Moving is stressful even under the best circumstances. The stress of packing up and changing addresses is magnified for those who are moving with children because children often need special foods, toys, and bedding. Special needs children have even more concerns than this when moving and can experience an incredibly increased amount of stress without the right preparation before moving and the ideal amount of support during and after the move. They may experience anxiety and an increase in other mental health symptoms, or they may retreat within themselves if they feel that the move threatens their security. Here are a few tips for easing into the transition of a new home
While some parents may feel that they are protecting their children from the stress of moving by not telling them about the impending change, this method can actually backfire. Children with physical and especially mental disabilities need plenty of time to process the change and need to hear the truth from their parents to maintain healthy levels of trust.
Children of all ages love to be involved in some way. Perhaps parents can have their children pack one or two boxes of their toys or stuffed animals. Other children may love to accompany parents on a house hunt. Part of this is giving a child a few simple choices each day to help them feel that they are an integral part of the moving process. Additionally, upon reaching the new home, parents should unpack and set up the child’s bedroom first to ease anxiety.
Being a parent of a special education child can be tough. Parents often need someone to come alongside them whether that is a tutor or a special education attorney from Newman Aaronson Vanaman. Finding a special needs support group can help parents learn more about services available in their new area and can give them time to decompress.