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Old 09-22-2011, 11:46 AM
Phillymom Phillymom is offline
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10 y/o defecating on floor at SCHOOL

Does anyone have experience with a child who was not having inappropriate urinating or defecation at home, but has now started having this problem at school?

Our 10 year old son has been with us almost 2 years and has progressed by leaps and bounds - aside from ODD we're generally in a good place. Now it appears he is going to the bathroom on the floor in the school bathroom.

He has been very frustrated with school work this year and is being tested this week for learning disabilities (I think the tests are adding to the frustration). I'm wondering if that's why this is happening only at school?
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:47 PM
alys1 alys1 is offline
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Welll... dunno if I should say this or not. But here goes. I've taken a couple of 6-hour classes (for foster care) from a gal I really like. She's a community mental health person, foster parent, bio-parent, 55-ish, very down to earth, and very funny. She once told the story of a foster boy who the family was planning to adopt, pre-teen or teen, and the family got a job offer for out of town. For whatever reason, decided to put this child back into foster care, not take him with. (Ouch.)

So the child... pooped on their dining room table. She was called to help diffuse the situation. Said she looked at him and said, "Well, I get your message, "S... on you for leaving me." Am I correct?" And he said, Yes.

So I wonder, what message is being delivered by him doing this? Where's it coming from? Honestly I asked myself, "Why would I do that?" I mean, I was afraid to do the slightest tiny thing wrong at his age, and my family was very stable, it's not something I've ever considered! (yikes). I guess I'm asking, "What message would I be sending if I did that?"

So in short, what's behind it? That's what I'd be looking to find out. Gosh, in some non-jugemental way -- which would be way easier for me if the poop was at school than in my home! (yikes)

Saying all this on the foundation you mention that he's doing well, it's been 2 full years, etc. That sounds great, and congrats on the progress.

Hmmmm, perhaps... "I don't think you suddenly forgot where the toilets in the bathroom at school are... so I was thinking maybe you were trying to send the school some sort of message. I wonder what that message might be, and what's been bugging you so you wanted to send it? I mean, is it a particular person, or just something different that's happening?"

Something like that.

I would personally also be very likely to call a wise, experienced counselor for advice on how to handle it. Presuming you have one on tap. I did for a while, it was fabulous!
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:32 AM
Phillymom Phillymom is offline
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Thanks, Alys1. This is helpful. I, too, have heard of this happening usually at home and earlier in the placement process (it was mentioned in our required training classes) as a way to exert control over something when you feel like you have none.

He doesn't know that we know about it, or that the school has figured out (about 90% sure) that it's him. (Chalk on up for hallway cameras in schools.) They don't want to confront him and embarass him or make him feel punished, just want to get to the issue.

I know there must be a reason but despite all his other progress, he doesn't talk with us about things that bother him and he tries to hide any problems he has had (like getting in trouble at school).

He saw his trusted trauma counselor yesterday and she was going to probe without confronting him. We are waiting to hear from her on what, if anything, she found out. (She doesn't tell us things like this in front of him.)

I may have made it worse, but I casually asked him the time he (or one of his friends) was talking about someone messing up the bathroom (which I distinctly remember) and how I was thinking the kid must be upset, and then, too, if the other kids find out who it is, that kid might get teased and picked on.

He adamantly denied ever telling me about any such thing and even that it has happened -- which tells me all I need to know. All the kids know about it happening and are talking about it a lot.

Now I'm second guessing whether I should have said anything at all, but so far the kids at his school have been very forgiving of his issues and he is still popular - I don't want him to get caught by another kid when he's doing this, because it is a very small school and he'll never live it down.

Well, perhaphs I should not have clicked "quick reply" on this post...
Thanks again!
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:18 PM
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snuffie snuffie is offline
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I read your post & thought of something. Could he be afraid to sit on the toilet seat there? Maybe someone played a not too funny joke on him once? Maybe they had a class or he saw a TV show about germs? Just some thoughts. And I am so glad he is doing well at home.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:04 AM
Phillymom Phillymom is offline
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Snuffie, it's possible, but this kid is not germ-averse at all... We have to constantly remind him of hand washing and hygeine. I think it's more likely that he is mad or upset about something at school and is sending a message about that. Getting toWHAT exactly is going to be the hard part...
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:11 AM
dazzlingdeb dazzlingdeb is offline
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Originally Posted by snuffie
I read your post & thought of something. Could he be afraid to sit on the toilet seat there? Maybe someone played a not too funny joke on him once? Maybe they had a class or he saw a TV show about germs? Just some thoughts. And I am so glad he is doing well at home.

A 10 year old boy not sitting on the toilet b/c of germs? I highly doubt it. If he didn't want to go at school--most kids can hold it till they get home. 10 year old boys in and of themselves are usually more germie than a bathroom!

I agree with the PP, this was done intentionally.
How frustrating!
Married 7 years

Mommy to:
Boy-5 yr old
Girl-3 1/2 year old
Boy-2 year old

Licensed in September '09
Former Foster parent to:
Girl-5 (sisters placed in February '10)
*Left October 2011 to live with aunt and their 2 other sisters. So sad.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:59 PM
tygerlilyzz tygerlilyzz is offline
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from my experience this is a control issue- this kids is so frustrated at school and he has no control over it- so this is something he can control and 'get back' at the school at the same time. he is showing them that he can do what he wants no matter how disgusting it is and they can't control that like they are controlling everything else.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:26 PM
oneDDtwoLGS oneDDtwoLGS is offline
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Maybe he just doesn't want to be at school. My 13yo nephew who I have had legal custody of for 6 years now does this, except he forces himself to throw up on the floor in the bathroom.
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