Hello, I'm a Mum of a four year-old boy. We're basically now coming to terms with the fact that he has a long-term soiling and wetting issue, not just being late at toilet training. I can definitely relate to previous commenters' feelings of failing him as a parent.
He is my first child, and I was always a bit anxious about toilet training successfully (although initially, there was no reason to assume I would have a child with this problem), and now I feel like somehow (psychologically? Karmically?) I have caused this issue by overthinking it from the outset.
Every time I lay eyes on him, I reflexively prompt him / wonder about his current bowel / bladder status, and I worry about giving him a complex. When he poops himself - daily, at the moment - I tell myself, "Don't lecture him. Don't do it." But I can't help myself, and I feel so guilty for not just dealing with it like it's no big deal.
It's so much worse than it has ever been. He's started 4y.o. kinder in the past fortnight, and I haven't yet picked him up wearing the same pair of pants. I feel so embarrassed when I get handed a bag of rinsed, poopy clothes, even though the teachers are lovely about it.
He poops himself at kinder, at home, at his grandparents', at the park, at friends' houses. It's not context-specific (well, it used to only happen at home or his grandparents', but lately it's gotten much worse). He tries to get to the toilet, but he only realises as it's coming out. This is with prompted regular toilet sits, reward charts, a reasonably fibrous diet, prompting to drink water, stints on Parachoc, etc etc.
His poop has always been a normal texture and shape, and he has never missed a day in his life, so I am a bit mystified that constipation is pretty much given as the only explanation for encopresis, barring rare conditions like HD.
Anyway, I've just booked in with a psych so I can learn to deal with it better, because it's dominating my / our lives at the moment, and I'm realising it might be a long term situation.
I'm terrified about school next year.
I should mention that in all other respects, he's normally developing.
We just had our first visit to the encopresis clinic at the royal children's Melbourne, and no treatment will commence until we do a six week diary, involving three post-meal 5 minute sits. I'm a bit frustrated because it's not like we haven't tried that already, and six more weeks before any action at all seems like eternity.
This is basically a vent, but if anyone has any tips for a newbie, I'm all ears.