Turd Terrorism: Not Just Shits and Squiggles

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In an effort to better acquaint myself with the core members of PoopReport -- the regulars whom I have begun to really enjoy hearing from -- I had been perusing old posts. Unfortunately, I found many posts someone named The Shitman had smeared all over this site. As a budding (or would we prefer the term "prairie dogging"?) PoopReporter, I was inspired to tackle this very serious issue: why people smear their poop on the walls. What makes a turd terrorist.

"Hey!" I emailed Dave, our fearless (editor's note: and handsome!) moderator (editor's note: and editor!). "Hey! I know something about this fascination with smearing poop. One of my best friends, Andrea, is a licensed CPS investigator in upstate Washington, and she has seen poop smearing as a behavior typical of abused children."

"Well!" Dave emailed me back. "That's interesting."

Dave's overwhelmingly excited response compelled me to get in touch with my investigative side for this, my first serious poop report. As it turns out, the smearing of and/or fascination with poop can be a symptom of things darker than Mr. Hankey's shadow. According to my research, some of the reasons people become Turd Terrorists are as responses to:

  • Surviving ritual satanic abuse
  • Being sexually abused as a child
  • Having ADHD or related attention disorders
  • Enduring other types of physical abuse and/or injuries
  • Sensory deprivation, e.g. solitary confinement in prison
  • And, unfortunately, many more.

Ritual Satanic Abuse

The ritualistic abuse many unfortunate children endure at the hands of satanic cults is meant to break the little person down, to degrade him or her so badly that he or she feels no self worth. It is often accompanied by sexual abuse, animal murder, and the child being smeared with feces (theirs or someone else's) in every possible orifice. Jeanne Sarson, RN, and Linda MacDonald, RN, wrote a particularly upsetting paper on ritualistic abuse. I found a reference mentioning a child who had to chose between eating it and spreading it on another child -- the abuser was using poop as a symbol of isolation, creating one of the many situations in which the children were forced to betray each other. In the future, the child ends up mimicking this behavior (as is also the case with sexually abused children) at very inappropriate times, such as at school or in public places, if the child is young.

(Not, mind you, that I have ever found an appropriate time for poop smearing. We here at PoopReport discourage Turd Terrorism at all times, unless merited by even worse Turd Terrorism. Revenge is open for discussion.)

Sexual Abuse

In an essay entitled "Child Abuse and Neglect: Physical and Behavioral Indicators," I found many possible symptoms in children of different ages. Under the behavioral symptoms of sexual abuse, one can find the following: "regression, wetting, soiling, smearing feces and urine beyond what is age appropriate." This means that many people who engage in shit-smearing behavior are showing what could be interpreted as equating themselves with shit -- hinting at very low self-esteem or a downright lack of any positive identity that's been developed as a result of abuse. An alarming fact is that in a very detailed report categorizing the severity of behavior, poop smearing is listed at Level Six -- Level One being the mildest, and Level Six being the most disturbed.


I found reference to poop smearing (urine included) in the corners of public bathrooms on a chart used to determine if a child could have an attention deficit-related disorder. Mind you, this is for a child who has been potty trained, or is past the normal age for potty training.

Physical Injuries

Poop smearing is also symptomatic of severe head trauma or injuries.

The Prison System

Within our prison system, it seems that abuse from prison guards and solitary confinement has taken its toll on many of our nation's incarcerated. Human Rights Watch has thousands of entries concerning prison abuse, often mentioning poop tossing (or, as we hear it on Court TV, a Brown and Yellow Cocktail). It seems that many abused prisoners hurl feces at guards and smear it in their cells during extreme episodes of what is called by the prison system "untidy behavior." Untidy indeed. Somewhere, Emily Post is not happy.

I joke -- but it is no laughing matter. Poop smearing during solitary confinement is apparently legendary. Poop is often the only thing the inmate has left to play with. I found a website detailing the degeneration of the mind of an inmate in solitary confinement, visible in the fact that he had lost all ability to communicate with other humans and that he had fashioned an entire chess set out of his own feces, with which he calmly played in the presence of others.

