Moving Can Feel Like A Nightmare For Kids on the Autism Spectrum
Moving presents all kinds of challenges for children with autism. Packing up the house, breaking from routine, and settling into an unfamiliar place can be completely overwhelming for children who thrive on stability. Parents have a lot to consider as they approach the house hunting and moving process.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. A reputable rental company like Orange County Home Rentals can help you find a home that fits the needs of both you and your child at no cost. Here are some of our best tips to help you navigate the house-hunting process and prepare your family for a stress-free move!
Clean and Declutter Before Packing
The process of packing up a home tends to create a lot of clutter. All that mess can be really distressing to kids with autism, so try to keep everything organized. Maintaining a clean and organized environment will help keep everyone feeling calm and stress-free in the days leading up to your move, so spend some time cleaning and decluttering your home before you begin packing boxes.
Start by getting rid of stuff you no longer need or want. This will make the moving process a lot easier, and you won’t have to find a place for all that stuff in your new home. You might even save some money on moving costs! The Art of Happy Moving suggests asking for help from someone who is great at decluttering if you have a tough time getting rid of stuff. You could even hire an organizational expert.
Next, give your home a good cleaning. This is a great opportunity to tackle any stains on carpets or upholstery, which are inevitable if you have young kids! If you can’t get those stains out on your own, hire an upholstery cleaner to help you out. You can do a search for a ‘furniture cleaner near me’ and read reviews online to find a cleaner who will be able to tackle stains.
Be sure to find out what tools and solutions the cleaner uses as these usually separate the experts from the novices. A portable steam cleaner is enough for furniture cleaning jobs while a truck-mounted steamer is preferred if you need carpets cleaned.
Choose the Right Home
Choosing the right home for your family will make it easier for your child to settle into a new space. It’s a good idea to create a checklist of autism-friendly features to guide your housing search. For example, open-concept floor plans are great for people on the spectrum because they allow a clear line of sight through the home. A local rental agent can help you find homes for rent that meet your requirements.
When viewing potential homes, try to be mindful of neighborhood features that could help or hinder your child. Can you hear dogs barking? Loud traffic? Well-insulated homes can block these outside sounds, but you won’t want to spend much time in the backyard if the area is especially noisy.
Speaking of which, yard space is valuable for families with kids on the spectrum. Research shows that outdoor play can strengthen sensory processing skills, foster a positive mood, improve attention span, and support physical health in kids with autism. So, keep an eye out for secure, fenced yards where your kid can play!
Communicate With Your Child
All kids are sensitive to changes in routine, but especially those on the autism spectrum. Keeping your kids informed will ensure they know what to expect and can settle some of their stress about the upcoming move. Talk to your child about the move and give them plenty of time to process this news.
When you broach the subject, highlight the benefits of moving and focus on things that your child can get excited about, like a backyard with a pool or a big bedroom with plenty of space for all their toys. It could also be a good idea to bring your child to visit the home before your move. This is a great opportunity to explore the surrounding neighborhood as well!
You can also use visual aids to keep your kid in the loop during the moving process. Create a calendar with key dates on it so your kids feel informed and know what’s coming. Picture books are also great for guiding kids through a move.
Coming up with an unpacking plan can help you get your new home set up quickly so you and your child can settle in as soon as possible. Start by designating one room to hold all your boxes, like a garage or spare bedroom, to prevent your home from becoming excessively cluttered while you work on unpacking everything.
Domestically Blissful recommends walking through the new home before moving in and deciding where you will store everything from pots and pans to coats and cleaning supplies. This will make the unpacking process a lot faster!
Unpack your child’s bedroom first and try to arrange everything in a way that is familiar to them.
If possible, you could even have your child stay with grandparents for the first night of your move so you have time to get your kid’s bedroom set up and ensure your home is autism-friendly.
Keep in mind that you might have to make some small modifications to the home, such as swapping out fluorescent lights for LEDs or applying anti-glare coatings to the windows.
Moving will always be a stressful experience for kids with autism. While a little upheaval is hard to avoid, taking steps to prepare your child for your move will ensure they feel as comfortable as possible during this transition.
Try to keep the experience as smooth as possible for your child by staying calm, organized, and positive throughout the house hunting and moving process!
Are you searching for homes for rent in Orange County? Orange County Home Rentals can help you find the perfect long-term rental for you and your family. Contact us today! 949-667-3680.