Yikes! Dotty!

After 3 years of a happy life,
After 3 years of fulfilling her duties,
After 3 years of machine washes, constant abuse and spilt yogurts,
Poor Dotty has taken early retirement.
The last machine wash meant Dotty saw her hanging up her lunch carrying duties.
The washing machine ripped Dotty.
She is unrepairable.

Dotty is not just a lunchbag.
She is my girls’ friend.
She talks about Dotty like she is a real person.
She has refused to change Dotty for the last 3 years because she cannot bear change.

It seems odd to us……but to her it is normal.                      
A sign of Autism is  “An unusual attachment to inanimate objects such as toys, strings, or spinning objects.”
This is apparent to the cuddly toy that comes absolutely everywhere with us, the 300+ soft toys in her room, her swimming bag, her pyjamas, her books, her litter…..her lunchbag.
Not just ‘things’ to her.

The change.
A very hard thing to grasp in children on the spectrum.
Change, especially unexpected change, can be extremely stressful.
Things parents of neurotypical can do in the blink of an eye, such as buy a new lunchbag, have to be carefully planned and slowly introduced to a child with Autism.  
When change occurs my girl can react in a number of ways including a meltdown, aggression or withdrawal and denial.

After the initial shock, tears and shouting,
My girl reacted with denial.
What we can see as clearly unsalvageable, she can see as being able to be repaired.
I tried and tried to explain that wouldn’t be possible.
My girl couldn’t see that.
Her black and white mind telling her if it is broke, it can be fixed.
She point blank refused a new one and was screaming ‘Dotty, Dotty, Dotty,’ over and over again…..
…..so i lied.
I told her I could fix her.

Yikes!!!

I posted a picture and a desperate plea on Facebook for a new one.
No pressure – but by morning as school starts again!
And…….hooray! We have a new one courtesy of a very kind Mum who we have known since our babies were small!

As my girl sleeps ‘operation fix *swap* Dotty’ will begin and my gorgeous girl will be spared all the anxiety and upset a new one would have caused.

There are some good people out there.
When you need help the most you don’t need to look further than the people that understand.
Thank you, so much, to that very kind lady.
Thank you.

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