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Guest Blog: “Finding a New Home When You Have a Child on the Spectrum” – Ed Carter

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

“Our family moved to Tennessee in 1999. Looking back, as much as we miss our Sweet Home and friends in Alabama, it was the right decision for our family. ❤ There is so much to consider when making a move for any family. Thank you Ed Carter for providing these practical considerations for families who have a child on the spectrum.” Tammy Vice

Image via Pexels

Healis Autism Centre notes that moving can be a stressful experience, especially when you have a child on the autism spectrum. As parents of a child with special needs, you are especially aware of the importance of feeling secure and taking every necessary precaution to ensure your child feels safe and comfortable in their new home.

Preparing for a move with a special needs child can be overwhelming, but with careful planning and knowledge about the resources available, it can become an exciting journey for the whole family. Read on for some insights from Know The Hope.

Finding an Affordable Home

First, find a home that you can easily afford. It’s important to spend within your means so that you don’t get stuck with an unmanageable mortgage payment or put yourself at risk of foreclosure down the road. To do this, you should establish a budget before shopping for homes and stick to it. It’s also a good idea to work with a real estate professional who can guide you in choosing the right property, as well as help you navigate the mortgage process.

Alternatively, consider rental options if you are unsure of where you want to buy — renting first gives you time to become familiar with different neighborhoods without making a long-term commitment.

Consider the Size and Safety of Potential Homes

Second, when considering potential homes for your family, be sure to think about the size and safety features that can help create a safe environment for your child on the spectrum. While square footage may not be as important as other factors like access to services or locating an autism-inclusive school district, having enough room for all your family members is also important, especially if more than one child has special needs. Safety features such as alarm systems or gated communities could also potentially provide extra security and peace of mind.

Examine Neighborhoods Closely

Third, choose an optimal neighborhood when looking for potential homes. Be sure to avoid areas with extra noise pollution or environmental irritants, which could be hard on people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Areas near parks or public transportation might provide easy access to therapy resources while also providing calming stimuli that help children manage their stress levels. For example, some parks have swings specifically designed for individuals on the autism spectrum, which can provide sensory stimulation without overstimulating them.

Researching local resources such as speech therapists or specially designed playgrounds ahead of time can help ensure that you find an area suitable for families with ASD kids who require specialized services or activities outside of traditional schooling environments

Look for Nearby Therapy Options

Fourth, investigate therapy options available nearby prior to buying a home. Many areas have special programs tailored specifically towards individuals on the autism spectrum, such as social skills classes or support groups designed specifically around ASD needs. It's important to explore these options ahead of time if possible. This way, when finally settling down in your new house, you'll already be aware of available resources nearby.

Prepare Your Child for the Move

Finally, talk to your child about any upcoming changes related to buying and moving into a new home. If possible, involve them in packing up their belongings, so they feel more secure in their transition process. Children on the autism spectrum may have difficulty expressing themselves verbally. However, they may still benefit from being involved in some aspects of planning, such as packing their own belongings, which, as Living Autism points out, may help reduce anxiety associated with change. Talking openly with them beforehand will allow them time to adjust better when finally moving into their new home.

Purchasing a new home is an exciting milestone, but it requires a lot of forethought and preparation when you have a child on the autism spectrum. Keep these tips in mind before committing. Make sure to take careful consideration into factors like affordability, size, and safety.

Choose an optimal neighborhood, avoiding areas with extra noise pollution and environmental irritants. Talk openly and involve your children throughout every step. Finally, investigate therapy options close by. By following all these steps, finding and settling into the perfect place will become much easier and less overwhelming, ensuring plenty more peaceful moments between both parent and child alike.

Know The Hope is dedicated to helping communities see Ability, and helping parents see Possibility. Contact us today to learn more!

Ed Carter

Bio: With a history in financial planning, Ed Carter utilizes his expertise and knowledge to assist individuals with disabilities in securing their future. Navigating the complexities of financial planning can be challenging and overwhelming, particularly for those dealing with physical and mental disabilities. That's why Ed founded Able Futures - a site dedicated to empowering people with disabilities by guiding them towards a stable and protected financial future.

Thank you Ed,

Know The Hope,

Tammy Vice

**Disclaimer::The information and opinions expressed in this blog are the those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views or opinions of Autism Tennessee. The author and the blog are not be held responsible for any misuse, reuse, recycled and cited and/or uncited copies of content within this blog by others.

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