The day in the life of a parent with an autistic child comes with enough challenges, but when you add relocating to a new home to the mix, things can get downright impossible. There are some things that you can do to help reduce the stress your autistic child feels as you pack everything up and move into a whole new home.
Prior to the Move
As you probably know, abrupt changes don't go smoothly with autistic kids. Daily routines are a necessity and this move is going to turn your child's world upside-down for a bit. Before the move, take the time to talk and listen. Answer any questions that your child may have to the best of your ability.
If possible, take a trip or two to the new house. Spend some time planning where everything will go and letting your child get to know the space a bit so that it's not so much of a shock when moving day comes.
Packing Your Stuff
Start by packing stuff that isn't included in your child's daily routine – things that won't be missed. You know what would or wouldn't be missed, so use your best judgement when determining if those items would be missed until you get to unpack at the new house.
The day or two leading up to the move, it's time to start packing the stuff in your child's room. If this is going to trigger bad behavior with your child, consider getting some friends that your child is comfortable with to help you. This way, you can wait until the very last minute to do your child's room and then, transport it to the new house ahead of the rest of the contents of your house. Get your child's room set up before you even start bringing the other stuff into your new home. This will give your child a "safe place" to stay while you get some stuff done.
You will have your hands full during the move. Hiring a moving company to assist you will open up your time and give you the free-time to help your child through this transition. Look for movers that will do as much as you need – pack, carry, load and unload the moving truck. You will be grateful for the help and your child will be grateful for the attention.
It will take some time to get settled into the new home. You know what needs to be unpacked to make your child feel comfortable. Hopefully, taking these steps will take some of the anxiety out of the move for you and your autistic child.