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I have just read your post, and really felt you could have been writing about my son, almost identical, except my little boy’s thing is Bob the builder. Everything you said is the same, shoes, clothes, zips, hospitals, all just the same. My son is 4 now, and we are still going through the long wait, we know he is ASD, and it has been heartbreaking and shocking for us. I love him to bits, and he is very clingy to me too, apparently this is normal with some ASD children. I don’t take him to places where there is noise, it is too chaotic for him and he gets distressed. He is happiest at home playing on his own, so I doubt he will go to normal school. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone – I see our little one as very sensitive and needing protection from a loud and fraught world he doesn’t understand. Quiet always works, and parks and walks, he is glued to his micro scooter most of the time, life is very different around here now. If I have any advice to give you, it would be to take his distress signals in those difficult situations, as a sign to leave – that’s what we do. If anyone tries to touch him without permission or warning, we simply tell them not to, as he is hypersensitive to touch. He lets me hold him firmly, or his dad and older sibs, but no-one else can get near.
I highly recommend a book by Carl Delgato, “The Ultimate Stranger” (don’t like the title but the content is eye opening.) You can email for more about any of it if you would like.
I send you lots of support and empathy.