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Smearing - GROSS!!!

demipowell's picture
by
demipowell


Smearing - GROSS!!!

Wed 16 Jun 2010 8:28pm
Topic: 

Hi Everyone

 Wondered if anyone had any words of wisdom to share on the dreaded smearing! 

My wee boy has always done a little bit of smearing, usually when he is having a tough time of it.  The last time he did it a lot was when he started nursery.  Its started up again now he is starting school, but boy he seems to have stepped it up a gear.  He had his first induction day at school today and reacted by coming home and destroying his bedroom.  (To the extent I had to lift the carpet).  Unfortunately he also destroyed his new "calming down" den which was proving a great help in relaxing him after tantrums and getting him to sleep through the night.

Interestingly its got a bit of a new pattern to it, as he is now actually covering himself in poo and also using the poo to do little scientific experiments (he covered his spinning toys in it today to see what would happen - end result it flew all up the walls!).  I'd always regarded it as a bit of a protest to being told off, but I'm wondering now if its a sensory stimulant.  (He also covered himself in suncream and fairy liquid today, at various points of the day). 

Anyway, sorry if I've grossed you out.  I've grossed myself out after 3 hours of cleaning up!  I just could do with anyone's advice on why he might do it and how i might handle it/discourage it.  I have always completely ignored it in the past, but I did end up talking to him about it tonight.

 Demi 

 

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8 Comments

  • Snowdrop's picture
    Hi Demi I'm sorry I've never experienced this with my son before so I don't have any magic words of wisdom I'm afraid. I noticed you said you have always completely ignored it in the past, is this because the professionals have told you to ignore it or is this what you felt right? I only ask as I have no knowledge about the subject but its something I really could not have tolerated my son doing. I have a really weak stomach so if this was something he would have liked doing, I would have literally sicked on top of it each time I would have to clear it up. My initial thoughts would be to treat this as a bad behaviour that needs correcting but I do apologise if this isn't the solution, like I said I know little of the why, hows etc If this is a sensory issue, does your son see an OT, perhaps they could offer some good advice on this subject? Sorry I haven't been more of a help, I hope someone who has experienced this with their child is able to offer you some better advice. Tracy - Community Champion
    Tracy - Retired Community Champion
  • Leanne's picture
    HI Demi, I went throught a similar thing with my NT son ..he did it for about a year I think between the age of about 1.5 to 2.5 - can't quite remember. It was horrible... I would go into him and if he had pooed it would be all over him, his cot, the walls (his room had embossed wall paper - nightmare) his toys .. it was awful to clean as well. So I really do sympathise. He just really seemed to love playing with it.. I put it down to him being a boy Smile Anyway he just grew out of it .. I tried putting his sleepsuit on back to front - this helped a little. Getting to him before he went.. was another good one. He was pretty regular and always woke up with a smelly nappy.. so it just meant waking up nice and early - what joy !! I always 'told him off' for it but because of his age and communication level, this wasn't hugely effective because I am not convinced he actually realised what he had done wrong. I very quickly learned to move his cot away from the walls.. take all of his toys out of his cot.. damage limitation exercise. It is worse for you because you have the behaviours but you don't have the ability to restrict where he goes however if his language is good then I would explain that it is unacceptable and that poo belongs in the toilet. . How does he cope when you have to remove his toys etc to clean them ?? Leanne - Community Champion
    Leanne
  • bumblebee's picture
    Hi Demi, I am sorry, I am not much help, other than to say that every one I know who's children have smeared have (like Leanne said) grown out of it....They all say that they tried to get to the child before they needed to poo so they could avoid it but none of them have any idea why they did it! I think Leannes ideas sound like excellent ones and I cant offere anymore...let us know how you get on ... Claire - Community Champion
    Claire
  • demipowell's picture
    Thanks guys Luckily I was able to speak to an old work colleague today, who's son has a history of smearing. She gave me lots of good tips about sensory aspects, so fingers crossed. Just need to track down some cheap lino now!! I have always ignored it because generally speaking if Matt knows he can get a rise off me by doing something it will be regularly repeated. I.E. he spent two years repeatedly tipping his food and drinks directly onto the floor at every meal, cos I must have stupidly lost the head at some point. He kicks the dog and hits his brother for the same reason. So I ignored it because I didnt want it repeated. His general pattern always has been he has done it for a few weeks and then its gone again. But it seems to be increasing rather than decreasing now. Leanne, he made absolutely no reaction at all to the entire room of toys getting tipped into the wheelie bin! He has said sorry, but I really dont think he has any idea that he shouldnt do it. My friend suggested he likes the touch and smell, so we are going shopping next week to find some poo substitutes to strategically place in his room and he will hopefully smear everything with them instead! I could cope with body butter far better than poo! Apparently he also told my mum that he tried eating it, but it tasted disgusting! He is definitely MENTAL!!! Or I will be soon if this keeps up.
  • Leanne's picture
    Hi Demi, My eldest likes seeing me upset too and it is incredibly hard to remain emotionless but I am getting better and better at it Smile Hawkins Bizarre have some really cool icky slimy stuff that my boys .. especially my NT one who used to smear .. loves. Do you think your son would respond to a shopping trip to buy lots of slimy horrible things in return for not smearing.. maybe you could do a chart, after purchasing the stuff with him, 2 days of not smearing = 1 slimy thing so he knows what he is aiming for. Leanne - Community Champion
    Leanne
  • Katrien's picture
    Hi, we went through a terrible time with our Leon(5) last year. He used to smear sometimes 4 times a day. He didn't want to poo on wC and didn't like it in the nappy either. Over the summer he would hide in the garden to poo and decorate the shed wall with the stuff. Every time we had to clean him up and down. Sometimes he would do the same in the house. He was very clever and waited for that moment everyone is rushing round and not watching him and was very quick. Eventually, he started going on the toilet and it seemed the smearing was a transition period? He now takes the initiative a lot of the times to do his business on the toilet but doesn't sit, he squats but it seems a lot better than before.
  • demipowell's picture

