Why doesn't he wipe his butt?????


Well-Known Member
I just found out (although I have suspected for a while now ) that my 11 year old son doesn't wipe his butt after going #2! It's disgusting and it enrages me just to think about it! We just had the best day today...no yelling, I gave him extra TV time, snacks that I don't usually allow, etc and then he went to go to the bathroom. I said "did you wipe" after he came downstairs and he was like..."oh I forgot!' What???? How do you forget to wipe your butt????

I'm to the point of tears. I give up. On top of everything else now this! Has anyone else ever experienced this with an ADHD child? Or any child? If anyone has any advice on what to do please help!


Well-Known Member
The title was supposed to say *wipe not *wiipe but I'm furious and crying and that's what happens! lol

Just so you know this is nothing new. This is the same behavior as always but the butt thing is kinda new. Lately he's been talking back to teachers, being fresh, peeing all over the toilet, floor and sometimes walls, and now not wiping! I'm to the point where I can't take it anymore. He's 11!!!! Not 2! We just saw his psychiatrist last week and his medications are working fine for concentration, etc (he's doing wonderfully academically but not socially) but I'm thinking maybe we need to add something for mood. Like a stabilizer or something?? Wonder if that would help.


New Member
Take some deep breaths. In, out....ah. Breathe, always breathe.

OK. Toileting stuff tends to provoke strong responses, so be easy with yourself and easy with him. I have most definitely known Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids (high functioning) /ADHD kids who need reminding around stuff we take for granted, like wiping after a BM or wrapping up/throwing away a used sanitary pad.

I would talk to him and ask him what would help him. You could post something in the bathroom--maybe something funny, like one of those bears from the TP ads--or just an icon of TP. Only you know what would embarrass him, so tread carefully. I'd ask him why he doesn't wipe--if he just forgets, if he doesn't like putting his hands down there, if he doesn't like how it feels--and go from there.

I would go more the social story route (here's what we do when we go #2--wipe, flush, wash hands) or using visual cues before I add another medication, but that's just me. Yes, he should know to wipe at 11, but our kids are disabled and this is just one of the many, many things that go with the territory. Hugs to you.


Active Member
This was a huge problem for us too, with difficult child 1 for years plus easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 3, each of them causing different variations on a theme with the problem.

difficult child 1 would forget to wipe. Would wee over the raised toilet lid and seat so it all went down the back and caught in the hinge.
easy child 2/difficult child 2 would get poo on her fingers while wiping, so she avoided wiping, but anything on her fingers she would wipe on the wall. In vain did I say, "there's toilet paper, wipe your fingers on that first then go wash your hands afterwards."
All three of the younger kids would get red, sore anuses from failure to clean up properly. This made them more reluctant to wipe, because it hurt. So we began on multiple levels -

1) Treat the sore tail first. Clean carefully with baby wipes then smear on some coconut oil or olive oil. Do it for the kid to begin with (forget about their age - the calendar does not apply to difficult children, they mature differently) then talk them through doing it for themselves. I keep a box of baby wipes in the bathroom, along with the bin to put them in.

2) Rehearse the right way to go to the toilet. Sometimes the kids try to figure it out for themselves, or they get lazy, or they genuinely forget what they should do (despite repeated reminders). Telling them does not work, these kids are not good listeners. But they can be good learners from DOING or SEEING. So talk them through each step. "You need to get this right or you will get a sore tail. It will get nasty, red and really unpleasant for you. But do it right and you will be clean and comfortable. First - wipe with toilet paper. Wipe from front to back for girls; be very careful to not spread stuff where it should not go. Second - until your skill improves, use a baby wipe. Look at the baby wipe after each pass and when the wipe is clean, you know you have done the job well enough. Third, apply a little oil to your anus to protect the skin. Then go wash your hands with soap and dry them on a towel."

3) The next step - they have to clean up their clothing (and the walls). I got a scrubbing brush for each of my kids to use. None would admit to being the culprit so they all had to take a turn at scrubbing the toilet walls. I was fairly sure who it was, so were the kids, so I let them discuss it privately with one another and this added to the pressure to do the right thing. With the wee on the toilet seat, that was only the boys and I got each of them (as I identified the culprit) to clean up under my supervision. A quick wipe with fresh toilet paper over the spill was generally enough, but if it had been sitting there festering, I needed to get them to use the bleach.

