SPD And Poop Training

by Becky Justice
(Garner, NC, USA)

My son was diagnosed at 2 1/2 with SPD. He is 4 1/2 now and over the summer he has successfully learned how to pee in the potty. I did this by the no pants method for two weeks. He has done great and even holds his pee through the night. He tells us every time when he needs to go.

But poop is another matter. He holds it as long as he can (3-4 days a couple of times), then he will go to the potty over and over and try to poop but he cannot make his muscles do it. He cries through the whole thing (like he is afraid) but a couple of times he was able to do a "dot" and he was so proud. I talked to the doctor and she put him on Miralax to try make it easier. This causes loose stools but he never could do it in the toilet no matter how long you made him sit. I quit the Miralax a week ago, but the loose stool finally stopped yesterday. My problem is now that for the last 3 nights he has peed in the bed. Last night he even pooped(hasn't done that since a year old). Yesterday afternoon he kept going back to the potty trying to poop but just couldn't do it.

Sunday he had accidents all day. He would tell me "I've got poo poo" and it would only be pee or maybe a streak. I think he has the sensations but can't distinquish what it is. And I don't think he knows how to make it happen. And then he gets really upset about it. It tears him up when he has an accident.

How can I break this down so that I can teach him about poo poo? I know if I go back to pull ups full time, he will revert on his pee. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The SPD Help Line Answers...

Hi Becky,
This is definitely a common problem with our SPD kiddos. And, you are probably right when you say he may not be feeling the sensations, or feels them but can't make the muscles work, etc. This is a great insight you had, actually! That, coupled with your explanation of how he tries and tries so hard, and also how he gets very upset when he has an accident, etc. tells my gut that you are right on!

So... how can I help? Well... luckily, I already wrote an extensive article on this very topic as it is indeed a common question/problem. It is one of my back issues of my free monthly newsletter, The SPD Companion. Here is the link that will take you to it... SPD And Potty Training. I hope this helps you!

I want you to know that as his neurological system becomes more integrated through OT, this will get better. Make sure you are talking to his OT and addressing this issue on a whole body approach/level.

Whether the information I provided via this answer, and my newsletter, does or not help, can you let me know? You can rate my answer, and submit comments after you have read the newsletter. I want to make sure you have the help you need and that your question has been answered.

Anyone else have some suggestions for Becky? Besides what is in my newsletter? Anyone else struggling with the same issues? Let Becky know!
She would really appreciate your comments and feedback, I'm sure!

Hope this helps.
Michele Mitchell

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Oct 05, 2007
Help with potty training
by: Anonymous

My son is 9 and has Sensory Processing Disorder and Becky's story sounds like I could be telling it. Our son was treated by his pediatrician and a gastroenterologist from ages 4-6 trying to correct this difficulty. He also was prescribed Miralax which did not help at all. What did finally work was swtiching him to lactose-free milk and it has been working ever since. I had read an article on lactose intolerance and thought we had tried everything else, why not try this simple remedy. What a shock it was that it worked. By the way, his doctors said they doubt switching his milk corrected the problem. I really believe doctors have alot to learn yet and need to be more open to natural remedies. He was not diagnosed with SPD until he was 8 and I think back now how we struggled and did not get the right kind of help from the medical field at all. Only through my endless hours of research and perseverance did we get the help we needed through occupational and vision therapy. Can I say for sure he is lactose intolerant? No, he has had not testing but due to his Sensory Processing Disorder, he does not eat the right foods and the dairy products just made it worse. Good luck!

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