Poop flinging is an Olympic event in many of these confined blocks, with inmates hurling it at each other and then wiping it all over themselves. Poop smearing at this level is quite certainly be caused by deprivation psychosis or mental shutdown after experiencing such horrific abuse that the mind kind of, well, goes. In that sense, it is similar to ritualistic abuse -- a complete feeling of utter helplessness and worthlessness occurs, with no alleviation of the total absence of hope or trustworthy human contact.


Looking at the material I found, I see a pattern: people equate poop with their self image (except for one serial rapist, who identifies poop with the victim). And this is all very sad. While poop is not the best substitute for Play-Doh, it has been the source of much mirth and bonding here at PoopReport, and has been a common ground for many of us to relate to each other. There are PoopReporters whose names I anxiously await as bylines, because I know I will be entertained by the author, laughing with him or her at a normal, healthy function that inevitably goes pleasantly awry (sometimes, I think, purely for our benefit). But to so many unfortunate people in the world -- The Shitman being only one of many -- poop represents a very serious issue that we shouldn't really be joking about.

While by no means am I an expert on the subject, it is my firm belief that sitting down on a nice, clean, quiet toilet and taking a good, long dump is one of life's pleasures. It should be free of undeserved guilt, garbage, or neuroses. The victims of abuse who turn to turd terrorism are victims twice -- once of abuse and again in the loss of what our moderator Dave describes as "proper pooping pleasure." Well said, Dave. To them, the pleasures of the dump are lost under the pain of their problems. While we hate The Shitman and his ilk for ruining our bathrooms, we should also strive to understand their destructive behavior. It's really a cry for help.

-- Daphne

52 Comments on "Turd Terrorism: Not Just Shits and Squiggles"

doniker's picture
j 1000+ points

turd terrorism is funny in theory, but actually touching, playing with, and smearing fecal matter is very revolting.
I would imagine that any person that could tolerate doing such a thing must be totally wacked.

Sure, when I was a kid I squatted on my asshole of a neighbor's doormat and forced out a log but that's as far as it went; I never touched the turd.

Uncle Chunk's picture

DAPHNE: I very much enjoyed your research into what makes the minds of turd terrorists tick. Seeing we live so close to one another, let's meet and make beautiful poop together!

PooperGal's picture

Nice work, Daphne. That was an intriguing overview, and a refreshing bit of serious information that is a "value added" on this humor site.

Jack Scat's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Man! And I was always pissed when my parents would force me to go to Presbyterian church!

Skid Marky Mark's picture

Nice article, but you do realize, don't you, that there's no such thing as ritual satanic abuse? It's been thoroughly debunked as an urban legend. Not a single verified claim has ever been found.

John Stephens's picture

There are however many deluded people who THINK thy've been satanically abused, and poop-smearing is probably a symptom of whatever made them that way.

daphne's picture
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Skid Marky Mark, I find that hard to believe. When people who wrote the papers I researched have more initials behind their names than I have letters in mine, and I think they would risk their careers on myth, I have a dubious reaction to your comment at best.

However, I'm going to have to do more research so as not to sound like a doody-head.

I hate doody-heads.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

daphne's picture
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I will also comment that my uncle in Pennsylvania is a counselor and a preacher. He's really cool. Anyway, about ten years ago he dealt with a cult in Mercer that had satanic origins. I'm going to get in touch with him to see what he says about it.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

As others have said before, this is an interesting insight into the world of poo flinging. I have been guilty of calling poo smearers, flingers, and eaters sick and disgusting. While it is true that it is a sickness and we all know it's disgusting, I've never stopped to think of WHY someone would do something like that.

Now I feel bad.

Ahem! Anyway, I thought I'd stand up for Daphne on this ritual satanic abuse thing. My father's girlfriend is a child psychologist. One of her patients was a five-year-old girl who refused to use a toilet and instead pooped in a corner of the room. When she asked the girl why she did this, the girl explained that there was a witch in the toilet that would reach up inside her and rip out her guts. (Talk about taking outhouse monsters to an extreme.) It turned out that her parents were involved in some sort of cult and she had been used in a few rituals. A few! One was enough to damage anyone for life.

