Considerations for Moving Home When Your Child Has a Disability

Family with disabled child

Relocating to a new home can be as stressful as it is thrilling. When beginning this new chapter with your family, you’re adding many obligations to your already full plate – and those responsibilities multiply when you have a child with a disability. However, this doesn’t mean that you can pave the way for a smooth transition with your family.

By preparing ahead of time and making any necessary considerations for your child, you can ensure that your household relocates and settles into your new living environment with minimal headaches. Here are some tips from Nuthatch Naturals to help along the way.


Find the Right Home

Your first step will be to identify a home that will suit your family’s needs. Consider your budget and use an online calculator to estimate how much house you can afford. Then, research potential locations to find a place that will give everyone in your household convenient access to nearby establishments, responsibilities, or activities.

If you know what community you plan to move to, it’s wise to evaluate local market conditions before beginning your home search, since that will also determine whether you’re interested in buying or renting. You may find that the state of the market means you’ll need to rent for a while before making a purchase. Investigate the housing market in your destination area to keep apprised of your options while house hunting.


Modifying a Home

Think about any home modifications you might need to make in the new house. Keep in mind that some updates may boost the home’s appraisal value; you just need to make sure you document the improvements through before-and-after photos and receipts.

While you can usually modify an existing house, try to find a property that will require minimal modifications. Along with saving you money, it will also save you a lot of time and stress. For example, if your child has mobility issues, the new home should include bedrooms and bathrooms on the main floor, and your child should be able to maneuver from room to room easily.

For a child with sensory issues, you might consider looking for a home on a quiet street; barking dogs and noisy neighbors might disturb your child’s sensitivities. If your child lives with a non-neurotypical condition (like autism), you might need a property with a fence around the yard, among other considerations.


Connect with Professional Contractors

Managing home modification projects has become significantly easier with the use of specialized apps designed to connect homeowners with vetted contractors. These platforms offer an array of home repair options available at your fingertips, ensuring you find the right professional for your specific needs.

Not only do these apps provide access to qualified and skilled contractors, but they also connect you with experts ready to guide you through any questions or uncertainties you may have about your project. Moreover, the convenience doesn't end there; these applications allow you to manage your entire project from within the app itself, from initial consultation to the final touches, streamlining the process and making home improvements a breeze.


Take Extra Precautions

Finally, you will need to consider your child’s specific needs when planning moving day details. For example, if your child uses a wheelchair, Gin & Lemonade suggests making any necessary accommodations for travel and settling into the new home. If your child lives with a sensory or emotional disorder, brace yourself for meltdowns. Moving can be stressful for anyone, so consider how intense it could be for your child.

You might also create a sensory safe place in your new home immediately after arriving. Also, you will want to ensure your child has their favorite blanket, lovey, toy, or other familiar items with them at all times.

Particularly for children with high sensitivity, it is important to consider what cleaners you use in your home. Instead of using store-bought cleaners with harsh chemicals, try using natural DIY cleaners. They can be just as effective at cleaning and sterilizing surfaces as traditional, but safer to use and less likely to cause issues.


Prepare for the Relocation

There’s no getting around the fact that moving with a special needs child requires a lot of preparation. But if you make a checklist of all your tasks, it can help ease the stress. Here are a few things you will need to accomplish:

  • Acquire and duplicate current school and medical records.
  • Request your child’s teachers, therapists, and other professionals to contact any new professionals in your new area to discuss their experiences with your child.
  • Go to any necessary medical appointments before the relocation to avoid having to rush to find new doctors in your new location.
  • Get a one-month supply of all prescription medications.
  • Research local disability support groups in your new community.
  • Confirm your child will be covered by your insurance providers during the transition.

You will also need to have a conversation with your child to explain the upcoming move. Explain the reasons for your move and how your family can build a happy life in the new location. Depending on your child’s personality and disability, you may want to begin preparing them at least a month before the move.

Rather than becoming overwhelmed by the prospect of moving, start putting together a detailed plan for how you will minimize stress for your entire family during the transition. By preparing, you can reduce the stress of moving and genuinely be excited about your family’s next chapter. Consider the tips above, and keep looking for other ways to prepare your child for the upcoming relocation.


Nuthatch Naturals offers gentle skincare products for kids, as well as resources for parents.  Have a question for the team?  Reach out today to learn more.

This post was contributed by Colleen Stewart of Playdate Fitness in Orlando, Florida.