As you are probably aware, autism is a spectrum that can manifest itself in many different ways. Children with autism can have different things that they find challenging, but one of the most common signs of autism is that your child struggles with change and needs to have a routine. Consequently, moving to a new house can trigger your child and make it a very difficult experience for them.
If you are moving house with a child that has autism, you will need to take a different approach from someone with children who don’t have autism. The process will be more challenging, but here are some tips to help you:
Tell them about the upcoming change
The worst thing you can do is spring a move on your child. Instead, spend a good few weeks or months telling them that you are going to move house soon. Being proactive like this can help them understand and prepare for what’s going on. You can even take them to your new house or bring them with you when looking for new homes before you move.
Again, this helps them get used to the upcoming change and become more aware of their new surroundings. So, when you eventually move, it’s less of a shock to their system and easier for them to comprehend.
Get your house ready as quickly as you can
Ideally, you could arrange for your child to stay with their grandparents on the first night of your move. Or, you can gradually make the move over the course of a couple of days. The first option is the better one, and it will give you time to move everything across to your new house. Use a company like MGB Removals Company to help you pack and transport everything across, then begin unpacking. The aim is that you get your house ready as quickly as you can. So, when your child moves in, they have a home awaiting them – rather than an empty house.
Of course, their room is the most important of all, and you should try to make it as close to their old one as you can. Once more, this makes the transition easier for them to deal with as there’s less of a change to worry about.
Create a visual schedule
Parents of children with autism will know that visual learning can be a great aid to teach your kids things and reduce anxiety. As such, you should create a visual schedule that shows your child what will happen and when it will happen. This is basically a calendar of events to help them prepare for the move. You can include visual aids for things like ‘visiting the new house’, ‘picking up storage boxes’ and ‘moving day’.
Make sure you include times as well as dates, so your child knows exactly what will happen.
Essentially, moving house with children that have autism is all about minimizing anxiety and making the change as small as can be. It’s definitely a case of slow and steady, rather than rushing everything as quickly as possible.
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