Let’s get real for a minute. While there are many questions that come up in our special needs community, one that comes up again and again is potty training sensory sensitive kids. I can’t tell you how many people ask questions about their child having bowel movement issues.
My tactile sensitive first child was an absolute nightmare to potty train. I spent three months trying to get my son to successfully poop in the potty, despite him being pee trained.
I finally made the brave decision to just call it quits and retry for another three months later that year. Even if your kid is ready for basic potty training, sensory kids sometimes have an incredibly hard time with bowel movements.
Does your sensory child have bowel movement issues?
“LO [Little One] has had fecal impaction with overflow (encopresis) for about 3/4 years. It’s very true that its the only thing he can/could control. As he learns to deal with his sensory issues in the world around him, it’s becoming better. No amount of medication will help if it’s sensory related, at best, it will help stop impaction. Until he was ready to go, he didn’t. – Bonnie-Louise Y.
“My daughter had constipation over-flow so we started her on Parachoc and now we never have a problem. they said that because of her spd she can’t sense when to go etc.. but that with parachoc it just is smooth and falls out of her regularly so it’s never a sticky problem.. if i miss even one dose of the parachoc she soils her pants again so we’re sticking with it!” – Steph R.
“Yes.. I was told from her Dr. “There’s nothing wrong. It’s the one thing she can control.” – Delta P.
“Yes, major constipation. Use miralax and that seems to keep him regular.” – Arista M.
“My son was born constipated. Diet, supplements. Absolutely nothing worked. He took Miralax daily until he was four. Now we can control it by him drinking apple juice. But if he misses a day….ugh. ” – Jennifer H.
“Yes. She struggled as an infant with severe constipation. Now, she struggles with bms, often not realizing she has to go until it’s actually coming out of her butt. Same problem with her urine. She often “leaks” a little bit and then the wetness tell her she has to go NOW. We do the best we can with reminding her, as does her kindergarten teacher, but when she has to go, she just doesn’t know. And she wets every single night. Without fail. We’ve given up night training and decided to save our sanity and put her back in pull ups.” – Megan D.
“My daughter I found was holding it in and it was balling up. I can’t explain how or why but the connection and understanding was not there. But she had been pee trained since about 5 years old, which took a lot of work and I had help from her teacher at school. Before that we had tried off an on for years. Literally the day she turned 8 years old she sat on the toilet had a bowel movement it clicked and she has never gone back. What helped her get to that point is if she had to have a bowel movement we had her dump the contents into the toilet and she had to help clean herself up. Finally she was able to understand how it was much easier to sit and have a bowel movement on the toilet rather than her pants or a pull up, She would actually often wait till a pull up was on her for bedtime and hold it all day.” – Kristy T.
“DD [Darling Daughter] just refuses to poop in the toilet. She will poop in a diaper with no problem. ” – Laura S.
“Yes, dealing with some constipation, but at almost 6 years still tells me he doesn’t feel it coming. He only knows after he’s gone in his pants.” – Karen M.
“My son could block any toilet. But since we’ve gone GF/CF he hasn’t had a problem.” – Kari H.
“My son( almost 6 y/o) has SPD. He doesn’t have trouble with constipation, he soils his pants because he says he doesn’t “feel” the urges to poop. We’ll start smelling it and when we ask him, he really has no idea he went on himself until he touches his butt area and realizes there is something there.” – Karen M.
“My son had massive bowel issues. The feeling of needing to go to the toilet was too subtle for him to recognize. This led to accidents and then anxiety and eventually severe constipation which then led to more accidents because of over flow. He is nine now and we have only just managed to sort out this issue over the last year.” – Lauren E.
“Yes! she has to have parachoc every day otherwise we have soiled pants…” – Steph R.
“Yes! She doesn’t poop on her own. We use miralax. At 6 years, she goes in her pull-up at night when she can’t hold it in any longer.” – Ange P.
“Our little man has parachoc everyday. Only thing that keeps him regular. At times his constipation is so bad he has had to have enemas.” – Melissa H.
Every day or so, we ask our followers on our Facebook page for tips, tricks and ideas for managing sensory issues (stemming from Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism and even ADHD) and what it’s like being a sensory parent. Read what other people have to say and join in on the discussion!
Does your SPD kiddo have issues with bowel movements?
One sensory product people in our community have had success with is the Squatty Potty:
Here are some of the additional products parents have successfully used:
If you’d like to become a part of Voices of SPD on The Sensory Spectrum, please read about how to join Voices of SPD.
For further reading about Sensory Processing Disorder, consider the following affiliate links: