No matter your age or ability level, moving is stressful. For kids with intellectual disabilities, however, it can be even more challenging. Prepping a Child with Disabilities for a Move is absolutely essential. It ensures that they have the tools necessary to make as smooth a transition as possible.
However, many parents are unsure what the best approach for preparing their child for a move will be. Here’s a look at some of the steps you can take to help your little one cope with this big change.
Figure Out Your Timing
Many parents make the mistake of talking to their children about a move as soon as they decide to start looking for houses. This may work for some families, but for others, it can backfire. If you tell your child about the move months before it happens, they may get upset well in advance of the move. Moreover, younger children and those with memory issues may not retain the information well, meaning they get upset all over again later on.
That’s why, for many families, it’s best to wait until everything is figured out before you start talking to your children about the move. Do as much of the legwork beforehand as you can, from figuring out selling your current home to planning your move-in date. The more details you have nailed down, the more stable a picture you can give your little one of what the move will be like.
If you do decide to inform your child months in advance of your impending move, be sure to take them to visit your new area and neighborhood. You could even rent a vacation home for a week to help them get acclimated and enjoy some fun activities to ease their stress. For instance, if you’re moving to Huntington Beach, take them whale watching or paddle boarding. Or if you’re moving to Anaheim, they’re bound to love a trip to Disney Land.
Work as a Team
It’s also wise to lean on your support network when it comes to managing this move for your child. Family and close friends are a good place to start. They can help you manage some of the work of the move, and may also be able to babysit or supervise during moving day. This kind of support can be invaluable for keeping your stress levels manageable and making the move work for your whole family.
You should also speak to your child’s medical team. Doctors and therapists can be invaluable when it comes to figuring out coping techniques for your child. They can give your little one the tools they need to recognize and manage the big feelings that come with major changes like this one. Ask them to teach you any techniques you can use to guide your child through effective coping skills.
Manage Your Own Stress
Finally, focus on finding ways to keep your own stress as manageable as possible on your move. Your child can – and will – pick up on your anxiety. The more worried you seem about the move, the more likely they are to be afraid and stressed as well. Moreover, the stress of moving can make you less resistant to illness, and the last thing anyone needs is to manage a move while sick. Good stress management gives your whole family the best chance at a smooth transition.
There are several techniques you can use to manage stress effectively during a move. For example, you can try to practice mindfulness every day. Even just a few minutes of mindfulness a day can help reduce stress significantly. You should also try to make sure you get some exercise every day. A 30-minute walk is a great way to work out that pent-up stress and keep your mind and body running at their best.
One of the easiest ways to relieve stress around your move is to hire experienced, competent, and highly rated movers to handle the workload. The pros at The Moving Experience promise and deliver professional and affordable moving services so you can concentrate on preparing your child for relocating.
Prepping a Child with Disabilities for a Move
Although this guide is designed to give you the tools you need to manage a move effectively, remember: You know your family best. If some advice listed here doesn’t make sense for your child or situation, tweak or change it to suit your needs. Ultimately, if you give your little one plenty of love and support before, during, and after your move, odds are the transition will be a success.
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