How To Find The Perfect House When Your Child Is On The Autism Spectrum
Making the decision to move comes with a lot to think about. From finding the right home to packing up your belongings, it’s an involved process, and everyone in the family is affected by the change. For parents of children who are on the autism spectrum, it’s especially important to have a solid plan in place before moving day to ensure that their mental and physical health continues to thrive. The moving process can be stressful, but being prepared will ensure that your family finds the perfect fit.
Consider Your Financial Needs
Your hunt for the perfect house will likely begin with financial details, such as how much to use as a down payment and which type of loan is best for your needs. Because there are so many different types of home loans, the down payment amount will vary according to which one you choose. Some lenders require 20% of the home’s total cost upfront, but special programs—such as FHA and Rural Development Loans—require 3.5% and zero money down, respectively. This is an especially important consideration if you know you’ll need to make costly improvements or safety modifications to the home.
Look For Potential
There’s no definitive list of perfect home features for children on the autism spectrum because every child has different needs. However, there are certain things you can look for during your house hunt that will help your child acclimate and flourish. A spare room can be used as a sensory space, or it might come in handy for in-home therapy visits. An energy-efficient hot water heater will reduce your utility bills if your child loves to take relaxing baths. Lots of cabinet space will help you eliminate clutter, which can be a safety or sensory hazard for tactile children.
Prepare Your Child Early
Once you’ve found the right loan and the perfect house, you’ll want to make it part of the family conversation. Because many individuals on the autism spectrum need the comfort and familiarity of an unbroken routine, it’s important to help your child prepare for the move early on. This will give you time to create visual aids—such as a countdown calendar or printed photos of the new house—that will allow your child time to get used to the idea of change. It’s also a good idea to avoid other big changes during this time and to hold onto familiar furniture and toys.
Plan For Getting The House Move-In Ready
Moving costs can add up quickly, so it’s a good idea to prepare early and create a budget. In addition to the expense of hiring movers, you might think about what it will take to make the place move-in ready. A professional carpet cleaning is crucial for families with children since it can eliminate dust, allergens, and dirt left behind by the previous owners. On average, these services cost between $120 and $230, depending on how many rooms you have. Most companies charge by the square foot, which typically runs between $25 and $75 per room.
These costs also vary according to the type of cleaning method used, so be sure to ask about your options. You’ll also want to find out how long the process will take and whether the company is insured, which will protect you in the event of personal injury or property damage.
Moving is almost always a big job, and there will likely be a few bumps in the road. This is to be expected, but with a bit of early planning, you can make the process as stress-free as possible for the entire family. Allowing your child to be included in the preparations is a great way to help them make a smooth transition.
Article Courtesy of Jenny Wise
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