Friday, 30 September 2016


In July 2012 fellow former encopresis sufferer DimityTelfer suggested I join a Facebook group of which she herself was a member.  The group was called HELP!!!!My Child Has Encopresis, and was set up to provide a forum for parents whose children, of all ages, had soiling problems.  Although I was not a parent, Dimity felt that my input would be useful as an ‘adult survivor’, and that many members would be interested in hearing about my childhood experiences.

The group provides a vital forum for parents
 of children and teenagers who soil (c).
I agreed to join and quickly received a warm welcome from many group members, who were keen to hear my story and try to see encopresis from a child’s point of view and understand how their own children may be feeling.  The fact that I was male was also seen as an advantage as more boys suffer from encopresis than girls (in the group there is an approximate 60/40 split between boys and girls who soil).  As it is mostly mothers who do the lion’s share of the work in trying to help their child with their toilet problems, some found it particularly useful to read about the experiences of a child of the opposite sex to themselves.

I quickly discovered just what an amazing group it was, offering advice and support in a totally non-judgemental atmosphere, with members sharing their experiences on what worked for their child and what didn’t.  One of the best things about the group was that it offered an environment where parents could freely discuss their child’s toilet issues, which they often felt unable to talk about with their family and friends.  Sadly, soiling in children past potty training age remains largely a taboo subject in the real world, and the older the child the harder it is to talk about to others who have had no experience of toilet problems in their offspring.  This makes encopresis a very isolating condition, both for the child and his or her parents.

Many members find comfort just from being among others who are going through similar experiences, while others are delighted to be able to talk about their child’s soiling with others who ‘get it’.  It is also a good place to vent frustrations on bad days when, for example their son has refused point blank to try to use the toilet and has soiled himself five times during the day or their daughter has pooed her pants in a public place and refused to change herself.  The flip side of this is that parents are also able to celebrate their child’s toilet successes, big and small.  Few people outside the group would understand a mother getting excited because her 8 year old daughter has kept her knickers clean all day or her teenage son has taken himself off to the bathroom and done a poo!

I had never thought that anyone would want to know the explicit details of how I had pooed myself as a child, but I was asked various questions about my juvenile toileting habits that I was happy to answer as candidly as I could.  One of the rules of the group is that nothing is TMI.  It is a principle I have adopted when writing this blog.  Some people may be shocked to read a blog in which soiling is discussed so frankly, and using words like ‘poo’ instead of euphemisms like ‘Number 2’, but I have found this approach to be one which parents of children who soil appreciate and find usefu

The 'sister' groups offer a friendly and supportive
 environment for the parents of children and teenagers
 with daytime and/or nighttime wetting problems. (c)
In July 2016, four years after joining, I was invited to become an Administrator of the group and I was happy to agree.  Being such a friendly group means that disputes rarely arise, but when they do members are quick to alert me so that they can be dealt with promptly.  A month later I decided to set up a ‘sister’ group for parents of children and teenagers who wet themselves during the day, another taboo subject.  Daytime Wetting in Children and Teens operates on similar principles to the Encopresis group. 

The latest addition to this 'family' of groups is Bedwetting in Children and Teens, which I set up in 2018 to cover the sadly common problem of nighttime wetting which causes much heartache to young people and their parents and carers.  In the case of all three groups, I am acting in my capacity of Administrator to try to ensure they offer a friendly, welcoming and non-judgemental environment.

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