Moving is a stressful time for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for families with a . Change is hard for kids in general (honestly—most adults, too) but for children who are differently-abled in physical, developmental or emotional ways, moving to a new home can bring on challenges well before and after moving day.
Are you considering a new home? Looking for some guidance on moving with causing as little stress as possible to your family? Here are four ways to go about moving to a new home with a child with disabilities in tow.
House hunting for accessibility
Your new home needs to be the for your child—meaning from day one it needs to be a place where they can thrive. Connect with a realtor with experience looking for homes with modifications, or ones that can be more easily modified. Consider hiring a contractor to go with you on tours to help consult with changes you and your family will need to make in order for your child to be comfortable.
Some common accessibility accommodations include:
● : ramps, wider hallways, lower countertops, no-slip flooring
● : textured walls, contrasting colors, simple floor plans
● : sensory-free areas, doors with internal and external locks, quiet communities
Steps for selling your home
Home sales are always stressful, but for families with a child with a disability, it can be excruciating. Having to clean and vacate every time there is a showing can make life very stressful for a child. Manage the tension by to prep your home for showings and clearly communicate that plan to your child. Give them an opportunity to contribute to the plan, if appropriate, like asking them for certain times of the day where no tours or open houses should be held. When getting your home ready to go on the market be sure to:
● how much upfront costs will occur when you sell your home, like realtor’s fees, mortgage balance, and sale’ prices in your area.
● Take a few tours and visit some open houses in your area to see what is trending with home buyers.
● Stage your home as best you can by keeping clutter under control, renting a storage unit for the big things, and hiring a cleaning company to make it sparkle and shine.
Make the move as stress-free as possible
Children with disabilities, like all children, thrive off routine. So that means change is going to be hard, especially when it comes to the place they consider the safest on the planet—their home. To help children let go of some anxiety around the change, you can:
● Ask them to help search for houses and look at pictures online.
● Draw them in with something that might interest them, like a big park in the new neighborhood or a bedroom with a reading nook.
● On moving day, by having a friend, family member or baby sitter get them out of the house for the day.
COIVD precautions to move your family safely
So many things seem and feel uncertain these days, and moving is no different. Cities, states, and counties all have different ways of safety mandates for COVID-19, like social distancing, mask-wearing, and other health and safety precautions. Be sure you know what will be expected of you in your new home and during the transition process. For example:
● Many have their own safety precautions in place, such as taking employee temperatures and wearing masks and gloves.
● Hire a cleaning company or do it yourself, but just make sure high contact surfaces like countertops and doorknobs are disinfected.
● Work with your realtor to make sure the key exchange and paperwork signing is handled in a way that is socially distant and safe. Keep hand sanitizer, paper towels, and disinfectant close at hand.
Whether you are moving across the city or the country, these four suggestions can help you stay sane and your kids stay safe before, during, and after your big move. If you need more help, look for resources and training from ATCC that you can take to protect your children with disabilities during this tumultuous time.