4) If this was still too difficult, I did it for them. I wiped their rear ends if they needed it done, I used the baby wipes, I used the oil, I washed my hands (made them do it too so I could teach them the right way to wash). I also made them clean up their soiled clothing. If it was a really bad mess then they had to get into the shower (not running), strip off in there, then let me hose them down with the hand-held shower. Then careful drying, oiling and dressing in clean clothes. ALL clean clothes, because wearing even slightly soiled underpants stinks up the outer layers as well even if technically they're clean. These kids tend to be more plugged in to their limbic system and smells are very primal, if they go through a clean-up process and there is still a smell, the lesson won't have been so well learned. When they realise they feel and smell clean, they learn to associate that and also connect with how they got to smell/feel clean, and you are beginning to make headway.

5) A lot of these delays are also often due to sensory immaturity - these kids just are less plugged in to their body's signals. Younger kids, more immature kids, also do not void properly. You know yourself - when you "do the job" properly (especially if your diet is healthy) then often wiping is just a formality, just to make sure you're clean. But kids in a hurry or less plugged in to their bodies will leave the job half done, and this leaves a mess that is far more tricky to clean up.

Kids need to learn to take time in the toilet, time as they need it. Kids who are highly distractible find this a lot more challenging. They also can leave it too late and end up with a soiling problem. Soiling problems can lead to other problems which can escalate things and you have to start over. I know it sounds tacky to some people, but having something to occupy the child in the toilet can encourage them to stay until they're properly finished. Even us adults in our home use this technique - I often have a crossword puzzle in the loo. In the kids' loo I have schoolwork stuck to the wall, plus jokes, a Periodic Table, some Escher prints and some optical illusions. a Magic Eye can work too. I have friends who tell me that thanks to me and our toilet, they now fully comprehend the definition of molarity as well as how to do long division.

Never yell, just be calm and firm. This has to be done right for the individual's health. You will help, but this is their body, their responsibility overall to make sure they are clean and their clothes are clean. And their environment.

difficult child 3 would not use any communal toilet away from home. This included at school. So I was often called to come to the school and clean him up. We got the job done as quickly and calmly as we could in the staff toilets and dealt with the bag of soiled clothing when he got home from school. Letting him wear disposable gloves for this made the job possible.

It is important to identify why this is happening. is it lack of personal body awareness? Is it over-fastidiousness? it is lack of fastidiousness? Is it discomfort? it is impatience? Each answer requires a different response.

I hope this info helps.



New Member
Every kid is different so I will throw this one into the mix if other ideas are not a fit.....Would he want you to wipe him? If NOT then explain how important wiping it is and since it is too hard for him to remember then you will have to help him. (either by monitoring or by DOING it) If he wants his privacy then he might start... but I would still insist on watching. Sometimes wet wipes are easier for them to use.

Usually it is just the rush and laziness....

but of course for some it can be sensory and not being very socially aware of how important it is.

I have the opposite issue with Q he thinks he smells it on everything...gets upset about drips so still only wants to sit and will wipe till he hurts himself. ugg if it is not one thing it is another right?


Active Member
buddy, baby wipes beside the loo might help Q's anxiety. We don't just have them for the children - sometimes grown-ups have reasons to use them too.



New Member
Well hate to say it but glad I was not the only one that has gone through this. My 11 yr old son was doing this and the wiping on the walls....all of it. Then it got to where he was using the bathroom towels to wipe.....ugh. Bought the flushable wipes and that helped but getting it through his head to clean with those and then dry off with toilet paper seemed to go in one ear and out the other. He kept blaming it all on his younger brother who is autistic. I had even put up a door mirror on their bathroom door so he could check himself. That did help a bit. Also my remarking that girls his age (he likes girls alot) probably would not want to sit near him in school because he smelled like poop. But the biggest help was the last time he was Baker Acted......not single towel was soiled with BM nor was there any left in the bathtub. When he came home I made it plain that I knew now that it was indeed him and not his brother that was doing it and that it would not be tolerated. Went on to explain that he has to spread wide to get it all but it can be done properly and hands were to be cleaned afterwards. Now that he is in residential care they are very into hygiene so I doubt it will be a problem again. With all his other issues mine has started puberty.


difficult child 1 has the same issue. He does not wipe, don't know for how long since he's a VERY private kid. When I say something to him he simply says he doesn't need to. Haven't found anything in the underwear and he hasn't ever complained of his back side being sore(too bad since that might CURE this problem). In our case, it's being lazy and too much in a rush and then there's the point that he also doesn't realize the social aspect either. But, he's a teenager and there's not much I can do about it since I'm not replacing undies. It is at the bottom of the "priority skills" at this point.


