May 28, 2008,
S.T. asks from Gila Bend, AZ on May 13, 2008
7 Year Old Pooping His Pants at School
I am a K-1 teacher and one of my students is pooping his pants at school. It happens about once a week. I was not his teacher last year, but I was told he didn't have this problem last year. The problem has gotten worse as the year has gone on. He is repeating Kindergarten and is 7 years old. His older sister has a learning disability. I don't believe it would be related, but I'm just trying to give all the information. He doesn't really like to do his work at school, but he doesn't want to go home when he has an accident. He told me today that he can't feel it when he has to go poop. I let my students use the bathroom whenever they ask and take them to bathroom breaks as well. I don't have any idea what the real issue is. Is there a problem? Is this normal?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
S.G. answers from Albuquerque on May 13, 2008
When my stepson was in kindergarten he did this as well. He is now seven and it has stopped. We found out he had a condition called incompresis (I don't know if that is the correct spelling.) Any how, there are two types, intentional and unintentional. We took him to his pediatrition and found out he was doing it intentionally, we got him counceling, worked very closely with his teacher and disciplined him consistantly. However, just from what you said about the little boy not being able to "feel" it makes me think that if he does have this condition, it would be unintentional, in that case, the doctor can help. It can happen for all sorts of reasons, stress, nervousness, low self esteem, feeling embarassed, even medical reasons.
Before I took my stepson to the dr. I read a lot about it online. There are some great articles. Maybe you can find some and find out if you think it is worth taking further action. Then you can talk to the mom and give her the articles. I would have loved someone else helping me with the leg work. This is a very hard situation. It is so nice to see there are teachers out there who really care. Thank You!
1 mom found this helpful
M.C. answers from Albuquerque on May 14, 2008
I am a Para and we are having trouble like this too. Ours is because Mom started a new job. This way he get 1 on 1 time with her. May look into changes at home? Hope you find some answers. I understand how trying that issue can be. Good Luck.
C.K. answers from Tucson on May 14, 2008
It could be IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
***But it sounds more like Encopresis*** Here are some good links about it:
Poor little guy! I hope this diagnosis will help him, his parents (and you) seek help for him. In the interim, keeping extra clothes and accidents as private and discreet as possible is definitely going to help him from any shame, embarassment or teasing he may experience. My heart goes out to him....
K.B. answers from Albuquerque on May 14, 2008
You offer information regarding this child's sister--that she has a learning disability-- but you say nothing about whether you have talked to the parents. Additionally you offer information that the child reportedly did not have a problem "last year", so one surmises that you have investigated this far enough to speak with last year's teacher. As a mother of two "boys" in their mid-twenties I think I can speak from some long-term experience. Some boys have interrupted development especially in their early elementary school years. This may have nothing to do with his pooping problem, but it would seem that the best person to talk to might be the boy's mother. Is there some disruption in the house? Does the boy have health or dietary issues that could be related to his not being able "to feel it?" All are possibilities. Start with the mother. Gently encourage her to take him to his pediatrician. Most teachers are wonderful at teaching, but not trained as diagnosticians. Stick to what you do best, but if you are going to investigate, go to the two persons who might be able to unlock the mystery: the mother and the child's doctor.
B.R. answers from Tucson on May 14, 2008
My nephew who will be 15 in a few weeks had this problem until he was about 13 or 14. His was caused by stress and anxiety. My sister and her husband had taken him to several doctors and no one could ever point out why he was doing it. When he changed schools the issue slowed down considerable. Have you asked the parents just to leave extra clothes for him at school. I know it is very embarrassing for him and if you discreetly gave him clean clothes it may not be as horrible for him, then just put old clothes in 2 to 3 bags and in his backpack to take home. Just a few ideas.
L.T. answers from Phoenix on May 14, 2008
It is probably because he is scared to use it, some children are scared to go to a public bathroom all by themselves and they have some kind of phoebia or fear of falling in the bathroom. So if you ask him why can't he use it when he feels that he needs it, let him know that it does not look good when he poops in his pants because when other kids that are teasers know he did that they will tease him and make him feel so bad, he will not like it. Another thing is when he needs it he is in the middle of stuff he has to finish and he forgets that he really needs it. Or call a nurse on the list from your insurance and ask whether there is something else that causes that.
J.K. answers from Phoenix on May 13, 2008
My son, who is almost 5, poops his pants when he drinks apple juice, juice box. He says he can't feel it also but it only happens when he drinks the juice box...which of course I don't let him have it anymore...
T.V. answers from Albuquerque on May 14, 2008
I would say that he needs to have an x-ray to make sure that his intestines have grown right, sometimes when their intestines have not fully developed correctly they don't feel that sensation to go to the bathroom, he needs medical help and medication to help him with his problem.
B.H. answers from Flagstaff on May 28, 2008
My step-son did this as well when he started school, it lasted about 2 years. It started, not because of school but because of very bad living arrangments. His birth mother had moved in with then married a family member who had a drinking problem and history of domestic violence. This caused him great stress and fear on a weekly basis. You may want to speak with your students parents and the school nurse about this behavior. It could be a medical problem or a life problem. Either way, it needs to be looked into soon.