My 5yo difficult child (High-Functioning Autism (HFA), congenital heart defect) went in for heart surgery in Boston on the 7th. He did really well! The staff at Children's in Boston were really great. I am really happy with how they listened to me (actually believed that I know my kid better than they do!) and really did a lot to mitigate his anxiety and sensory issues. As usual my wild fears about what might happen were worse than the actual happening (sometimes not so far off though). For the preop testing we got a child life escort the whole day--she got us into all the testing quickly and got us the gentlest, fastest people to do the tests. She got him two cars as rewards I brought a bag full of space toys too. The sedation was pretty awful though. The last time he went under GA he took versed before and was OK with it. This time he drank half and freaked about the rest, so they had to give him a shot. I kind of wish they had just given him the shot first thing. After that the surgery took about 5 hours and he did great. They are pretty happy with the valve replacement but are still worried about another issue so he might need to go in for an outpatient procedure in a couple of months. They doped him pretty well on morphine and ativan before they extubated him the night after the surgery so he would transition and not rip out his tubes. We had a rough night after that but he did OK. They let me sleep in his ICU bed with him and were really good about letting him alone and being really gentle with him. He's really into space right now and had been telling the anasthesiologists all about the planets before he was sedated. While we were waiting for him to wake up after being extubated one doctor was telling the others how difficult child is a space buff. I thought difficult child was still out but he opened his eyes and said "I know a LOT about Jupiter" and then fell back asleep. It was hilarious that those were his first words! Never underestimate the depth of a spectrum kid's obsessions! I bet he dreamed about Jupiter the whole time he was under. After he was more aware he had a really hard time with all the poking and prodding, the lines, and especially all the tape. They had to give him more ativan for every procedure and even to take IV lines out. I wasn't there for the chest tube removal--husband said it took lots of ativan, morphine, and 4 people to hold him down. It got to the point where he started screaming at anyone in scrubs for them to get out, don't touch him, and since he was doing pretty well they released him earlier than they normally would because they thought he'd do better out of the hospital. His cardiologist joked that he was being "really hostile" to the nurses. Yeah. He's really doing great, behavior-wise. His routines and sleep have been less disrupted than I thought and he seems to be getting back into his regular pattern. He's even taking the fact that he can't really play outside or go to summer camp for another week pretty well. He's bored but grandma is here for the week to play with him and I took him to see Wall-e again a few days ago. The theater was empty so he could talk loudly at the screen He is crazy about that movie. Thanks for all your help & suggestions--the social story was especially a great idea. It really helped him.