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Author Topic: Flushing Toilets Scarring Child to Death  (Read 4618 times)


  • Guest
Flushing Toilets Scarring Child to Death
« on: Apr 21, 2004, 01:27:23 PM »
I have a situation that I am not sure how to handle or what could be happening to SD.  My Dh receivd custody of SD age 5 April 2003.  When we first got her we noticed that when SD used public restrooms she refused to flush the toilet because "they were too loud and scary".  She eventually grew out of this after plenty of work from us and counselors.  

When she started K at a newer school that has automatic flushing toilets, SD refused to go and would wet pants up to 3 times a day refusing to use the restroom.  Counselor at school and I worked together to figure out that the little red dot on the back of the toilet scared her.  She said it was "looking at her scary."  We eventually worked through this with everyone's help and the teacher helping her every time she went to the restroom.    My Dh and I decided to move to a new location and SD had to change school - SD was releaved "no more flushing toilets with eyes".  So no problem since Sept 03, not even with public restrooms.  

This weekend SD came back from visitation with Maternal Granparents and Mom.  Monday at school, the teacher called me to tell me about an episode that happened at school.  (My mom is a K teacher and works at the same school with SD) My mom and the teacher were in the hall talking when they heard a deathly scream from the SD in the restroom.  Everyone ran in to the restroom (incuding two other teachers and the principal) thinking that something terrible had happened and come to find out another child in the next stall flushed her toilet as my SD was using the restroom in the next stall.  The teacher and the principal stated that SD was stark white and completely terrified.  They took her in the restroo, showed her how to flush, and made her flush three other stall to show her nothing would happen.  So far nothing else has happened.  

What in the world could this be coming from?  When we ask the SD, she hesitates to answer and then gives a phony answer in it's place and thinks real hard what to say.  We do not force it out of her, but deep down we know something has to be making her feel this way.  SD just started back to counseling (when we found out mom was back in the picture on a regular basis - GP's have legal visitation - mom has none) and that mom has been diagnosed bi-polar and is on meds.  We do not know if mom is in counseling or what meds mom is on, but that she is on something for her condition.  

Just a little more info - SD does have a bed wetting problem and still is in pullups.  I know there are meds out there, but her PCP is scared that with all the other meds she is on daily for asthma - it would overload her body.  SD also tells us that she sleeps in the same bed as mom - mom argues that she does not, but then sent  pictures to the SD and DH of activities from Spring Break - two being pictures of them sleeping together in the same bed.  SD has a rough transition coming back from visitations because at our house she has her own room with her own bed that she is expected to sleep in.  

Any advice would be much appreciated!
Aggie Mom


  • Guest
RE: Flushing Toilets Scarring Child to Death
« Reply #1 on: Apr 21, 2004, 06:24:21 PM »
If the mother has no rights I would put a restraining order on her.
See what the councler says, if it is the mother and the gp's refuse to keep the child from the mother then request their visit be taken.


  • Guest
RE: Flushing Toilets Scarring Child to Death
« Reply #2 on: Jul 30, 2004, 12:26:03 PM »
It can be court ordered that the child sleeps ALONE in his/her own bed during visitation.

We had the same problem with a biomom that was also mentally ill. Horrible things were happening during visits, the LEAST of which was bm's "fairy tells" of the types of monsters that make the noise when the toilet flushes etc.

We also had the same problem (fear of toilets with our youngest sd) that did not go away until visits stopped.

Your sd should be in therapy/play therapy in particular.

Also is there a toilet in the school without an auto flush that your sd can use?  This can be arranged with the school.  Perhaps in the nurses office?  If not this, then perhaps a particular (just one) staff member can go with sd to the bathroom and stand outside the stall to reassure her?  (my sd would insist I hold her hand)  also, perhaps one of the toilets "autoflush" features could be disabled and she could push the button to flush instead?).

Are the GP's supposed to be supervising these visits?  Is sd scared of the toilet there too?  If so, what are they doing to try to help. (If GP and Your home strategies are not the same/similar it can cause additional anxiety for your sd).


  • Guest
RE: Flushing Toilets Scarring Child to Death
« Reply #3 on: Jul 31, 2004, 05:59:19 AM »
This brought back some memories from long ago. I was doing my student teaching and we got a new student in and she had many problems (age 6).  One was she was afraid of the bathroom and had to be taken and talked to the whole time or she would freak. I would stand there and in a calm voice talk to her and tell her it would be ok, I would not leave. Come to find out she had been abused in a public bathroom by her step father.


  • Guest
just to add SOME balance here
« Reply #4 on: Aug 05, 2004, 08:58:01 PM »
My son (has a mom and a dad and we are not divorced) was also afraid of public toilets and especially the automatic ones. He has never been assaulted in a public restroom and is not mal-adjusted in any way.

I am not saying that your SD is not being abused, only that it is possible to have this particular symptom without that kind of thing being present.

We solved the auto-flush problem by putting a sticky note (post it thingy) over the light sensor and removed it when he was done. it will not flush if you cover the light sensor.

Good luck with everything, but keep an open mind that it may be a problem independant of BM


ps - I am bm and a step-mom, and my husbands ex is an undiagnosed bi-polar and narcissistic up the wazoo!


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