And let's not forget self-mutilation involved with satanic rituals. I knew of someone who used to pour boiling water and burning wax on herself. She used the red welts to predict the future according to their shape.

It's real. It's out there. Abuse in any form is a sadly real issue.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

the shit reaper's picture

Whew! man... talk about different perspective... If I catch another turd smearer red handed, I will no longer make him eat it

daphne's picture
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Been reading more about the Satanic abuse thing, and I have to stick by what I wrote. There's just too many psychologists who have done research papers on it.
BUT, the biggest thing I found that impressed me as to the validity of the cases was medical evidence. The amount of scar tissue found on the vaginal walls of some children was too gross to be anything but ritual scarring. Sad, but true.

I just have to stick by words, man.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Poop Diddy's picture

I remember back in middle school one of my buddies used to poop in the urinals. That is considered turd terrorism, right? It doesn't really affect a pooper\pisser but it forces the custodian to pick it up and drop it in the toilet.

Cooter's picture

One time, I was pissed off at my boss when I was 17 and worked at Office Depot. I promptly went into the employee bathroom, locked the door, pulled down my store-issued khakis, and proceeded to release a huge dump right into the pristine white porcelain sink. It steamed for a few moments before cooling down, the smell was grotesque, and I heard stories about that poop for months...nobody ever knew it was me....So does that make me a turd terrorist? Well I guess it does.

Chip Brown's picture

Cooter - yes you are a turd terrorist.

Daphne, in regards to the prison system, I once saw a documentary film on some members of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) who were jailed by the British in the early 1970s. As a means of protest they painted their cell walls with feces. The ceiling and walls were completely brown. Talk about painting your world brown!

Skid Marky Mark's picture

Sorry, I say again--there's no such thing as organized ritual satanic abuse. There's lots of claims about babies being ritually murdered by these cults but not one body has ever been found. And from the claims, there should be THOUSANDS per year.

What has happened, though, is a lot of these therapists and psychiatrists that have been pushing this ritual satanic crap have ended up being sued by their patients after their patients have found out that the memories of abuse were all "implanted" by bad therapy. It's called False Memory Syndrome. Suggest you check out the CSICOP (Center for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) website and some back issues of the Skeptical Inquirer. The whole cult thing has been thoroughly debunked by the legitimate scientific community.

daphne's picture
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And, there are lot of articles that disagree with this. There is also a huge amount of people who claim the freemasons don't do anything, but year after year the conventions of survivors include thousands of people.
I did find many court transcripts that verified your opinion, but not all cases fall into this catagory.
I will tell you that satanic abuse relies on the secretism it enjoys from totally controlling the victim, so many complaints can be false due to fact that many victims are terrified to speak.
I am sure you refer to the book Michelle Remembers. That is also very controversial.
I am going to check out the site, too, though because, like I said,
no one likes a doodyhead.

And, I like to read.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

daphne's picture
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Read the stuff, and found a very interesting FBI paper that many of these website like to call into play.
The original FBI paper does not disclaim satanic abuse, but seems to be used like the bible, as in you can take whatever you want from it and quote, quote, quote.
The paper was written to quell the false claims so the real victims could be helped. I see that the links you mention are all as one sided as the links I have found that have ridulous claims.

My conclusion is that there are just too many reports to not believe, the ones with physical evidence, but I have really appreciated your input, Marky, because I relish skepticism in all aspects of life. Never take anything at face value.

While it's totally off point, it is skeptism that caused me to investigate the American Kennel Club when looking for a dog, and it's why I'll never own one. The organization is ruining dogs by not encorporating physical performance as part of breed confirmation and allowing so many substandard dogs to breed and get papers.
It's a kennel club that lets overbreeding slip so as to make money on the papers of the dogs.

So, anyway, I think you are right about a very many cases, and I do love a controversey. Jeez, what I started. I just wanted to write about poop!!!!!

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

daphne's picture
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Incidentally, my dog is an American Bulldog, and they are not AKC breeds.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

PooperGal's picture

What I believe is that there are a lot of sick, abusive people who use the rationale of "Satanism" to "justify" their abuse of children and animals. They would abuse a child anyway, but doing so under the guise of faith and belief makes them feel somehow "legitimate" in their behavior.

