Friday, March 25, 2011

The Poop and Run

Potty training is a rite of passage for every parent and their child.  Unfortunately, the process is notoriously difficult for kids on the spectrum.  We've certainly had out battles.  I used to joke with family and friends that I was going to write a book on potty training entitled "How To Potty Train Your Kid In 3 Easy Years".  It would have sold millions...

We are fortunate in that all 3 of our boys, whether on the spectrum or not, have figured out the benefits of potty training.  There was a time, however, that I seriously doubted if the time would every come.  What we deal with now is what I've affectionately come to call the "Poop and Run".  It's namesake is the criminal "Hit and Run".  You know that feeling you get when you come out of the grocery store to find your car door dented and nobody around to own up to it.  It's a crappy feeling (pun intended).  That sense of disrepect.  The anxiety over the fact that you now have to deal with someone else's mess.  You look around to see if someone is peering at you from around the corner but there's never any sign of anyone.  You look for clues.  Who did this?  When did it happen?  Why didn't they flush?  There's not even any toilet paper in the toilet?  Geez.

But then you resolve to the fates and the good samaritan in you kicks in and you think "maybe they didn't even realize it" or "maybe they just don't know how to drive yet".  So you buff out the scratch or dent and you forgive 'em and move on.  You flush.  You tiddy up.  Then you do your business.  It could be worse.  You could spend days on horseback in northern Mongolia to meet with a shaman of a tribe of nomadic herdsmen.

An obscure reference you might think.  Mongolia?  Shaman? What are you smoking Paul? Oh contraire.  I watched "The Horseboy" with my wife the other night.  The Horseboy is a documentary about a couple and a 6 year old boy named Rohan.  Rohan is on the autism spectrum.  He's got serious issues with incontenance and like me, his parents coined their own phrase of "code brown" to refer to his regular accidents.  Rohan has an uncanny relationship with horses and he is cured of his incontenance after they take an adventurous trip to Mongolia and meet with shamans.  You can believe in shaman or not, but the immediate results don't lie.  It worked. 

The story illustrated so clearly to me the extraordinary lengths we'll go to in order to help our kids be it with pooping, speaking, socializing or anything inbetween.  I guess dealing with the poop and run isn't so bad after all.

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