ERIC
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School advice?

Hi, my son is 4.5 years old and in Reception. He is having soiling accidents at school which we have been called into school to discuss on a few occasions now. He has a wheat intolerance which means he has loose stools for a few days after eating wheat, which does sometimes happen despite us/ the school knowing due to contaminated food. We have an appointment with a paediatrician to further tackle, but I had a frustrating conversation with one of the TA’s at school yesterday where she was inferring that it was a ‘public health risk’ having to deal with his accidents in school and she was concerned about the risk of spreading meningitis, etc!!! I told her that we have had a number of stool tests done and when he has diarrhoea there has never been any infection, etc. and that wasn’t how meningitis was spread anyway.

Given our conversation I’m worried that the school is going to escalate this with us and wanted advice on what their obligations are when children have a medical issue which caused soiling.

Thank you!!

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We are in a similar issue with a reception age child soiling/wetting. We have been extremely lucky in that her school is incredibly supportive. We have had a care plan drawn up with the senco (your child's school should have one). We are also under the care of a pediatric continence team who have provided us with letters and leaflets etc to give to school. Our continence nurse has also offered to go into school and offer setting specific advice to our daughters teacher regarding clothes changes and health and safety etc (which I imagine is what your school is concerned about). I'm afraid I don't know the legalities of what they "have to" do, but I'm sure someone else will. In the meantime can you talk to your drs and senco and see what help they can provide? Good luck xxxxx

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Brilliant, thank you, this is so helpful. Good luck with your daughter. It really is tough once they start school

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We had this issue when my daughter was in pre-school. It was horrible, especially when the head wrote to the health visitors without telling me (apparently repeated soiling is a sign of abuse). Fortunately I was already in contact with the health visitor so she was aware of our situation. Things improved when she started reception for some reason. It wasn't until May of her reception year that she finally saw a paediatrician and was put on Movicol. That worked right away and she went from having several accidents a day to having one or two a week. The school isn't allowed to discriminate against a child with a health condition. If you need support, go onto your local authority's local offer and see what they say about inclusion and health issue's. You might be able to find support from your local authority. Good luck.

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I'm so sorry that you have had this response from school. It makes my husband and I very angry and sad that people are going through the sort of thing that we had to with our daughter. Basically they are just ignorant. Schools have a legal duty of care and must deal with this. They should also put a health care plan in place and show some sensitivity and compassion!! Bless you both xx

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Put him back in nappies for a bit longer

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emmasue's reply says it all. Also, the TA has no authority. Go on the offensive rather than the defensive and ask to meet with the head and the school SENCO, bearing emmasue's reply in mind. TA's are generally great and often worth their weight in gold; equally they can be appallingly ill-informed, misguided and judgemental, just as anywhere else in life. Good luck.

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I have had the situation where a ta told my son he was naughty pooing in his pants at school. Personally I think it is ignorance and people can't understand why something so natural is difficult for some children. I have found you end up having to educate these people as you go along this journey. I feel now they have a bit more of a concept. I find being open with the school is the best policy. I have asked if the school nurse can have a chat to the teachers and ta and try to explain it is a medical condition which they can't control and what they are going through.

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We are lucky our daughters teachers ( she has two on a job share) are supportive and they have a care plan.

I did have an issue with the teacher in the next class ( head of reception) who doesn’t know my child but said it could be psychological ( she has an overactive bladder and its not psychological) and who said I should hassle doctors more ( believe me I’ve tried!!).

Until someone has an incontinent child they can’t understand. I didn’t understand before I had one. I thought all kids just got dry. I was wrong!

Hoping you don’t have too many more unsympathetic people.

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Thank you! I have just emailed the school asking for them to put an Individual Health Care Plan in place and referring them to the ERIC website. It’s exhausting having a child with continence problems when the responses you get are disbelief, the inference that you are a bad/lazy parent and unhelpful suggestions like ‘have you tried a reward chart?’ And ‘they really need to sort this out!’... etc, etc. No-one is more motivated than a parent to get this sorted!

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I relate! I wrote a post back in September called ‘have you tried reward charts’. It may be on here still. That was after a teacher asked me that and I’d tried sooooo many things and obviously I had tried reward charts!!

Incontinence isn’t bad parenting. It’s defo not lazy parenting!! I think we parents of incontinent kids are far from lazy! We search the internet for answers, join forums like this, fight for appointments, wash a million pairs of pants. Sometimes it turns me loopy but I’m not lazy!

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Yeah, when my daughter started reception I made sure her teacher was aware of the problem and that we were in the process of seeking medical advice (incredibly long waiting list)... Her teacher's initial response was "oh don't worry, I'll make her a reward chart!" - I bit my lip but I have to say I did interpret that comment as "because clearly you haven't tried this....." The reward chart didn't work (surprise surprise) but now she is the most understanding helpful teacher I have ever met. I think generally people are just trying to help by suggesting things but I was genuinely worried that if the continence nurse had opened up our initial appointment last month with "have you tried a reward chart" I may have done something I would regret....!

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Good luck, keep us posted on how you get on. I have had this issue with school for 4yrs. My daughter is now back in pull ups as soiling was becoming a H+S risk, even though it makes her eczema v bad. The class TA helps my daighter(even though the school keeps telling she shouldn't be). My daughter has a special box in the toilet with bags, wipes, pull ups in. In the class she has a mountain of spare clothes.try to make sure the school DONT reward for staying 'clean' like ours did😞They should reward for regular toileting.ERIC and this forum have been most help.😀

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My 4yo is nowhere near dry and I've just had to put him back in nappies during the day :-(

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