Tips For Parents On Relocating With Your Special Needs Child For The First Time
People move for many reasons, including for a new job or to create a blended family when remarrying after divorce. While changing homes – or cities – is difficult for everyone, children with special needs may find it even more so. As a parent, there are things you can do to minimize stress on everyone so that you can get through the move with a healthy and happy family. Here are some tips:
Make changes gradually.
Children with special needs may need more time to adjust to changes. A few things you can do now to ease the transition are:
Pack early. Plan to pack up unused rooms and items early so that your child gets used to changes. You can rent a storage unit at Badger State Storage to hold onto your personal belongings until moving day.
Talk to them. Even if your child has significant cognitive impairments, open up a conversation with them early about moving. TXU Energy also recommends listening and maintaining a positive attitude throughout the process.
Take stress off of you.
As much stress as your child is going to experience, yours is going to be doubled. Eliminate areas of tension for you early on so that you can focus on your child.
Prepare your home for sale. Since your home will already be cleaned out, take the time to perform small maintenance tasks, such as nailing down broken board decks, so that you aren’t dealing with that after someone’s made an offer.
Know your budget. Talk to your realtor about how much you can expect to net once your home sells. This will give you a better idea of how much you can afford moving into your new neighborhood. You can also calculate this by using an online estimate of your home’s value and deducting realtor fees, your current mortgage balance, and repair expenses. Your net proceeds will also play a part in how much you can spend on mobility and other updates to your next home; you can pinpoint these costs by getting estimates as soon as you make an offer.
Do your research.
If you’re moving for a job or to be closer to an aging loved one, you may not have much of a choice on where you move. But, aside from looking for a home already set up for your child’s needs, there are a few other ways to get ahead during the moving process.
Look at schools. The first tip Child Mind Institute contributor Michaela Searfoorce offers based on her experience moving with a special needs child is to find which school they will go to first. Preferably, you will leave your special needs child behind during this excursion so that they do not hyperfocus on negatives.
Find a support group. Facebook is an excellent resource to help you locate other parents with similar special needs children. You can also look for different organizations, including Caregiver Action Network and The Arc, to help you establish a support group in your new hometown.
Be prepared for meltdowns, especially if you have a younger child or one that doesn’t fully understand what’s happening on moving day. Bring in a few extra helping hands so that you can focus on their needs.
Choose a moving company. Choosing a moving company starts with research. You also want to ask lots of questions about how long they’ve been in business and how accurate their estimates typically are. Once you’ve settled on someone, make sure they are aware that you have a special needs child and, if applicable, how they should interact with them.
Bring in a babysitter. Finding someone to help with your little one isn’t always easy, especially one with special needs, such as autism or being in a wheelchair, to deal with. If you’ve already created a network of other parents in your new hometown, ask for referrals and check references.
Moving isn’t always an easy process. When you have a child with special needs, there are many subtle moving parts that you have to attend to. From knowing which school your child will go to choosing a babysitter to help upon arrival, the few tips listed above can help you make the most out of your big move.
Badger State Storage - Fox Valley has storage units up to 630 square feet with pricing starting at just $70 per month.
Image via Pexels