I’m a dad living in Philadelphia. I enjoy DIY projects almost as much as raising my two children. I’m also the co-creator of Fix It Dads, which offers tips for home improvement projects. www.Fixitdads.com
As a parent, your primary priority will always be your child. Considering your little one can be challenging when planning a move, especially if your child is on the autism spectrum. There will be house features to look out for and home modifications to make. In addition, when forced to confront change, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often experience extreme anxiety and stress. This can be harrowing to watch as a parent.
However, the payoff for the hard work is well worth the effort. Seeing your child flourishing, joyous, and well-adjusted in their new environment will be highly fulfilling. Whether you’re house-hunting for financial reasons, a job, or wish for a better life elsewhere, moving may just be the ticket to happiness for you and your family. And with a bit of advice from Paul Isaacs’ Blog, you’ll be good to go for a smooth and efficient move.
The key to a successful move is to include your child in the decision-making process. According to the Raising Children Network, kids with ASD don’t deal well with change, so it is vital to help them feel secure. Try to let them know about the move as early as possible, so they have the time and space to process the information. Spectrum News reports that kids with ASD typically need a month or more to prepare for a significant life change.
Another critical tip is to paint a vivid picture of their new environment. Tell your kid about their new room, the house, and the kind of school they’ll be going to. Get them excited about features like a pool in the backyard or a great park nearby. Don’t forget to mention anchor features that they value in your current home, such as toys or furniture.
You will need to find a home that is ideally located to suit your child’s needs. Look for neighborhoods with easy access to good schools, medical facilities, and therapy centers. Once you’ve narrowed down the right location, you’ll have to do some research on median prices. It can be tricky to find a home that is both autism-friendly and affordable. However, remember that details that bother those with ASD are typically easily fixed. For example, painting and lighting are easily changed up for a budget-friendly solution.
In addition to features and home prices, you’ll need to consider annual income, monthly expenses, and the down payment cost. During this time, you may want to consider whether purchasing an “as-is” home is the right choice. In addition to saving you money, purchasing an “as-is” home can allow you to tailor the space to your child’s specific needs. However, if you decide to take this route, make sure that the home’s current state doesn’t pose any risk to your family’s overall well-being.
It’s going to be challenging to find a house that is fitted out with your specifications and meets your budget requirements! You’ll likely need to make a few modifications to ensure that your house feels safe for your loved one. For example, you will have to ensure you’re accommodating your child’s sensory sensitivity. Echoey rooms and unclean spaces are big triggers, so be sure to get some furniture in and deep-clean the home before moving in. Soundproofing, rounded countertops, and quiet appliances are some other features that will be valuable for your child on the spectrum.
Also, take the time to set up smart cameras, safety locks, and smoke alarms, so the house is move-in ready. Set up open concept plans to ensure circulation, as this is important for people on the spectrum. A bigger backyard is also a great way to ensure your child thrives — this will improve their strength, processing, and attention span and give them exposure to the outdoors. House hunting and moving can have some unique challenges when you’re the parent of a child with ASD. However, get comfortable with the difficulties and take it in your stride. Plan ahead for an efficient move, and remember to comfort your child on moving day. The more you involve your child, the better they will adjust to the upcoming changes
Post by Rob Woods
Blogged by Paul Isaacs 2022