New Member
My difficult child 1, who will be 17 tomorrow, will go days without toilet paper on her bathroom. It took me 4 1/2 years to get her to put a piece of toilet paper on her pads and tampons. Not wrap them properly, just put a piece of TP on them; before that she would just toss them in the trash. She still does once in a while. It is gross and disgusting. Why? I do not know.


New Member
I've done the baby wipes thing, but he ends up grabbing all of them and then clogging the toilet so I started handing them out to him as he went in but that just made him mad so I gave up.


Well-Known Member

Alternate take on things here...

Maybe your difficult child is ADHD plus...??

As in... maybe this is a motor skills issue?
Not uncommon with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - and 50% of kids with ADHD also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). You might not be able to get the actual diagnosis (that's a whole other story), but most of the interventions are Occupational Therapist (OT)... and Occupational Therapist (OT) doesn't need the diagnosis to provide therapy etc., just the results of Occupational Therapist (OT) testing...

Has he ever had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for motor skills AND sensory issues? Yes, both - because priopreceptive stuff falls under "sensory" but really affects motor as well...


Well-Known Member
JKF, we went through the same thing. It's VERY ADHD--they don't have time, plus, there are probably sensory issues, and negative responses, as in, they don't want to deal with-it because it's gross. (Never mind that it's gross to NOT wipe.)
I tried several things ... pretty much all at once, because I was at the end of my rope, too. I bought Baby Wipes and showed him how to use them. I also told him that I would wipe him. (NOT! Knew the response to that one, lol!) But the idea was to let him know that I was going to be there. All. The. Time. And I was. It took several hrs out of several days, and was a lot like toilet training all over again. I had to keep my ears, eyes, and nostrils open. :) I'd run in and say, "Ready to have me wipe?"
"Okay, then I'll just stand and watch you."
That didn't really work because he was embarrassed, which was what I expected, so I told him that I was going to stand around the corner, listen for the toilet paper roll noise, check his butt to make sure it was clean, check the toilet to make sure the tissue was used (ugh) and then he could flush.
He got tired of that pretty darn fast!!!
I did not yell. I was firm and consistent. I have to say it's one of my few successes.
by the way, your son may have sensory issues and other things besides ADHD, which contribute to this, so I'd try, try, try to cut down on the yelling because he does not have good control over what he's doing.
Good luck!


Well-Known Member
Oh, yeah, about the Baby Wipes being for babies ... luckily, I use them in the car all the time for take-out food so that wasn't too big of an issue. I told him I could buy another brand but he said it was okay and understood. I told him it was all about marketing. :)


Active Member
The ones for babies are also better for sensitive skin, which is why we use them. I also use a lot of vegetable oil for all sorts of purposes! ;)

If I'm cooking roast vegetables, I toss the cut up pieces of vegetable into a plastic bag with oil, and shake. Oil gets on my hands so I then wipe it on whichever part of my body feels dry, usually arms and legs. Or face. I don't use moisturiser and I don't look my age either. Despite all the sun I'm exposed to.

Oil can soothe a lot. We even keep oil in the bathroom - coconut oil is solid at room temperature generally, so it can be easier to work with. Don't spend a fortune, just buy a block of Copha and put some in a jar with a lid. You can add fragrance if you choose (a few drops of after-shave? A drop or two of eucalyptus oil or rosemary oil?) so it smells more bloke-y. To add oil, melt it out in the microwave (don't overheat it, just a few seconds will do it) then add the drop or two, then let the oil solidify again.

difficult child 3 is a horror when it comes to the state of his undies. He doesn't change them often enough despite my nagging, there have been times when I took one look at what came through the wash (his urine bleaches them and eats holes!) and thrown the undies into the compost heap. His jeans are not in great shape either - the anxiety angle means he tends to clutch himself (the way small boys do, only he's definitely a BIG boy in every sense) and this has meant stains in certain areas of his jeans. Plus the jeans fade on the high points, and his groin has a very obvious faded area right in front. Just not publicly acceptable, but difficult child 3 still wants to wear those jeans because they haven't got holes in therm and they're comfortable. I finally had to tell him bluntly - in public people do not want to have his genitals obviously on display, even if they're covered with fabric. The pale patch is like painting a bulls-eye on his jeans and is very much "in your face" and not a good look.

I think I finally got through to him. He wears his old jeans at home but will go change into his good jeans when we go out.

Maybe the size issue is because he's still a growing boy, and has man-sized appendages but the rest of him has not yet caught up to match. Hopefully one day he'll get the chance to make some girl very, very happy... he's certainly advertising, however unwittingly.