Skid Marky Mark's picture

Remember: there's a huge amount of reports of psychic phenomena being true. But when it comes down to it, psychic stuff just doesn't exist. (If it does, James Randi will pay you $1 million. I think that pretty much settles that).

So just because there's lots of stories floating around ("Uh, my friend's dad worked with a cop who knew this guy that busted a satanic cult") when it comes down to it, there's no evidence. And the freemasons are just a bunch of old doodyheads like the Elks or Shriners. They don't run the world or abuse people.

the shit reaper's picture

child molesters need to burn... Oh! but then how do we really know what made them become child molesters?? maybe it's something in their harsh childhood... (maybe they were also molested?) "there's this disturbing research paper I found on the internet about what made people become nazis.." blah blah blehh. Boooooring!

Brown Seymour's picture

Skid Marky Mark is right. Ritual Satanic Abuse is probably entirely myth. When you take a hard look at the actual cases, you see the same psychologists and psychiatrists again and again who discover these otherwise unrelated patients with 'blocked memories' of Satanic abuse. In some cases, over 80% of their patients just happened to be diagnosed with it! No, these were not pre-diagnosed patients who were given referrals.

The closest thing that we find in documented, proven cases is adults who were otherwise psychotic, schizophrenic and violent and at some moment their psychotic episode involved references to Satan or a pentagram. This is just as common as a psycho abusing children through some kind of obsession with Christ or Gumby. But that is not really ritual abuse and has nothing to do whatsoever with actual groups of religious Satanists, who are surprisingly very reasonable and peaceful people.

Finding examples of real ritual abuse would involve looking to Africa, specifically the Congo, where cannibalism, rape and murder and torture of children happens quite often as part of some crackpot local religions. But they have been doing that for thousands of years and it has no relationship whatsoever to Judeo-Christian traditions. The practitioners would not consider themselves Satan-wroshippers.

Slim Jim Junkie's picture

I'm with the people that say Satanism has nothing to do with it. I mean think of the Catholic altar boys! Is it not abusive because it isn't Satanism?

*Hole's picture

Two of my uncles work as prison guards (they prefer to be called "corrections officers") From what I hear, everyone dreads a certain poop slinging inmate named "Skunky"...

jasmine's picture

im concerened with the lack of repect for female poopers out there. its true girls poop too!!! anyway you guys rock thanks for careing about excretion so much.. i love you

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

What was the point of those IRA guys' protests? They smeared their own cells with shit. THEY had to live in them. Who the hell were they punishing with that?!? Dumbasses!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

daphne's picture
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On this mess, my husband in a career soldier, and he has just told me about the freemasons in the Army. Last year, a new order came down from the top that everyone getting their career photos could no longer have their hands showing.
The reason has been told to my husband by some upper enlisted who are on the promotion boards that soldiers with freemason rings on their hands are promoted much, much faster.

Now, he's a skeptic like our Skiddy man, here, so I don't think he would ever say something like it if it weren't true. SO, I do not believe the masons are just old men. And, I respect Skiddy for his beliefs. However, we have different views.

Thank poopreport for our ability to argue about everything except poop.

I also agree with Shit Volcano, as usualy. I would smear someone else's cell, not mine.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Raab Himself's picture

I think Raab Himself from the CKY movies is one of the ultimate turd terrorists. The guy shat off of a building, on a public street, next to a guy on his cell phone, while running at full speed, off a parking garage, off the Empire State Building, and the ultimate terrorist act: He walked up to the window of a restaurant in Times Square, just pulled down his shorts, and shat some liquishit, which ran down the window an formed a puddle. There was an elderly couple inside the restaurant, too, and the expression on their faces was just beyond words.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

