The family I worked with really appreciated the visual depiction for their son and said it was not only very helpful, but that their son really enjoyed being involved with it. During the remainder of their admission he would reportedly instruct the doctors to move his car during rounds, and was very proud of the pictures with which we personalized his map. Mom also said he got a kick out of this and frequently asked ‘Mom, how did they get these pictures?’
The family took the map home and the patient keeps it in his room and tells a lot of people about it. She said he explains his road and how he “had to go to the pit stop” when he had his surgery. (So cute!) I encouraged them to bring his map back for subsequent admissions, and they said they’ve tried, but the patient corrects them and says “No mom, that was for my other boo-boo.” Depending on their length of stay during another upcoming surgery, mom is very interested in another one. She and dad were both appreciative of this and other ways Child Life assists kids with autism and special needs. We discussed how challenging the concept of time and “when you get better” can be for children, and particularly for children with special needs. The parents report that staff were very impressed with the map and participated well with it.