Hi Janine, I'm new here as well. We have had very similar challenges with our 12 year old daughter. She has suffered from extreme anxiety all of her life & was only able to walk into school on her own in year 2 yrs ago. She's always struggled with change & has had long periods of school refusal. Friends, social interactions & noisy places are also an issue. She has limited interest, restrictive eating & is very controlling at home. Life is very tough & we often feel very isolated. We were told from a young age that our daughter had a severe anxiety disorder. So that's the path we have always followed. If I am honest with you we felt like failures as parents. Then approx. a year ago following a period of extreme anxiety & other challenging behaviours a psychiatrist from our local C&A community mental health team, diagnosed our daughter with ASD. We have since had this formally diagnosed through ASPECT & a paediatrician has also now diagnosed inattentive ADHD. It hasn't fixed things but what it has given us & even more importantly other people (teachers, peers, extended family) greater perspective & a deeper understanding of the why. We have a long journey ahead of us but it feels right & we now no which path to follow. Your son may have other underlying causes for his anxiety but keep exploring all avenues & possibilities. You are most definitely not alone. Wishing you & your son all the best!
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