These tips on moving with Autistic children is brought to you in collaboration with Jenny Wise at Special Home Educator
Moving to a new home is always a stressful endeavor, especially if you have children. With so many moving parts, it can be difficult to keep track of the youngsters while you pack, travel, and make the new house your home. If you have autistic children, the move can prove even more difficult, but it can be done.
Knowing how important it is to have a smooth moving experience, we have some great tips for finding the perfect home and creating a smooth experience for your children along the way.
What to Look for in a New Home
When looking for a new home, there are certain factors that you will want to take into consideration to make the daily life of your child as comfortable and safe as possible. First, ensure that your child gets their own bedroom as autistic children often need to have their own space to relax and collect their thoughts. However, the room should not be empty as children often also need an object in front of them to gain a sense of themselves.
In the living room, you will want to have enough space so that you can have your desired furniture but also so that there is room for your child to move about and play without fear of hitting anything and hurting themselves.
Reducing clutter and creating a clean space are important for autistic children because even bothersome smells and sights can be disruptive. Stains on furniture can often be distracting and stubborn to remove so you may want to seek the services of a furniture cleaning company. Just like any professional service, you will need to do your research by reading online reviews and getting price quotes. Once you narrow it down, ask the company for customer referrals so you can be certain in your choice.
Before You Move
Once you find your dream home, start talking to your child about the big change that is about to occur. Talk about why you are moving, be it for a job or a new school, and allow them to ask questions so you know that they fully comprehend the situation.
Ideally, it would be a good idea to visit the new house before you move so they can see for themselves what their new world will look like. Allow your child to assist during the moving process so they feel like they are a part of the transition. That could include helping to clean up or being in their own room when you pack it up so they can tell you what should go where.
Some autistic children can have vision issues, so in order to not have them become frustrated, consider using colorful boxes to pack their room and make a production out of labeling their boxes so they know exactly which belongs to them. At the end of the packing day, provide a reward, like a special ribbon that congratulates them on being a good helper.
Settling Into the New Home
Once you are moved into the new home, take things slow, especially when it comes to furnishing your rooms. Often it can take some time for autistic children to adjust so when you are done with each room, introduce them to it so they can feel more comfortable.
It may also be a good idea to reach out to your neighbors and introduce your family while explaining your situation. While you don’t have to task them with watching your child, if they are a welcoming neighbor, you can feel better that they will alert you if your child ever gets confused or lost while playing outside.
Your child will likely be missing his friends from the old house, so allow them plenty of chances to write a letter or even have a video call so they can see their pals face to face. This chat will likely bring them great joy.
I love having the chance to help folks with all aspects of finding their dream house. Contact me at 760 622 5087 and let me help you find your little slice of heaven.