The Jackass movie had my favorite turd terroristic activity. It was the shit in the toilet in the hardware store.
I made my mom watch it, and she couldn't stop laughing.
And, yes, I love the Raab man. He's kind of cute, too.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Peter's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

good site

dookie dog's picture

I went through alot of abusive stuff when I was a kid, and I never threw my shit at anyone or drew on walls, or rolled my shit in little balls.... Of course there was always dog poop for that. There was this dude lived across the alley from us, he'd beat the crap out of his wife and kid everynight we'd hear them screaming, one day I took a couple pieces of wonder bread, some mayo, lettuce, and my dog "Fluffly's" doggy do do. Then I made one of my mama's famous meatloaf sandwitch's for the dude, I topped it off with yes, pasta sauce. I gave it to his wife the next day she told me that he enjoyed the sandwitch my mother made very much I said, "He ate it?" "He loved it," she said, it must have been the sauce. Another time when I was a kid we were throwing snowballs at cars when I observed my buddies dog taking a dump, I ran up and grabbed the doggy dew just as an undercover cop rounded the corner it was cold that year in Hammond and the shit was frozen solid as I flung it head on through the windshield of the cop car. We ran like our asses were on fire I got away by diving headfirst into a snowbank, I lost a couple friends that got caught. Last year I piled some doggy dodo outside my neighbors door because his dogs were always chasing my cats, and he was a jerk, he slipped and fell in it on his way to baseball practice, I had a friend years ago who shit 6 stories down a shaft ontop of a couple cops chasing him that was back in Chicago he was hanging one of those "FUCK IRAN" signs on a building oh like 25 years ago. Anyway I was one of those unwanted kids " throwaway's" and I hitched alot got molested several times, one of those times this guy would not let me go, it was me or him, it was him, I did four years for involuntary mans. Did alittle time in a looney bin while they were sticking me with pins to figure out if I was waco or not I am but they let me go anyway, I have known a couple guys played with their do,do like that one of them constantly watched by the police, as he's one of those serial types, he went through abuse to. As far as the organized satan thing I believe those groups exist a friend of mine was hiking Figourea mountain area up near the Jackson ranch, this was before Michael moved in, it was like after midnight and he heard a scream running toward it he found some type of alter and body parts scattered around, well you can just guess what happened I think my buddy ran all the way back to santabarbara, like his ass was on fire, I would!!!You know there's some people in this world that are wacked, some get a raw deal, some lose everything before they grow up usually by the time they do grow up someone else is wiping their ass for them, and that's a drag, because they never quite get it all, not the way I do. But that's the way it is, yea, I went through some shit, then get this I got a scholarship four years everything paid for, wonderful.... I went swimming got bit by a misquito, ended up with encephalitis-meningitis, went in a coma braindamage, my life pretty much went to shit, if I knew back then what I know now I would have never quit smoking marijuana when I was in that 12-step program for 17 years. I worked as a security guard for 25 years, do you know what they do for 8, 12, 16, hours? They play with their shit, that's what they do. I never married, never had kids so I can't drop em off at the pool, or anywhere else. But it's o.k. I quit the 12-step group and I smoke pot now, I retired after slipping in a pile of shit, and breaking my back. I live in Santabarbaracalifornia, two blocks from the beach, you know there's people that would trade their wife, and kid's for that, but their shit out of luck I got what I want now. Good article daphne, not everyone that go's through shit plays with it, and not everyone who plays in it well........................................

dookie dog's picture

Disregard previous statements I was smokin some good shit that night.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Uh, no. Never disregard what you say when you are smoking good shit.

I don't.

Be proud to ramble on illegally!

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

jackie jensen's picture

i am sick and tire of my 4 1/2 yr old with adhd fingerpainting poop on the walls, windows and door of his bed room. he has done it 4 times, how can we stop it? any suggestions?

slam's picture

Finger paint on HIM with poop! Or finger paint Poop on him...either way, that's what I would do, hell,I'd shit all over him!

shaneg's picture

well I know that no one has posted anything about the satanic rit stuff for like three months but i just read the story and i say I have seen animal the remains of slaughters first hand. I worked for the B.L.M. in the california deserts and tust me you find a lot of crazy things. and you may think that the dead animals were pray to cyotes but tell me, what is a sheep doing 150 miles from the closest ranch with its blood smeared against a cliff face?

Goer's picture

Well, this post is past-dead, but I just wanted to say that child abusers do not have to be "satanists" to do what they do to kids. Sometimes the abuser it is just your neighbor with the well-behaved kids. They have no real reason other than the sense of power and/or self-gratification they get from the torment they inflict. It is not any more mysterious than that, and a lot of times the only conspiracy afoot is the neighborhood who ignores the bruises of the kids.

