Went to pick J up from the play centre at 5ish to take him to his karate class, which he usually much enjoys. As luck would (not) have it, just before I arrived, the director and her very active son, who is friendly with J, arrived... She had been elsewhere that day and had just arrived with him. J at once started crying and saying he wanted to stay and play. I could have started negotiating I suppose, but last week he had a good karate session and I just had it in mind that we should go. At some point he told me it was because this boy he really likes had arrived. Fast forward... screaming, shouting, kicking, running away, refusing....me keeping calm, not getting upset (except for when I'd almost got him in the car and then he ran off), but it went on for a good 15 minutes, ending with the play centre staff picking him up bodily and putting him in the car. At which point he got almost hysterical, grabbing onto the director and not letting her go, shouting and shrieking. I was aware that this was a fight he was determined to "win". But suddenly the violence of all this, of having forced him into the car amidst all this distress and rage, just sickened me. It felt useless, an impossible solution... so I talked to J calmly and asked him whether if I let him stay to play with the boy, he would come calmly. He stopped shrieking, nodded his head and... off they went. I duly picked him up half an hour later and he was happily playing, calmly, with his friend... I talked to the director, who seems much calmer and more centred about J's difference than at first, and she said she was going to ring his psychiatrist tomorrow, as the latter had suggested. At home, I talked to J about how he could have used his words to tell me that he wanted to stay because his friend had arrived and we could have done it differently, without all that exhausting suffering and upset. Of course I had also internally reflected on what I could have managed better, in the light of this experience. I think he's overloaded, probably, overstimulated by all day with 20 or so other kids. Any insights/thoughts?