It’s been a while since I’ve had a post dedicated solely to toileting, I think, since the Monster’s made it to a plateau in his toilet training. He’s now, largely, going to the bathroom on his own when we’re home, but more often than not, he’s only doing so for having to pee. We’re not up – dependably – to him making it to the toilet for poop.
And therein lies the problem.
This afternoon, apparently, the school called to let my wife know that the Monster soiled himself at school, which is not a frequent occurrence. They however made it clear that they tried to talk him through cleaning himself – that none of the staff assisted him, per school policy – and so he probably would need to be cleaned when he got home. Setting aside a few other issues that are only tangentially related… I have a couple of questions on this:
- This didn’t seem to be a problem in prior years when he was at Garrett Heights EMS, admittedly in a special class. Why is this an issue now?
- The teacher was aware, when the Monster was enrolled, that he’s special needs, that he’s still being toilet-trained and that he doesn’t have the whole ‘bathroom routine’ bit down Why is it a surprise when he can’t get himself taken care of?
- Was this really the best – or even appropriate – way to deal with this issue?
The last is my biggest problem – they essentially had my child in their classrooms for the rest of the day (I don’t know when the soiling happened) in dirty briefs. I had to clean him when I found out about it at home, and get him changed again. Off the top of my head, I could come up with better ways to have handled this:
- Couldn’t the teacher or school nurse, with appropriate supervision to ensure nothing improper happened, have cleaned him up? Or,
- Why didn’t the school ask us to come down to take care of it?
Personally, I’d rather the first option – I mean, I do get it. There are all kinds of potential liability issues arising from that kind of contact with a student. But… I mean, even when I go to the doctor, they ask if I’d prefer to have a second person present when there’s particular kinds of contact, and I’m an adult. But if they’re not willing to accept the liability, then they should ask us to come down when these things happen, to ensure proper hygiene.
A much lesser concern is that of his self-esteem or how his classmates are going to respond/did respond to his having done this and sat in class for the rest of the day semi-soiled. He’s a first grader, and I can remember how these kinds of things colored classmates’ impressions, even at that age. (I don’t know that he honestly notices as much, on the esteem side, since he soils himself now and again at home too.)
We do have an IEP meeting on Monday, so I can address my concerns then, though I might grill the wife a bit more when she gets home from rehearsal and jot off a letter to the vice-principal (who is the one who called my wife) to get clarification and not let it lie idle until then…