Okay, this is a little complicated to explain, but here goes: My son is just turning 6 years old. He still has to wear pull-ups/diapers, both during the day and night. He has NEVER managed to be completely potty-trained. At one point, about 2 and 1/2 years ago, we thought we had it. He went 2 weeks with NO "accidents". But then he started peeing and pooping his pants again.
We sit him on the potty every 30 minutes or so, but nothing comes out. He literally doesn't care at all about going to the bathroom. He started having constipation problems when he was 4, which made it even worse. Then, when he was 4 and 1/2, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, compounding his constipation problems. He's now on a prescription laxative, as well as Miralax, and between the 2 he has a bowel movement every couple days. These are bigger than his arm, and ALWAYS in his pants, and he is still peeing in his pants too.
When I ask him why he goes in his pants, his answer changes every day. Sometimes he says it's because he doesn't know he's going. Sometimes he says it's because he doesn't want to stop playing and go. Sometimes he just says "I don't know...". We kept him home from Pre-K when he was 4 because of this, as well as homeschooling him for Kindergarten.
My brother had this problem growing up, it lasted until he was in high school. He was cruelly taunted by the other kids growing up, and even now is extremely uncomfortable talking to people because of how he was treated. He has no answer for me when I ask him for an explanation or advice. When I ask the pediatrician for help, his answer is that I can't force my son to go to the bathroom. He said for me just to let it go for now, and that when my son is ready, he'll stop peeing and pooping in his pants.
But, I really want my son to go to school in August for the 1st grade. I'm worried about how isolated he is now, but I also worry about the effects could be if the other kids tease and taunt him for his "accidents" (I say accidents, but they're not accidental at all in my opinion.). I've tried everything: positive reinforcement, parties if he goes in the toilet, money if he stays clean/dry, toys, time-outs for going in his pants, making him clean his pants on his own, taking away privileges/toys, etc. Nothing works!
We tried not to worry about it over the last year and half because he was already dealing with so much through his chemotherapy, but I'm extremely worried now. I'm at my wit's end, and this is a constant, 24/7 source of stress for me and for my husband. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?