Moving with children can be challenging, especially if they have autism or other special needs. Children must leave behind friends and the comforts of home, which can cause stress and uncertainty. Moreover, they can have difficulty dealing with sudden changes to their schedules, routines, and living environments. Fortunately, there are ways you can make the relocation easier to help your little one settle into the new home. Read on to learn some tips to help your family transition.
Relocating Your Family? What To Consider
Get Your Child Involved
Let your youngster know about the move as soon as possible. You want to avoid making the relocation feel like a surprise or disruption. Introduce the topic calmly and gently. Explain why you’re moving and try to make the experience positive. You can use visual aids to help the child process the new information, such as showing him or her photos of the new home and town.
You might also want to consider involving your little one in the moving process. Assign simple tasks such as cleaning his or her room, packing belongings and toys, and labeling boxes. When children have a sense of control, they may feel less stressed.
Work With Your Child’s Care Team
Inform your child’s care team about the move, including his or her doctors, therapists, and teachers. These professionals can provide advice and insight on how to help your youngster with autism or other special needs adjust to the big change. They can give your little one the proper coping tools to improve his or her behavior and mood. Additionally, investing in moving services can save you stress and help you spend more time helping your child adjust.
Maintain a Routine
Many children with autism are routine driven. For this reason, try to keep daily tasks, mealtimes, and bedtimes the same during the transition process. Reestablish your child’s routine immediately once you’ve relocated to the new residence.
Show Your Child the New Neighborhood
Take your little one for a tour of the new neighborhood where you’ll be living. Show your child places he or she will visit frequently, such as schools and parks. You can also arrange to have your child meet his or her new teachers to prepare your youngster for the first day of school. This meetup can help with processing the transition.
Have Comforting Items Handy
Moving can cause fear and anxiety in children. For these reasons, keep your child’s favorite items handy during moving day, such as a stuffed animal or other toy. Additionally, you can have your favorite foods prepared and ready to eat. These items can provide a sense of comfort and support during the transition.
Taking the right steps and being prepared can help your child adjust to a move. For more tips on moving with children, see the accompanying resource.