|Temporary lead on his backpack will keep us together in the crowds|
The backpack closes with a buckle across his chest. This was something that I had to add to the backpack right at the beginning of the school year. Not being the most organized of households, we were frequently sprinting down the street to the school and as they ran, they had to hold onto the shoulder straps of their backpacks so they didn't leave them behind on the sidewalk. Rather than be more organized in the mornings, I added the buckle closure to hold the shoulder straps together and give the backpack a secure fit. And no, we aren't running to school EVERY day.....
Both my boys are neurotypical and whereas the older one will stay by my side (and talk my ear off) whenever we go out together, this one is much more curious and MUCH more independent. He'd have no problem taking off to explore hither and yon if he felt like it, which is rather stressful for me because I would then have to spend all my time staring at the top of his head rather than looking at the booths and displays. Having the lead to keep us together is the difference between not going at all and having an enjoyable afternoon in the city, just me and my youngest.
And we can still hold hands if he wants too.