[Synopsis: For a child with autism, moving can be a nightmare. Humboldt Moving offers some advice.]
Helping people move every day, we know how stressful the process can be for them. But imagine how stressful the process must be, then, for a child with autism.
We can try to imagine, but can we really get a feeling for what a young person on the autism spectrum might be experiencing when their family packs everything up and moves? For someone who can hardly handle not knowing what’s for dinner, the experience can sometimes be nothing less than traumatic.
Fortunately there is help for autism parents and for us. Humboldt Moving & Storage of Canton, Massachusetts has teamed up with (among others) the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. They’ve put together a video series on how to ease the challenges of moving with autism.
“Our hope is to provide helpful ideas for before, during and after the move which can help assist a loved one on the spectrum cope with the major changes that come with a relocation,” Humboldt explains on their website. “Of course each individual will need a personalized plan to address their specific needs but these videos can serve as a starting point in creating that plan.”
Some more tips on how to help
Humboldt offers three videos full of tips and strategies for “Before”, “During” and “After the Move”. Tips for the weeks and days leading up to the move include: allowing the child to see the new house before the actual move day, visiting the airport if the family is going to be flying to their new home area, deciding on what the family will have for dinner on their first night in the new house, and of course giving the child a chance to play an active role in planning and packing.
In the “During the Move” video we hear from a child with autism who has gone through a move, giving firsthand advice about some of the challenges autistic children face. Emotions that stem from these challenges are intensified over those of most other children, so a little extra thought can go a long way.
Humboldt also suggests creating a tip sheet for the parents to print, post and refer to as the big day draws closer. This can come in handy to refer to after you watch the video as well.
Staying empathetic even if we aren’t directly involved with a special needs child when we are on the job is one more way to do what we do: helping people move.