Moving with your Sensory Child
Preparing for the BIG day
It has been awhile since I have submitted a blog because our family just recently moved and it was very busy! Moving can be very busy for a traditional family but for a family with a sensory kid it can be filled with a roller coaster of emotions, regression, anxiety, and the OH No's!!! For us parents it can be a feeling of guilt, sadness, and the unknowns. We want to do the very best for our kids and moving is just something that has to be handle much like anything new with your sensory kids. My personal philosophy is prepare for the worst but hope for the best!
In preparation for the big day, make sure you include your sensory kiddos, and in fact all your kids in the moving process. A lot of the anxiety is not having control of the situation and the kids feel forced to move instead of actually being a part of the process. Make sure that you allow them to pack up their room, it might just be one box but it will help with easing their anxiety about the move. Another good idea is let them decorate their boxes so that they know which ones are theirs on move in day. Get out the markers, crayons, paint and let them decorate!! Giving them a little feeling of control can help tremendously!! Another good idea is to, if available take your sensory kid to the new house drive up to it give them a tour, let them look inside, do this a couple times if you can, this will familiarize them with their new surroundings so it isn't such a shock. One of the most important things to remember is to stay as calm as possible and speak of the move in a positive manner. You already know that your sensory kid is very tuned into senses and when you are feeling anxious about something it shows even if you don't realize it. You want to pump your kids up, like it is an adventure even if it is just across town. For example" we will be closer to that park you really like!" or "there are so many fun things to do in our new town!"
The BIG day!!
Moving day is upon you and everyone is running around and trying to get that last minute stuff packed, clean the former place up and the movers have arrived. In my experience it was best if you leave with the kids before this happens. Either have your spouse stay and handle the last minute details or you have you spouse take the kids. It will help with not seeing that all their things are being handled by others. Make sure you take one box of your kiddos stuff in your vehicle so that they have their favorite things with them. Make a day out of it if you can. We were able move in over a couple of days so the most important things were the bed and most of the kids things. We set up as quickly as possible distracting our Chloe with activities, her favorite foods. Chloe actually did pretty well with only one major melt down at the end of the first day from all the people in and out and the loudness of it all but after we worked to get her calmed down she was alright.
Making the adjustments we did ended up having a tremendously good effect of Chloe. She transitioned with a little bump but settled in pretty quickly once we got all of her stuff unpacked. One of the things you should always try and remember is that people make a home not the house. It shouldn't matter what you live in or where you live but how you go about putting your house together to make it an environment that is cozy for your family. The other thing to remember is life is full of change and even though you may feel bad because you have to move for work, or family , or any reason at all your sensory child has to know that sometimes things change and how to work through those times. You are teaching them how to cope with change so when they reach an older level they can recognize that this day might be tough but I know how I can get through this day with out it being a struggle.
Adjusting to the move after you have survived the initial moving day can be trying. You can expect some possible regression, sleeping issues, and increase in meltdowns. Something that might also happen is less sleep issues, less meltdowns, and no regression. I know you are thinking to yourself, that can't be possible!!! However, just like adults sometimes children can leave behind unwanted behavior. It is a fresh start for them and a new place, Chloe was very much like this. I didn't believe it either, because prior to the move we went through a couple weeks of regressive behavior but once we moved she seemed to be back on track and acting a little better. Her sleeping habits improved, her meltdown time got a little better and less frequent and her overall attitude seemed to improve. I'm not saying this will happen for everyone but it is a possibility so hope for the best and prepare for the worst and you will come out on top.
If you have any questions about our moving experience or any comments you would like to add about your moving experience, please feel free to share on my comment section below!!