Auburn Hospital praised for low-sensory surgery to comfort autistic boy

Cooper Cassar is a nine-year-old boy with autism.

Auburn Hospital staff have been applauded for going above and beyond to support a young boy with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during a surgical procedure.

The nine-year-old boy’s mother Michelle wrote to the hospital as she was amazed by the efforts of staff to make her son Cooper feel comfortable.  

Selfie mode: Cooper and his mum Michelle.

The staff created a low-sensory experience in theatre by minimising movement and lights during the procedure.

ASD is a lifelong condition that impacts on the way an individual responds to the world around them.

Sensory sensitivities such as noise, light or temperature can overwhelm people with the condition.  

It is estimated that one in 70 people in Australia are on the spectrum.

Staff made Cooper feel comfortable during his recent procedure.

“The team who were directly involved with Cooper’s operation took into account that he has autism,” Michelle said.

“They all stood quietly in theatre and no one spoke to him, other than the anaesthestist and myself.

“Monitors were turned down. Everyone was quiet and stayed still so they wouldn’t overwhelm him.

“He doesn’t respond well to an overload of sensory stimulation but the team went above and beyond to help.

“I’m so very grateful they took the extra care to do this for him.”

Cooper during his recent stay at Auburn Hospital.

The praise for Auburn Hospital continued as Michelle complimented the staff across various disciplines.

“The receptionist who checked us in didn’t bat an eyelid that Cooper has two mums,” Michelle said.

“The nurse who admitted us was amazing. Some of the nursing staff must have answered twenty questions and didn’t mind a single bit.

Family snap: Lena, Michelle, Willow and Cooper Cassar.

“The orderly who pushed us in and walked me out asked if I was okay.

“The nurse in recovery made me feel like my son was the most important person in the hospital.

“And even the staff who gave him ice cream and jelly when he turned his nose up at a cheese sandwich.

“You should be very proud of the team at Auburn Hospital. They are amazing.”

April is World Autism Month. To find out more about ASD visit