I’ve talked about wanting to move for years. We need a bigger house and I’d like to be a bit farther away from the city, but there are so many things to consider before moving, especially when you have children with a diverse set of needs. Over the years I’ve talked to so many parents who found themselves in a position where moving was necessary but didn’t know anyone at their new location. That can be scary and overwheming to say the least.
You might be asking yourself, why would someone move to a place where they don’t know anyone? The reality is that sometimes families have to move in order to locate services that their child needs.
I’ve been asked many times for advice on how to handle situations like this and while I generally dislike giving advice, because all of our situations are different, I do have some thoughts.
If I had to move somewhere that took me away from everyone I knew, there are four things I would probably do to help prepare myself for that journey.
Don’t Do It If You Don’t Have To
This is probably pretty obvious but in case it’s not. Don’t move somewhere you don’t know anyone if it’s not absolutely necessary. One of the worst things I can imagine doing as a special needs parent is putting myself into a situation that promotes isolation. This life can be isolating enough as it is and moving to a place that will foster isolation, is just not something I would do if it could be avoided.
Research online when possible. The internet is an amazing thing and you can find anything with very little effort. For example, search Calgary Homes For Sale if you’re looking for something in that area. I have a huge number of readers in Canada. 🙂
I would absolutely exhaust all other options before making a move like this because At the end of the day, it may still be a necessary thing. That being the case, these are some things I would focus on to help improve the odds of success.
Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into Before You Get Yourself Into It
Assuming the best option for your family is to move, it’s important you know what you’re getting yourself into before you get there. I would want to know as much about the area and surrounding areas as possible.
What are the schools like? Is the local school system capable of meeting the needs of your child? If your child has an existing IEP, I would want to know what to expect from the transition process before my child’s first day of class. That’s pretty important.
Assuming that you’re moving to be closer to services, than you are probably already aware of those but that would be something to look into as well.
Start Building A Support System Before You Arrive
One of the biggest challenges is building a support system. Your support system is generally made up family, friends, teachers, aides, doctors, therapists, and anyone else who is there to help you and your child succeed. It’s probably a safe bet that your support system isn’t moving with you.
With that in mind, I would begin making calls long before the move. It takes time to build a support system and the sooner you start, the better. Look for parent support groups so you can connect with people who understand and will be able to relate. Remember that your support team can and will evolve over time. Build as you go.
Transition Takes Time
Keep in mind that transition takes time. Many kids don’t like change and will take some time to adjust. You may experience more frequent meltdowns and emotional outbursts.
Lean on your support system when you can and remember to be as patient with your child and yourself, as possible.