Understanding Stress of Moving House for Child with Autism
Children with autism prefer a fixed daily routine and any major changes in routines or their surroundings and environment can be stressful for them. Moving from one house to another is one such major change for children with autism.
Moving from one location to another is a common change experienced by many of us. Job transfers, financial reasons, and many other factors can cause families to move their residence from one place to another.
The movement is never easy and is a stressful activity even for the grown-ups. For children with autism the shift can be extremely challenging considering their sensitivity to external stimuli. Here are a few things to consider:
- Children with autism can be more sensitive to their environment than others.
- They can take more time to accept and adopt to changes in their lives.
- Family members, parents can help them in the transition.
- Talk about the plan of moving in advance with the children to help them understand.
- Show videos or pictures of the new house and nearby places, as that may help them prepare.
- A brief visit to the new house before moving in can also do well. Let the child explore and get a feel of the new place.
“Letting the child get used to the new place is important. Children with autism respond differently to external changes,” says Deepa Sen, a parent.
- Let them express their emotions and thoughts about the changes.
- Involve the children in packing or such activity to keep them interested in the process of moving out.
- Once the house is moved, keep out a close eye on the children with autism and notice how they are coping.
- Do not force them to like the new place and give them ample time to adjust to the changes, being patient is very important.
- With patience, proper training and guidance children with autism can be taught about life skills that can help them lead a better life and adopt to changes.
Gayathri Sridhar, a parent says that children with autism can learn life skills if taught with patience and proper techniques.
Children with autism can learn life skills at their own pace. They can be taught and trained for one skill/action at a time and then should be carried on like a forward chain, starting with practically as a routine with prompts as a supervised task and to independent task. Targeting on a single skill for a month to make them do it independent, helps ultimately.- Gayathri Sridhar, a parent