I recently moved out of the house I had lived in for 5 years. It had been a good house, but required a lot of upkeep with the yard and landscaping. My family and I decided it would be best to move me to a condominium where all the maintenance and yardwork would be taken care of. We are still waiting for the condo to be built, so I am living in a separate condominium complex now until it is ready.
Getting ready for a move can sometimes be intimidating for some individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Some individuals have difficulty with change in schedule or routine so moving to a new place can create anxiety.
I had a group of friends help me pack my things in boxes for the move and then unpack and get them all set up once I moved into my temporary place. Having people I knew to come help was fun and it also lessened the anxiety. It took a bit to get used to my new place but with time it got easier. I was already familiar with the neighborhood, which helped and I knew people around town. For me, I had to get used to a new living environment. Which did take time, but with help, I was successful.
Here are some tips in helping others on the autism spectrum have a successful move, too!
- Show pictures of the house or let him tour it beforehand
- Tour the neighborhood and local area
- See if there are any special interest clubs or activities he could become involved in for social skills building
The resources below on transition to community living can be borrowed from the Library at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community:
Dear Diana: Diana’s guide to independent living for adolescents and young adults with different learning styles and special needs by Diana Bilezikian
Promoting successful transition to adulthood for students with disabilities by Robert Morgan
The road ahead: Transition to adult life for persons with disabilities edited by Keith Storey and Dawn Hunter