Former desparate mom
difficult child told me when he was about 7 or 8 that if he doesn't wipe, he doesn't have to wash his hands!!!!! It made perfect sense. Bowel issues are so frustrating, embarassing, anger producing and much more common than we were led to believe when my son was in grade school. Good luck.
The best part is if difficult child saw me change a nephew's dirty diaper, he would gag. I suggested that his backside smelled the same when he didn't wipe.


Well-Known Member
We use adult flushable wipes...all of us, lol. With difficult child I would not keep a full container in the bathroom he used in fear he would go hog wild...I just checked daily to see if there were a few in the container. I also didn't insist on drying with paper. For us it helped. on the other hand, it was not a major issue with him just an ADHD thing. DDD


Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for all of your replies! Today is a new day and I am calm (for now) and looking for ways to figure this all out. I like a lot of the suggestions here. Such as asking if he wants me to wipe him (he said NO WAY) or standing in there until he wipes (again NO WAY). I explained to him that not wiping is disgusting and will cause him to itch and also cause him to smell bad. I told him people can smell others who don't wipe and does he want his friends to smell that. That seemed to sink in and he said no...he doesn't want to smell. This morning when he went I reminded him of proper bathroom behavior. He actually put the seat down and flushed when he was finished so that was a start.

I have actually cut down on yelling at him a lot. #1 because it's not effective and #2 because I have been getting chest pains every time I start yelling. So, I've been trying to stay calm and deal with things but sometimes it's so hard. I know a lot of times he has no control over his actions but other times he's just lazy and in a rush to get back to whatever he was doing. That's when I get upset and frustrated! The fact that he decided not to wipe his butt so he could get back to watching the end of a movie? Sorry but that doesn't cut it with me!

I'm going to buy some flushable wipes today and continue to remind him about appropriate bathroom behavior. I hope that it will start to sink in if I stay calm and consistent with him!

Thanks again for all of your suggestions and replies! I appreciate it more than you know!!!


Roll With It
We didn't have this issue but I know that while in the psychiatric hospital at age 12 there were boys who did. They did "hygeine school" where a male attendant would supervise them. They had to write a list of steps as the therapist went through what to do for showering, using the toilet, etc.... Then a boy would go shower and a male attendant would stand where he could see the boy and a nurse with a video would stand where she could see the male attendant but not into the bathroom (to show the male attendant didn't touch the boy or go into the bathroom and no one else went in with the boy. I thought this was a great way to protect the staff and deal iwth the problems of supervision). The boy had to do EVERY step. When the boy thought he was done the attendant went over the written steps and if EVERY step was not done properly they had to redo the entire thing from the first step. Took the boys most of a day each the first time. They got better and after 3-4 days were doingALL the steps for each thing with-o prompting because if staff found you had skipped a step (like not putting toothpaste on the toothbrush) you had to start it ALL OVER. Not just teethbrushing, the whole shebang.

I don't have that patience at home, but it solved a LOT with Wiz. With thank you? We don't have TP problems, but making him plunge if he stops it up, and clean if he makes a big mess is more than enough incentive to do the bare minimums.


Well-Known Member
Chest pains! Yikes! Deep breathing. Walk away if you have to.
Let us know how it progresses (the chest pains and wiping issues).


Well-Known Member
Just to prove what a boring life I have, lol, last night I was thinking about your son's cleaning issues. Who would have thunk I'd mature into such a bore..not me. Anyway I thought of two ideas that were not included and possibly could help.

First off does he have a body scheduled time for his BM's? I know that sounds weird but my Mother told us back in the 40's that one of her hardest adjustments as a full time school teacher was that she was only allowed so many minutes a day to go to the bathroom. Of course the four of us thought that was really funny until she pointed out that we might avoid embarrassment by trying to go at the same time each day (usually early in the morning or in the evening). Without more discussion I decided to try that out and my body did adjust. For difficult child's they often are in a hurry to go play, watch tv or whatever and sitting for awhile is a quick inconvenience. Just a thought.

Secondly..which is more far out, lol..a few years ago in Dear Abbey or Ann Landers a young woman wrote in and said that she lived in a shared apartment where everyone split costs but one roommate would not pay for toilet paper because he didn't use it. In his culture the people always took their daily shower right after the bm time...therefore he didn't use tp. Of course that doesn't sound too appealing to me but (even though I never thought of it when difficult child was young) it might be worth consideration. If he showers before bedtime he would "all" clean for the night and you could bleach your tub.

Told ya I had odd thoughts to share. It's possible one or both could help. Hugs DDD