Teacher Punishes Child For Soiling In Preschool
Children Who Withhold Poop Are Afraid It Will Hurt

Explaining Encopresis to Teachers

When enrolling their child in a preschool, kindergarten or first grade class, a question parents frequently ask is "How do I explain encopresis to teachers?

The first thing to do is ask the teacher (and school nurse) what she or he knows about encopresis. If nothing or very little, suggest that the teacher or nurse read my book, especially Chapter 19 titled, "Encopresis Goes to School" so that you and the teacher are both on the same page (literally and figuratively!) about what encopresis is and what it is not. For example, some teachers may think that children who have poop accidents are able to control when they poop and that, therefore, poop accidents are intentional. Providing your child's preschool or kindergarten with accurate information about encopresis at the beginning of the school year will prevent a lot of misunderstanding and stress for you, the teacher and your child.

You should arrange with the teacher to have a change of clothing available at all times in case of an accident. If soiling is frequent, you may want to send a change of clothing every day. If infrequent, one change of clothes left at school may be enough. You should also ask the teacher to allow your child to go to the bathroom whenever she needs to go rather than telling her to “wait” or to “hold it”. Whenever possible, your child should be allowed to use a one-person bathroom like the one at home. Children with encopresis are often unwilling to use a bathroom that is not “private”.