Daddy's tool for the Autism blues

Talking POOP.

Ok well I seem to be on a roll with this blog thing.  Since the reviews are in:  Good Reviews=0 and Bad Reviews=0  its time to step out and plow though (pun intended) Poop.


I know,  I really don’t want to talk about poop.  And you probably don’t want to hear about poop.  But I’m doin it anyway.


Poop is really something that would have never even made my pre-children top 100 things to write about.  And would have not ever been on my radar as a teen.  But since the time our kids were born.  Poop has never been far from my thoughts.  Ironically poop,  baby poop.  Is one of the things that has a way of putting a marriage in perspective.  I doubt there is a married couple out there that has not thought, or said aloud to their spouse.  “Laugh all you want some day you’ll be wiping my @zz”.  Even though all parents will have poop conversations.  Special needs parents tend to take those talks to the next level.  Much like us (the Daddy’s) dont, or should not participate in a birth giving conversation with mothers.  Non-special needs parent’s should be aware that we (special needs parents) can have poop talks that last for hours.


As a toddler poop is like extra credit.  It a burden to break into a busy toddler schedule of playing with Thomas trains, tossing mothers freshly folded laundry,  or putting non-food related items in their mouths.  Poop is just not one of their favorite things to do.  We all probably felt a corner had been rounded when our children actually learned where, and when to go.  It was like a birthday party, with people cheering and such.  But that quickly faded.  As adults,  we can admit to this.  Most of us really did not appreciate a good poop until we got older.  In fact now as adults its almost a scheduled event.  10 am grab a newspaper maybe a magazine and a soda.  Lay out items (clipers, Qtips,ect) in case there is time for additional grooming.  At some point children get this connection to poop and adults.  When I was a child.  The house could be on fire.  “That’s OK,  I’ll wait for dad to get out.”


With Green (code name for my boy)  it was normal poop issues I guess.  With the exception of a shotgun event in a clear acrylic bassinet.  That would have been the type of thing you would expect in a quentin tarantino movie about babies.   Which was either very cool, or very disturbing IDK (depending on where your taste in art lies).   Could anything  have made the day any better?   Having a living alien creature popping it’s head out of the stew.   Of course he was just a baby and thought it was funny.  He did not care much that his Nana was collateral damage. Wrong place, right time.   Otherwise poop was just not a priority.  It would happen, when it happened.


One (well two) of the mistakes I made with green,  while on a hike.  Teaching him the wonder of the great outdoors. When if its time to go, well then it’s time to go (Not poop of course).   Much earlier I had success teaching him that poop could be strategically placed in a specific location.  Like the toilet bowl, in the bathroom,  at home.  It’s unfair to think I could have anticipated that he would combine those two lessons.  And go in the corner of our fence, in our yard,  at our house,  in our town.  Live and learn I suppose.  It was one of those moments,  I would have rather not been around for.  He never has completely grasped the concept of flushing each time.  I dont know if he figures its like school art.  That he is proud of his accomplishment and wants to share it with me, or what.  I would have thought at this point.  I had dumbed down the instructions enough.  I think I am going to rubber band a dollar bill to the handle.


The experience with Green did nothing to prepare me for what was to come.  For people who are Autistic.  GI issues are not uncommon.  So much so that it is a major area of interest with groups associated with Autism.


This is taken from Autism Society

  • Chronic Constipation and/or Diarrhea:  Recent medical literature cites that 70-80 percent of autistic children have gastrointestinal symptoms.

So with Dg (Daddy’s girl) it was a different story.  First the typical issues.  Which for reasons unknown to me.  Evolved into wow situations.  She could go for long periods,  without going.  That had a way of displaying itself in her behavior.  When these things happen to us adults.  We are generally not the best versions of ourselves.  It is no different for her.


firework3And when the Eagle would land.  It was,  for sure,  a cause of celebration.  I would call family and friends.  I wanted  the Gate City paper to print a headline “We Had a Poop!”.  And have a ticker tape parade with Dg riding on the bonnet of a convertible down Main Street.   Throwing out tootsi rolls to the crowds.(that somehow sounds wrong) Our methods however, was less than ideal.  And  for the sake of this post.  We will just say it involved some last resorts.  We did go to an excellent MD in St Louis  Amy Davis  (I like,  and recommend Amy. She also has a child on the spectrum) More on that later.  For the purpose of this story she moved mountains (pun intended).  Our current long term, has been a combination of the right foods,  and old faithful Mira-lax.  DG is pretty picky about what she eats.  Picky does really not paint the picture.   Typically her choices are chips, Cheese and bread.  not historically good pooping choices.





