Moving often appears high up on many lists of the most stressful events that can occur in life. Moving house is often thought of as being as stress-inducing as the death of a spouse or the loss of a job. Now imagine how daunting a major transition like moving can feel to a child who’s on the autism spectrum.
Having a stable routine is critical to an autistic child’s ongoing development. Any disruptions or unexpected changes to life’s daily routine can be difficult for anyone on the spectrum. This advice from Dad of Divas will help every member of your family feel more at ease before, during, and after your move.
It’s important that you find ways to make this transition go as smoothly as possible. Consider how much you can spend on a new home and the various features and home modifications that might be needed in your new residence before you and your family make a decision as to where you’re moving.
- Have family conversations as soon as you realize you’re going to move. Involve your child in as many of these conversations as possible. If the actual task of house-hunting feels too stressful for your child, take photos of the new dwelling you’ve decided on and show them on a regular basis, asking for opinions and comments.
- Find the best home to suit your child’s needs. Children on the autism spectrum are often bothered by bright lights and loud noises. While house hunting, be aware of noisy disturbances in the area that can affect your child. Work with a real estate agent who understands your needs.
- Flow is important. A floor plan that flows nicely from one area to the next is good for a child on the autism spectrum, and each room should have a clearly defined purpose.
- Look for a sensory-friendly yard space. Check out whether the home has a backyard with a swing set, sandbox, bird feeders, vegetable garden, or other outdoor spaces that add exercise and stimulation to a child’s daily schedule.
Tips for Moving Day
Give yourself extra time before the move to ensure your new home is clean and free of clutter when your child first arrives. A space that’s orderly promotes an atmosphere of relaxation. Decluttering and arranging furniture to resemble your former home’s schema as closely as possible, especially in your child’s bedroom, can help with the adjustment.
If you find a piece of furniture has gotten stained during the move, remedy this as soon as possible as the stain may disturb your child. A clean house with the same furnishings is important to keep stress at bay.
When a regular cleanser won’t get a grease stain out of a sofa, for instance, it’s best to call an upholstery cleaner right away. Speak to a few area professionals about what you need done, get quotes, and read reviews on the internet; you can search online for “best upholstery cleaning service near me” to find local professionals. Ask for referrals from customers and call them. Try to avoid using cleaners who use all-purpose cleaning tools to clean your furniture.
Enjoy Your New Surroundings
The tasks of house hunting and moving aren’t simple to begin with, and things get more complicated when you have a child on the autism spectrum. When you involve your family in the house-hunting process and prepare the new home with your child’s special needs in mind, the transition can be smoother and more pleasurable for everyone.