The Dos and Don’ts of Moving With a Special Needs Child

So, as you know, we’re moving.

We’re not only moving, but we’re moving to another state.

Last week, we went to our new location, and attempted to buy a house.

I happily sacrificed nearly all of my patience, and probably most of my hearing, just to bring you the list of things you should and shouldn’t do while moving with your special needs child.

1. DO make sure you pack extra meds, food, etc., because the minute you think you’re OK, someone will spike a fever.

2. If your child decides (2 hours in to a 4 hour drive) that it’s time to say “wheeeeeeee-wheeeeeeeee-wheeeeeee” over and over for 54 minutes, DO NOT turn the radio to Christmas music and sing loudly. Your husband may threaten to put the entire car in time out…

3. DO take the child with you to visit all potential homes. Even though it may be rough for them to experience, they will let you know if they feel a particular way about a layout or design.

4. DO NOT allow the realtor to fall in love with your child, or you will end up negotiating a chicken (a LIVE chicken) in to the deal for your new home.

5. DO your best to provide lots of alternative things for the child to do, should he get overwhelmed. If you forget to bring things to play with, you will pay the consequences, and they aren’t pretty.

6. DO NOT think that just because the days are long, hard, and overwhelming that your child will actually sleep at night.

7. DO make sure your hotel room is stocked with coffee in case of aforementioned sleeplessness.

8. DO NOT put on the mortified face when your child discovers a live squirrel in the closet of a house you are looking at. Explain calmly that we love all creatures and exit as quickly as possible before the child asks for a squirrel for a pet (see number 4).

9. DO your best to keep your “regular” schedule. It’s not easy, but if you don’t…. well, use your imagination!

10. DO NOT yell at your spouse and say, “I don’t care anymore! I just want a house! We have to move in 3 weeks!” He will not understand such outbursts from an otherwise calm and levelheaded Southern lady. He will mistake such behavior for insanity¬†and refuse to speak for hours on end. Until the realtor calls to tell you that you are the proud owners of a chicken.

11. DO tell your child that you have purchased a home. However, don’t tell them that there is a definite date to move. There is no concept of time and you will answer the same question five hundred thousand times a day.

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