How to Relocate When You Have a Child With Autism
Moving is an intimidating task when you have children. And, when your children are on the spectrum, it can be an even greater challenge. But, despite the hurdles that almost certainly lie ahead, moving is sometimes unavoidable, so it pays to look ahead before you start the process.
Today, we cover some important things to consider as you plan to move when you have a child with autism.
Preparing Your Child
One of the most important things you can do before you move is to be proactive and discuss upcoming events with your child. Continual communication, coupled with patience and, most importantly, time, is essential. If possible, work out a potential new schedule and give them a “sneak peek” of what their new life in their new home might look like. Children with autism are notoriously resistant to change. Gradually introduce them to the idea of moving so that it does not come as a surprise.
Eliminating Stress Before, During, and After the Move
As the parent of a child with autism, you already fully understand how stress can affect their overall mood. Look for ways to reduce stress throughout the moving process. This will include a combination of hands-on activities, such as walking and doing yoga, as well as helping your little one set goals that they can easily achieve.
Another important factor in reducing stress at home is to keep your house clean, clutter free, and quiet. Children with autism can fixate on a minor issue in the home, such as a stain on the furniture. Using this example, you’ll want to ensure that your couches and chairs are clean and fresh.
An additional example of keeping your home clean to reduce stress is to hire a window cleaning company. This is important both for your child with autism and, according to Window Sparkle, during the selling process, too. You can find window cleaners by searching for local window cleaners online and choosing a contractor based on customer feedback. Make sure that they use custom tools for each job and don’t go with the first company you find.
Features to Look For
If you’re moving for the first time with a child diagnosed with autism, finding a space that will grow with them is essential. Most people on the autism spectrum appreciate minimalism. Your son or daughter will also be more at ease at a home that’s been well insulated against outside sound. Importantly, look for a home (and furniture) that’s reconfigurable.
Ideally, your new home will also have a space that you can use as a sensory area. One autism mom explains that she uses her garage, but you can use an attic or spare bedroom. When budget allows, search for a home with larger rooms so that your child can have plenty of spots to hide away when they get overstimulated. If necessary, you may want to opt for a larger “as-is” home; you may need to make a few repairs to the property, but you’ll be able to afford a larger space at a more affordable price.
Moving into a new home when you have a child with autism doesn’t look the same as it does when moving with other family members. You have to pay attention to stress as well as maintain constant communication with your child. However, patience and perseverance pay off here, and it is entirely possible to make your move a pleasant experience for everyone. Is it easy? Not always. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Dr. Paul Holland has helped people of all ages with ADHD, ASD, and executive function skills. To learn how Dr. Holland can help you, use his contact form to get in touch.