Making a move with your child on the Autism Spectrum easier
Moving with a child on the autism spectrum can be challenging, as many kids on the spectrum rely on a regimented schedule to feel comfortable and safe. When major changes occur, they can throw things off for weeks. When your family is faced with a move, however, there are several things you can do to make the process a smooth one, from involving your child in the move to looking for a home with safety features and upgrades so you can move right in without making major changes.
You can also look for local resources for your family. Pittsburgh Parent offers a calendar full of family-friendly activities in the area as well as general parenting tips. Start the process by doing some research and getting organized.
Get to know the area
It’s important to get to know the area you’re interested in moving to, and there are several online tools that make it easy. Look up typical sale prices of homes in different neighborhoods; they vary according to zip code, but the average cost in Pittsburgh is about $222,000. Once you know what your budget is, you can get pre-approved for a loan and start the home search in earnest. Keep your family’s needs in mind when it comes to security and safety, especially if your child wanders. Many children who are on the autism spectrum benefit from a sensory room that allows them to find comfort when they’re feeling overwhelmed, so consider those needs when thinking about the number of bedrooms your new home will have.
Keep things neat
Once you’ve found the right place, it’s time to start thinking about packing and preparing for the move. Many parents choose to get their child involved during this phase by talking about the new house, looking at photos of it, and packing up together. Because this process can be messy, and because clutter can create stress and anxiety for both you and your child, it’s best to keep things as organized and neat as possible. Start in one room and thoroughly clean and declutter before you begin packing, reassuring your child that all of their belongings will be going to the new house with you. Once the boxes come out, ask your child to help you pack their things, leaving out comfort items until the last minute.
If you come across major stains while cleaning, take care of them now rather than waiting until later. Stubborn areas on furniture may require the services of an upholstery cleaner, but it’s a good idea to read reviews by looking online for furniture cleaning near you. Once you find one you like, ask for a referral from satisfied customers, and keep an eye out for red flags, such as a service that uses an all-in-one cleaner. This will help you avoid a disaster with your favorite furniture pieces.
Get some help
When moving day arrives, it’s a good idea to have some help to keep things on the right track. Hiring a moving company will allow you to focus on helping your child get through the day without too much anxiety, and it will ensure that your belongings get to the new house without any hiccups. Read reviews and talk to the company you choose about your family’s needs so that everything will go smoothly on the big day.
Moving when your child is on the autism spectrum can be a big job, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Start planning early on so you’ll have plenty of time to clean, organize, and pack without creating anxiety for your child…or for yourself.
Author: Jenny Wise
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