Q. How to solve my son's bowel control problem?

Answered by
Dr. Sadaf Mustafa
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 11, 2017 and last reviewed on: Apr 21, 2021

Hi doctor,

My son just turned 11. He has always been having bowel control problems. He always says that poo came too fast he cannot hold it and lost control on the way to the toilet even if the bathroom is very close. He is not constipated because his poo is never hard or difficult and he never had diarrhea either. I was thinking about why he is not able to hold the poo until he reaches the toilet. When I was researching on the internet, I came across the term developmental coordination disorder. I am not sure if he has a lighter version of this disorder. His intelligence is good, doing good in maths and reading at school. But, his sports ability is quite bad, and handwriting is a problem too. I read a description of developmental coordination disorder, and it is mainly about lack of motor skills. His bad sports ability makes me think if he has this disorder. He also has difficulty in performing school activities such as writing, coloring and using scissors. His walking is normal and never trip or run into others. I tried to toilet train him for a few months. Now it is the school holidays, and I did not continue with the potty train. Today, he soiled again. I am not sure if toilet train will help and maybe it is that I need to keep with it longer. How can I know if my son has developmental coordination disorder? How can I help him to solve the lack of bowel control problem?



Welcome to

  • I would suggest not giving him the diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder. He may have an inability to hold his stool due to defects in nerve innervation to the rectal sphincter.
  • Did you ever consider taking him to a pediatric gastroenterologist? He would benefit from studies defining colonic transient time and manometry.
  • Developmental coordination disorder should be considered only when you have structural defects. There is a DSM-V criteria, and that is used for the diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder.
  • I would recommend to start off by seeing a pediatric GI specialist. Thank you.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

Thank you doctor,

I will take him to a pediatric gastroenterologist. If a pediatric gastroenterologist checked and he is fine, then whom should I approach to determine whether he has developmental coordination disorder or not?



Welcome back to

  • If he is cleared by the gastroenterologist, then he should be seen either by a psychiatrist or a neurologist. Wishing him all the best in health and life. Thank you.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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