Not much people talk about poop, maybe because it’s an embarrassing topic or maybe because the general public will probably not be able to relate to what the autism community goes through. But I feel like blogging about this will somehow help someone.
Toilet training Nathan has been pushed to the end of my to do list because I feel like I have a double jeopardy with Nathan’s autism and cerebral palsy.
Nathan regression into severe autism coincided with his pooping problems. While he pooped daily as I toddler and I felt that I almost got him to poop in he potty at one stage (when he was 3 years old), digestive issues caught up with Nathan’s regression. He became chronically constipated after 3 1/2 years of age. His poop cycle became 3 to 5 days and he became depended on suppositories to make his bowl move. When he got older I wanted to stop dependence and moved to regular water enemas. I wanted to make sure that poop was making its way out and not further intoxicating him and adding to the fog of his autism.
Through the years he has been getting healthier. In time I learned energy healing (Jin Shin Jyutsu). The simple touch of my palms on his abdomen helped him poop almost regularly. That meant he was pooping in his diaper again any time any where. Curious as any child, he likes checking out what came out of his butt and smearing it where he can to clean his hands. It made me realise that we just masked the years of poop-smearing with those years of enemas and suppositories. I almost forgot about those hardships. But, I am also thankful that he now poops independently (with occasional enemas). Regular poop and even poop-smear is better that chronic constipation and worrying if the jammed-up poop is causing further regression into autism.
At age 10, yes, this could still be poop-smearing days…but something had shifted. I have been praying and claiming Nathan’s healing through Christ, I’ve been experiencing the healing for Nathan, in all areas from walking, better awareness, cognitive gains to understanding poop!
When I catch him poop in his diaper, I model “Mama wash my pwet (bums) please.” He repeats what I say, and I know he understands it. But for the longest time, he never tells us there is poop in his butt, unless we give him cues.
He progressed to going to the bathroom after he pooped in his diaper. He used this body gesture, instead of words, to tell us he wanted to be washed.
One morning, we found Nathan naked in bed. In the night he had managed to pull out his pants and diaper, poop in one corner of the room, no smears, he just left the poop there and went back to bed. Can I just say that is a major celebration for autism moms!
And just a few days ago, Nathan looked for me in the kitchen and said “Did you poo poo?” Sure enough he did! This statement means “I pooped.” It came in question form but I’ll take it! It’s the first time he verbally told us that he pooped and needs help!
I feel the poop-smearing days are over. I’m claiming complete healing through Christ!
To all the families that are still going through poop-smearing hardships. God loves you and your children and wants to heal them. The earth may have fallen and tries to drag our kids with it, but He is the way out. Just call upon Him for help through Christ. Sending Love and Shalom Peace to You!
In the photo: younger Brother, Ian, who is into poop emoji at this age.
Nathan had his delays as a baby, but I didn’t think he was that far behind. He was spelling by hearing as a toddler (age 2). I thought he could be high-function autistic back then…but he regressed so deep into autism. By the time he was 4 years old, he became severely autistic. He lost his words, his ability to sing nursery rhymes, his ability to doodle with a pen and use his hands with function, he lost his ability to spell. It felt like I lost my son. My life was doomed and I thought Nathan had no future.
I first found hope when I found The Son-Rise Program®. In the first month of our home-based Son-Rise, Nathan progressed so much faster than all the conventional therapies in the first 5 years of his life, all put together.
Nathan started speaking with intention, soon after we started with Son-Rise. He became expressive. He became persistent with his wants. He started craving our attention.
Nathan’s social skill progressed well. But I wondered if he would ever take an interest in academic skills. I wondered if he would ever be interested in reading books.
Once in a while, like today, I check if he wants to spell again…he has been rejecting this “boring reading game” for the longest time. But today he amazes me. This is the first time in years that I have given him picture-less flash cards to check if he’s interested in reading.
Amazing, without actively teaching Nathan to read, he is actually purposefully looking at my flash cards and doing his best to visually read.
Hope is here! Nathan may have “slipped away” during those regression years…but he’s coming back and I’m claiming complete healing through Christ!
Kids with autism are usually “robotic” (at least those with severe autism, like where Nathan started).
Kids with autism are usually expressionless.
Kids with autism usually have a hard time understanding and using concepts. The adverb “loud” for example, is invisible and difficult to grasp.
…so they say…
Here’s a boy who was once so severely autistic, he could in a corner of the house and place things in his mouth the whole day, if we let him. Yes, we once thought that he was expressionless and robot…
But here he is now…he does what he wants, when he wants with so much expressive gusto!
Here’s a boy who picked-up concepts through play therapy and can tell his Mama to use a “louder” voice!
There was no Sunday school for special needs yesterday so Nathan was in church with us. I love praise and worship songs and I enjoyed it even more with Nathan next to me because I know that already Christ is healing Nathan.
In the photo: here’s Nathan, giving me a tight hug to regulate and clam himself, as the music or lights in this new place for him can be overwhelming.
What do you see when Nathan plays his echo-me games?
Nathan: Mama say “Da” please
Nathan: (smiling that I responded to him)
Nathan: What was Da?
Me: (with enthusiasm) What was Da?!
Nathan: (shows me big smiles)
Nathan: What had happened to Da?
Me: What happened to Da? (oops, I missed the “had”)
Nathan: What HAD happened to Da?
Me: (excited and more certain of what he wants) What had happened to Da!
Nathan: (with an even bigger smile) What happened to Da?
Me: What happened to Da?
Nathan: Be careful Da.
Me: (building on Nathan’s echo me games) We don’t want an accident, be careful Da.
Nathan: (laughs with happiness)
Some people might see a mumbo jumbo of words.
I see a boy, despite neurological language impairments, has created his own game to effectively teach himself to construct sentences. He uses this opportunity to teach himself grammar. He uses this to teach himself how to create many variations of the same sentence…and they say kids with autism were rigid and robotic. I say Nathan intuitively knows how to teach himself spontaneity and variety and enhance his ability to communicate with others!
Praise God for His hand in Nathan’s healing!
In the photo: Nathan, who now knows when to catch my attention and demand to play his games with me.
When they were small, the house was baby-proof. Now that they are older, the house remains autism-proof.
We love the rain. I know I loved to play under the rain as a child…I still do. But I can’t leave window wide open. I have caught Nathan trying to climb out the balcony before 😥. Who knows what he he try with a wide open window.
So here we are, enjoying the rain, liking the sensation of the drops on our skin, feeling happy, yet safely behind a minimised window, tied with string. That’s creative autism proofing! 😉
Life’s blessings is being able to enjoy what we love.
I thought I was blessed when Pam volunteered to be Nathan’s Son-Rise Program…I am super blessed because Pam’s 10-year-old daughter, Elli, happily volunteers for Amor’s Son-Rise Program. Amor rightly calls Elli, her Best Friend!
We are mightily blessed!
In the photo: Amor ends her Son-Rise session with this letter to Elli!