    Hi Katrien

    Nice to "meet you".  I dont think i;ve heard about Leon before.  I love the name.  Interestingly Matt's friend at school is called Leon! 

    I'm holding breath at the moment because Matt seems not to be smearing.  he still occassionaly soils himself in an attempt to get out of something he doesnt want to do, or if he has been disciplined, but he's not smearing it when he does.  However I am taking nothing for granted and still putting lino on his bedroom floor!

    Demi

  • bumblebee's picture

    HI Demi,

    I found this blog written by Donna Williams. Donna has autism and is also an author of some really good books. I thought you may find this interesting as its her ideas on the reasons for 'smearing' and children who have habbits and fixations with feces.  

     'The simplistic assumption that poo smearers are just stimming, or having sensory fixations with the texture, smell, taste, overlooks the emotional gratification of being boss, having control, keeping the unwanted behaviors as one's own sen...se of power/territory. It overlooks powerful motivators like addiction to routine and addictive investment of identity in routine once feces related routines are entrenched.

    These are then habit, and habits have associated emotional/identity rewards, as linked to biochemistry reinforcements as any amount of smell, texture, taste. We also eat foods that have EMOTIONAL associations, habits, routines, familiar packaging, even if the food is actually not otherwise 'our thing'. Compulsion versus want, patterning and habit and addiction and identification versus what might emerge as one's actual want if not driven by habit, compulsion, identification. Illustrating the point, if YOU dished up a feces sandwich for an otherwise fussy eater who also happened to be a feces eater, do you think they'd actually want it if it were YOUR decision they eat it?'

    Claire - Community Champion

    Claire
  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Demi

    Just popped in to see how you were getting on ... havent seen you around for a while.   

    Josie - Community Champion

    Josie - Community Champion
  • bmehboob's picture

    Hi, my 5 year old currently smears and no matter how many times we stick him on the toilet he just does not want to go no.2 (or no.1).

     

    Is there any tips etc out there? Running out of ideas!

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