In our mobile society, many people are faced with relocating. Whether moving across town or across the country, it’s not an easy transition. For a family with a young child with a disability, it can be even more difficult. But with a little planning, parents can help create a smoother transition for their children, and for the whole family.
Try these ideas to make moving less traumatic:
- Use age-appropriate, clear, simple language to explain the upcoming move
- Use play to prepare your child for the move—read stories, act it out with toy trucks and doll furniture
- Let your child help pack her own toys and label the boxes with her pictures
- Even if you are ready to replace them, consider taking your child’s most familiar and favorite items, such as her furniture, to the new home. They will help her feel more secure; you can replace them once she has become comfortable in your new home
- If moving locally, explore the new home together before the move; if moving to a new city, explore the new home through online photos
When you are moving and your child has a disability there are more factors to consider, especially if you are moving to a new city. These challenges will impact the work parents do to prepare for a move:
- Arranging to continue necessary services
- Finding medical and educational personnel
- Transferring medical and educational information
- Managing the impact on your child
In some areas, there are long waiting lists for medical and therapy appointments. It is also common for insurance coverage to vary from state to state. Take these factors into account. Research how the move will affect getting your child the services she needs, and how you will pay for them.