So at home, near the rear end 😉 of the day,  every day, is the question “Was there poop?”.  And if there was.  I want details.  “Really?”  “Lots?”  “Specific gravity?”, “Tensil strength?”,  ect,  ect.  Just kidding,,, not really.  A surprising amount of poop and poop related  conversation takes place at our house. Our creativity in describing the days take, is a source of never ending fun (remember you have to make fun)  So if your over to the house, and you hear me shout out,  “Just a couple of chicken nuggets!”, or “raisinets, nothing but raisinets!”

close enough

close enough

you should be able to crack the code.   And of course Dg’s Nana (Great Grandma) insist on having a daily poop report.  She is actually worse than me about it.  I think Nana should just put a pot outside her door so she doesn’t even have to wait for Dg to enter the house.


What amazes me is its  incredible hardness.  When we visited Amy she requested that we send some poop in to be tested (in the mail).  Break it up and dilute it in distilled water the instructions read.  And your done.   WAIT!,,,.  As I profread what I have just written.   I realize “Not enough information”  My readers want details.


More information: We are instructed that thorough testing needs to be done.  This is done via a peepee and poopy kit.  To be mailed (yes I said mailed). I would imagine on a shelf,  in a van,  right next to your grandma’s Fruit cake and Christmas presents.  We receive the “kit”  Consisting of several containers.  What immediately strikes me is.  There should be no problem at all to have her potty (seperately) in these tiny individual sample cups.  “Piece-O-Cake.”   I have no doubt that most of you could sit your children down and explain “Only pee pee in this little cup”  Or “Just poopy in this “smaller” test tube”  No problemeo.   I did what I think any reasonable father would do. Ran down to Dollar General.  For some reason Dollar General is the place I go to for kid releated “work around” idea’s.  Sure enough the idea’s were there looking me in the eye as I strolled the aisle.  I picked up several (needed to conduct trials) of those inexpensive, disposable,  aluminium Turkey baking pans.  With a little manipulation I was able to form them perfectly around the bowl and under the seat.  Next I perforated the center, bottom of the pan and pressed it lower.  This would allow liquid to pass into the scotch taped cup underneath the bottom. Therby saving the solids out of harms way. Like a dream come true, problem solved.   There may already be a “Turkey baking potty separator” commercially available IDK. I plan to sell them on this site for around $200.  That sounds expensive.  But there was considerable R & D that went into their development.

Poopy/Peepee separator prototype

Poopy/Peepee separator prototype


Next the samples had to be properly prepared.  “How hard could that be Bryan?”  I’m very glad you asked.   I was afriad were where going to have to solicit a jewler with diamond cutting equipment.  Ironiclly enough the kit came with a supplied wooden ice cream spoon.  The kind you get in individual ice cream servings at the store.  They might have even said “Ben and Jerry’s,” or “Chunky Monkey” or something like that on the handle.  And it may have worked fine had I not been working with the “Geode Poop Ball from Hell”   It became kindling in short order.  The best way I can describe the process.  It was exactly like filleting an extremely large marble.  After which would need to be further broken down into pieces small enough to fit into a test tube.  “Piece-O-Cake.”


When all that business was said and done. And we get Dg back on track.  Keep in mind the pendulem tends swings the other way first.  But eventually we get things managable.   We still have intermittent issues.  The Gillywacker home sewer is already a little fragil.  It seems our “lift station” is unable to handle things like,  a wash cloth,  panties,  Little ponies,  ect.  Without sending me a 2k bill.   So even though I am excited to hear the plop plop.  And typically Its not so much the “chicken nuggets” or “raisinets” (unless unexpectedly high volumes occur)  that create issues.  I know my meager consumer grade equipment. Can not handle the “Geode Poop Ball from Hell”.   I am going to try and reduce the learning curve for anyone who is looking to this post for advice. If you read this and think  “Hey Bryan we also have poop Geode’s.  What do we do?” Kitchen utensils,  typically have too short of handles.  Yes some may work.  It however would be similar to using a short, snake catching stick.  You really dont want your hands that close to the business end of what your working on.    Brushes and plungers simply lame.  Not up to the task.  A power drain snake would be ideal.  But to be honest, its overkill.  I have found the Titan Duty Toilet Auger to be just right.  However one more nugget 😉 of wisdom.  Have a staging area ready prior to using it.  They (Titan Duty Toilet Augers) are awkward and wont sit comfortably outside of the bowl.  Kinda like leaning a top heavy, pool noodle in the corner, only with poop on it.


At some point you have to develop a rythem to things.  And that includes poop.  You cant avoid the tough subjects. The not so-pleasant -ones.  When we dont discuss these things.  When we behave like they are Taboo issues to talk about.  This is what causes additional distress.  Especially to new parents who may believe its only happening to them.  The fact is everybody poops and every parent distresses when that is not working as it should.  And the more we talk about it the more we know.  More unique idea’s appear.  More advice is shared.


Even though I know it’s at times uncomfortable.  Talk, be heard, and listen.  Its not the key to the mint.  But it provides incite and comfort when it is needed most.




Rock on


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