Help me please~ I'm desperate! Incontinent Autistic son and furniture destruction.

TwingleMum

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
I could just cry ( in fact I have repeatedly). On of my sons is severely Autistic. He is potty trained but he poops in his pants as a behavior. He is non-verbal. He sometimes poops in his pants 4-5 times a day. He is 12 so aside from the laundry issues , its disgusting and disheartening. He has ruined 5 couches with his pooping or peeing. I have 3 other boys so its not fair to them that we have no furniture. I honestly don't know what to do. I can't be on my disabled son 24/7. So how can I have have furniture but not let my disabled son ruin it. I can't be on him all the time. I'm under enough stress. He is trained so doing every 20 minutes or 30 minutes to bathroom doesn't help. He just holds it until he wants to poop in his pants. Its a behavior that he has, there are months were he is fine and no accident and then BAM. I'm back in the poopy loop. I'm at my wits end. Any help appreciated.
 

dja14

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
I have a friend whose child is only partly potty trained and has the same problem including wetting. She has covered all the cushions of the couch on the inside (under the cover) and then washes the covers when she needs to. She also covers his seat in the van and his mattress. They use heavy duty construction trash bags or a heavy duty tarp. Then she covers it all with a sheet. Often she can wash the top layer. She also bought a microfiber couch that she can scrub the arms and back.

That being said, none of the kids or family sit on the couch, it is his couch. It didn't used to be but over the years he has taken it over. She hates it and thinks it smells. She has wanted a new one but hates to knowing it will get ruined. What they did this past year was turn their extra room into a game/movie room for the other two kids, with theater chairs. He doesn't go in there but also is not allowed in there, he has a same set (mostly) of tv/games, etc in the living room with his couch.

Is it great? No. More work for her and no nice living room for company,etc. Sometimes, though, you have to do what you can. It is hard to balance everything in a family with special needs kids (I have 3 myself so I get this) She just keeps working on getting him 100% trained/ no accidents, in the meantime it helps a lot of frustration for everyone. I wish I had a better answer for you.
 

wilkeliza

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Can you add plastic covers to the couch the cover that with a slip cover? Not the most comfortable but at least the slip cover can be removed and machine washed and then the plastic whipped down.
 
  • aaarcher86

    Registered
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2010
    Can you add plastic covers to the couch the cover that with a slip cover? Not the most comfortable but at least the slip cover can be removed and machine washed and then the plastic whipped down.
    This was going to be my suggestion as well.

    I also like the separate area for the other kids, although I know that isn't always feasible.
     

    TwingleMum

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 12, 2002
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I cover his mattress with heavy duty garbage bags , then a beach towel then a mattress cover. It usually works. I guess I have to do the same for couch cushions. My DH thinks we should get vinyl couch so it could be wiped clean. I don't think that would work so well. I probably should get washable slip covers. Its exhausting on top of everything else.
     

    piccolopat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2014
    If this is a behavior, talk to his doctor. Maybe he shouldn't be allowed on the couch at all. Get him a washable floor pillow and tell him that's all he gets until he stops soiling the furniture. It sounds like he understands boundaries since he won't go into the room you set up for your other kids.
     

    asc

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 11, 2001
    Here are some ideas and may take less time than fussing with garbage bags. Similar to others ideas.
    http://www.vitalitymedical.com/disposable-mattress-cover.html
    http://www.harrietcarter.com/product/see-thru-furniture-covers/
    I would also consider perhaps going to a local seniors care facility and chat with someone about the various products they use for bedding. They might have some other easier solutions. I find that people are very helpful when you explain the situation.

    here is an article that will help you get over the tacky bit for your furniture.

    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/5-reasons-you-should-be-using-plastic-furniture-covers-right-now-201853
     
  • aejammers

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2007
    Could you get a chair that is just his, and not allow him on the other furniture? You could find one with a vinyl seat, of even an oversize wood chair with arms (like for the kitchen) with a washable chair pad. Or a wood rocking chair (maybe more comfortable) with a back and seat pad.

    I assume he is wearing adult diapers.
     

    bianca

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2000
    I agree with previous posts that suggested he not be allowed on the family furniture, but instead have his own chair or floor pillow. Before anyone goes thinking that it's just not fair, know that we lived through pretty similar circumstances with our adopted daughter. What's not "fair" is making the remaining family suffer for one individuals' pleasure. Your other children will have animosity toward this situation if they don't already. As for mattress, sounds like you have a handle on it, although the overriding smell of living with this situation is difficult. Our daughter moved out into a group setting last year at age 20 and it is just simply exhilarating to get up each day in my newly reclaimed home that doesn't smell like her. You can't even put it into words. At the end of the day, though, it becomes about the needs of the group vs. the individual.
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    Moving this to the disABILITIES Community Board since it is not related to trip planning.

    OP -- good luck, I hope you find a solution!
     

    lost*in*cyberspace

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2005
    And I thought my dog licking the sofa cushions was a problem!

    OP, you definitely need to speak to your son's physician or other professional about ways to stop this behavior. Good luck.
     
  • Bete

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 1999
    I would add to the above that he needs to wear diapers. If you are using diapers, I would try a different kind.

    Also, a reward system might work and encourage him to use the bathroom.

    Garbage bags and duct tape go a long way to cover seat cushions. You can use bed pads, too on top. Bed pads can be the disposable kind or the washable kind. I did it this way for years and it worked for us.

    You may want to consider a portable potty; so, it can be placed exactly where he may be.

    You may want to make sure he does not have a medical condition like IBS.
     

    bababear_50

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2007
    Hi
    My heart goes out to you.
    Just a few thoughts and ideas.
    Use adult depends and "Long Johns" put on backwards. Tell him I want you and our home to be safe and clean.
    Use his currency (example) IPad for reward for using the toilet and not soiling himself.
    It may be a control issue with your son,,,many kids with Autism feel they have little control in their lives and this is something they control, which also gets them attention even if it is negative. Ask your therapist if he is getting enough sensory activities in his daily schedule. Maybe slowly start adding things on a message board (chalk board or white board) that he gets to make decisions about (control). Depending upon his age (not sure if he is school age or not) ask for a behavior therapist assessment.
    Things he can learn he has control over:
    pick out clothes for the day
    bedtime
    tv time
    type of food
    special activity for the day
    helper job
    prefered activity
    snack
    etc.
    Best wishes and Hugs
    Mel
     
    Last edited:

    Shanti

    Momketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2015
    Do you have a rewards system/chart in place for him to reward him with something he likes for a consistent period of time for keeping his pants clean? If not, I recommend that. You want to eventually stop this behavior in addition to finding ways to just cope with it.

    I assume he's in therapy. Do his therapists have any behavior modification suggestions?
     


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