If I'm right and he's 15, it could take a long while and lots of patience and diligence to win his trust and respect again. But I suggest immediately stop showing your frustration and disgust even if it means cleaning out poopy underwear for while longer. (That it's poop is significant - like he's saying "Here, clean my sh*t.") It seems to be a reaction he likes to poke out of you. Start making alone time for him as parents and individually, doing interactive things that allow you to praise and hug him. Heck, even just holding and caressing his hair while you watch teevee could be nice. At some point sit alone with him with plenty of quiet time set aside and say "I've been thinking a lot and I'm starting to understand that you're really angry with me and your dad, maybe ever since you were little. And I want to say I'm sorry and I want to make up for it." Then "Is that true? What did we do wrong?"
Then listen and do not get defensive or make excuses. Doing so just sounds like it's not about him, that it's still only about you. Have the humility to understand what he says and begin to change your lives to revolve more around loving him than around your goals and plans for yourself and expectations for him.
But above all this has to be sincere. He'll be able to tell if you're playing a manipulative game and it'll go nowhere. You may not see any "positive" results for a while, but if you have the mindset of true love for him and really want him to feel loved, it won't be temporary, it'll be a life change.
Again, this is just from my interpretation of your post and I'm not judging or trying to be critical of you. But this situation screams to me of a boy who feels unloved for who he is and fighting back with spite ... and doodoo.
Last edited by Administrator; 09-02-2010 at 04:19 PM.
Your theory makes me think of the old "refrigerator mom" theory of the causation of autism. I'm going to go out on a limb, as I am a mom with a kid on the autism spectrum as is the original poster, and say, "unless you live the life of a family affected by autism, you truly have no clue."
Of course she's frustrated, and venting, and referring to her son as "this kid." It's a necessary coping skill used by even parents of neurotypical kids who have tried their parents' patience beyond belief. Did you know that parents of kids on the autism spectrum experience stress levels equal to soldiers in combat? Now multiply that X15 years in her case. It gets OLD.
Does that mean she loves her son any less. Oh heck no.... The parents of kids affected by autism are no different in their ability to love their children, do not reject their children any more than other parents. We love our kids...HATE the behaviors.
I wonder if this is something parents should be expected to cope with by themselves? I have some friends with an Aspergers son with very challenging behaviour and in the end they made a very difficult decision to send him to a special therapeutic school for behaviour-disturbed kids for a few months. He came back very much easier to live with, and actually enjoyed his time there, in spite of being very unwilling to go at the start (he had even been refusing day school at that stage).
I like your answer, I Jones. I was thinking the same thing myself. If they can find such a special school it might work wonders, and like you said, still be enjoyable for their son, and give them a needed break.
Brocallie, you are exactly correct... I'm barely hanging on emotionallyand have severe insomnia for the past 12 months. But I posted about my son... and vented a little. Along with the maintenance miralax, long toilet sits,and diet, we are making an all out effort to resolve this, hoping he will show some cooperation. He is physically healthy, but on a medication that does increase his appetite. He goes to a therapeutic special ed school.
Sport46, is that a day school? The one my friends' son went to for those few months was boarding, and they had limited contact. Somehow the very consistent 24hr routine of the boarding environment seemed to be helpful to him getting his thoughts in order.
No it's not a boarding school, but it's a non-public special ed. school, that includes lots of services, small classes, etc. He/we are making some progress lately with the encopresis problem, not a lot, but some.
Thanks for the reply Brocallie. I didn't read that the lad has autism. As I said, I was just going by my interpretation of the OP and really hoped I didn't insult the OPer (or anyone else). I envisioned misbehavior from an otherwise "normal" child.
It's been my experience having once been a neglected child, having been around children, and having my own that sincere attention, love, & encouragement are more powerful at solving issues than yelling at them like a dog and telling them to clean themselves (as one post suggested).