Cancer and Autism

13 Jan

Last week my mom underwent a double mastectomy with reconstruction to treat her breast cancer. Her diagnosis and treatment were obviously a huge blow to our family, and I knew it’d be vital to prepare Dylan for what this meant.

In the days preceeding her operation I looked online for social stories about surgery and recovery. All I found were stories to prepare kids for their own medical procedures, but none explaining what it would be like when Mommy went in for surgery.

So, I created this story for Dylan….

On Monday, January 6th Mommy is going to the hospital.

Mommy has cancer. That means her body feels sick.

pain

The doctors will get rid of the cancer and help her feel all better.

doctors

Mommy will spend the night at the hospital so that the doctors can check on her.

sleeping

Soon Mommy will get to come home!

house2

When Mommy comes home she will be very tired. She will need to take naps.

tired

Mommy will have bandages, so she will have to be very careful when she walks.

There will be new people at home to help pick me up from school.

drop off

These new people will help make dinner and clean up.

cooking

Soon Mommy will feel all better.

I will feel so happy when Mommy feels better. Mommy and Daddy will feel happy, too.

HappyDyl

He read through the story with me and really seemed to understand it. When he got to the bandage page he looked up and asked my mom to see her bandage. We told him it wasn’t there yet, but that soon it would be.

A few days after the surgery I went over to visit and Dylan had a preoccupation with the bandage again. “Can I see my bandage?” he would ask, over and over (incorrect pronoun, and all).  Then he would ask, “Can I see the boo-boo boobie?” so she would show him a piece of the drain tubes. I mean…how could I not chuckle at that?? So that’s how Dylan understands all this. He knows mommy had cancer and that she went to the hospital to fix it. And now, she is at home with her boo-boo boobies. 🙂

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4 Responses to “Cancer and Autism”

  1. OneLoCoMommy January 14, 2014 at 5:39 am #

    Sending your mom lots of good wishes for recovery and remission.

    I just went through a similar situation last summer with my dad (pancreatic cancer) – unfortunately he passed before Christmas so that started another story with B.

    • angelina258 January 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

      Thank you so much, and I’m so sorry to hear about your dad.

  2. Darlene Hachey September 12, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

    What a great mom you are preparing your son with a social story. They are very effective especially when the pictures are real. Good job mom!
    I am doing one for my adult son about moving. They can help so much to relieve anxiety!

    • angelina258 September 15, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      Thanks so much. This was for my brother when my mom had cancer.

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