The Great Poopini's picture

Now that the post is really dead, I guess I'll input on the satanic ritual topic. Satanic ritual exists if someone sais it does. Any thing can be made into a ritual, your ritual coffee, your ritual poop, or even "tradition" to the extreme.
People see an evil/harmful ritual and call it satanic. Then it exists. If people are running around saying they believe in satan, then having rituals, or services, or such, then they are. Whiel I personally don't believe in satan, it follows that if catholics can have mass, satan worshipers can have satanic ritual.

The Great Poopini's picture

And I can have poor typing and spelling skills really late at night. :)

tired mom's picture

In my search for answers to my issue I came across this site. Although it seems to be a place for trivial postings I am going to put my dilemma out there in case someone with a real solution reads this. My son is autistic and has severe ADHD. At the age of 13 he began smearing feces on himself. It has been a year now and I cannot find anyone who knows how (or is willing to) help. He has overcome so many obstacles in his life but this one is not going away. He has never been abused or any of the terrible things claimed to cause this problem. It did seem to start with the onset of puberty. I have taken him to counselors who say they don't know how to help. I have put him on medication for the ADHD in hopes it would curb this horrible activity but that has not helped. He seems to associate the smearing with sexual arrousal. He also has an extreme fascination with heartbeats and tends to use this before he smears (he has taken clocks, timers,music with drumbeats, etc...) in order to simulate a heartbeat. I have tried tactile stimulation with finger paints and clay and it did not help. I have taken everything I can out of the home to keep him away from heartbeats but he is very resourceful and seeks out new ways to "create" them. I have locked down the bathroom and he continues by just defacating in his pants and sitting in it. I am looking for genuine help on how to solve the problem but as of yet I have been turned away. If anyone knows of VALID solutions please let me know. I appreciate your help.

hwdydoody's picture

my 19 month old son has been smearing his poop all over the place and I am about to lose my mind... not only is the smell horrific but the thought alone makes me wanna hurl. As far as I know he has never been abused by myself or my husband. We love him more than life itself, but I NEED THIS POOP SMEARING TO STOP ASAP

Anonymous Coward's picture

I am researching the psychology behind individuals who apparently look for strange places to poop. The midnight pooper has struck a number of times at a local marina. Most of the time he has pooped in the boat toilets (not flushing of course), but occasionally on the floor in the boat.

Where is there research on psychiatric condidtions that make people prone to do this?

Anomalous Coward's picture
k 500+ points

I used to work at a nursing home, and encountered a number of geriatric residents who "fingerpainted." The overwhelming majority had Organic Brain Syndrome as a diagnosis. Although this is a bullshit diagnosis it does go to show that when you lose your marbles you play with shit. I would hazard a guess that this coincides with the physical injury category - those who have age related degeneration of cerebral tissue as opposed to injury related. Same outcome but different causes.

exhausted mom's picture

I'm another mom looking for some serious help. My 6 year old son is pooping on school bathroom floors, his room, outside in the playhouse, hiding it, smearing it, etc., and I don't know where to go for help. We adopted him at 2 months old from a birth mom who was a 20 year crystal meth adict and our son was born with it in his system so I have to wonder if there is something wrong with his brain development because of that but in other ways, he is incredibly bright and on-track with his Kindergarten classmates. Even as a baby, he would take off dirty diapers off and smear poop everywhere. I've been doing my best to deal with it for 6 years but am running short on endurance and need help.

Deja Poo's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Poop smearing is not uncommon in children with developmental disabilities. While your child may have sufficient intellectual development, he may not have sufficient social development.

We occasionally get poop smearing in our house but that's because of my son's DD: Autism. In his case, it's not some strange behavior because of a trauma nor is it because of a fascination with poop. In his case, we get poop smears because he occassionally gets crap stuck to his butt (antecedent), which is uncomfortable to him. While he is semi-toilet trained, he still hasn't mastered the toilet paper thing yet. So, in order to relieve the discomfort around his butt, he wipes with his bare hands. However, crap under the fingernails is just as disturbing, so he attempts to clean his hands. While he understands how to wash his hands, he still doesn't completely appreciate why one washes their hands. So in order to clean his hands, he wipes them on towels, walls, his clothes or whatever happens to be handy.

Most behaviors are triggered. They don't just appear out of the blue. The place to begin with tackling this issue is to look at the antecedents to the behavior. Is there something that causes the child to smear? Instead of focussing on the behavior, I might suggest that you look at the events and conditions leading up to the behavior.
Deja Poo - Because this shit's so strange, it couldn't ever have happened before.

Yo quiero Taco Bell.

Toots N. McCrack's picture
l 100+ points

This story was just recently commented on and that's how I found it --VERY interesting and thourough, appreciated from a psychololgical background.

That being said, I want to address what people always ask me when they know I have a background in primatology (And was strongly reminded of during the description of the people held in cells): Why do the Great Apes fling shit? (and this is only seen in captives-- in the wild, if you see a charging silverback brandishing tree trunks with no barrier between you and them, they don't have to resort to that).

And I answer, "What would you do if your living room was surrounded by bars and countless people came by each day pointing, taunting, laughing and jeering at you and your family? You're just trying to ignore them and mind your own business, but at some point you just don't have the patience for that BS. If you couldn't speak, what would you have at your disposal? The great apes in captivity will throw all manner of things-- food, dirt, sand, leaves, furniture if they've got it, but we can all agree (I hope) that getting hit with shit is gross, repugnant, and in most cases embarassing. It's actually a very effective way to get people to GO AWAY AND LEAVE YOU ALONE. Would you stay? Would you?

Thankfully, I was never hit by shit because I respected boundaries and inched closer until we were tight and it would never happen. One of our males, did, however, not fling shit, but could regurge at will and would throw that at people who didn't go by his rules of respect. Equally effective.

It's not a question of if they are more primitive than us (when we have no guns or lawsuits, etc. what would we have to drive the point home?), it's a matter of what they have at hand that will disgust the intruder enough to go away and leave them alone.

To add to the story of why people may do this, it's the ultimate gesture of disrespect. We all, the great apes included, intrinsically know that to have shit flung or smeared on us is an insult of the deepest, basest degree. The unverbal, "this is what I think of you."

I can't speak for the autistic, ADD or ADHD cases, but for me, it makes complete sense from a caged person's point of view-- It's a last, desparate attempt to communicate, because, after all, poo is universal.

'Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how about a courtesy flush over there?' (AP1)

'Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how about a courtesy flush over there?' (AP1)

Michele's picture

My son has been potty trained for over a year now and a few times lately his poop did not end up on the floor. Once it was smeared all over. Today he went in the basement and locked the door. After getting aggravated and demanding he open the door, I found a pile on the floor. I had him pick it up with toilet paper and put it i the toilet. I keep thinking surely this behavior will stop. He says he doen't know why he does it. He doesn't have the symptoms mentioned in the article. When considering the antecedent to the behavior, he has a friend who still poops his pants and a baby sister who has smeared her poop in the crib a few times. So maybe the reason is example, entertainment, control, but I still could use some advice on what to do.
He just came out as I'm typing and told me he put a diaper on.

girlp00p's picture

To all the parents with kids who smear--ADHD meds often have a mild laxative effect. (I would know, I take Adderall myself; it probably varies from person to person, but the effect is like that of fiber, kicks in about 30-60 minutes after taking it.) See if you can put your kids on a non-stimulant that will not further encourage it. There's quite a rush associated with the feeling of your meds kicking in, as well as increased sexual, uh, sensitivity, and, yes, the laxative effect. I'm no doctor, but these factors could very well be contributing to the behavior.

Anonymous Coward's picture

I have a foster child that plays and smears his poop. I do agree it has to do with sexually and physical abuse. When I ask him why he does it, he doesn't know why. But he says he can't stop. Reward and consequence do work though.

Anonymous Coward's picture

I work traveling the us now and I'm back to my fecal smears... auburn I also look at young girls sexual. It's fun and I think my aunt abused me as a kid sexual. Hi dappy I'm back... lurking. On the forums.

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