A few weeks ago we made a big, out-of-state move. It’s been a big adjustment for all of us but especially for Caden who is highly sensitive to his surroundings and displays some sensory-related behaviors. Below are eight tips for moving with a sensory needs child that I used or learned during this process.
This post contains affiliate links.
Tips for Moving with Sensory Needs Kids
Let them help pack up their toys and things.
While doing this you can explain that their stuff will be in the box temporarily and they can help open them when you get to your new home.
Keep a small box open or use a backpack to store their favorite toys or sensory items.
This way you know where to they are if you find yourself with some down time or need to keep your sensory kid occupied. Items to keep in the box or backpack include:
- Favorite Blankies
- Favorite stuffed animals & small toys
- Chewy tubes (for the oral sensory seeker)
- Mini Sensory Bins like these from Life Lesson Plans
- Play dough or silly putty
- Squishy balls
- Extra Clothes
Let them participate with the moving.
Helping to load and unload the truck provides lots of heavy work through lifting boxes and vestibular input through walking/running up and down the truck ramp & in and out of your home.
Try to keep the same daily routine.
It’s hard to keep track of time when you are so busy and there is so much to do. It is important for all kids, but especially sensory needs kids to stay on schedule. Be consistent with naps and bed times and make sure you provide snacks and meals at about the same time. Use the alarm clock on your phone to help you keep track of time.
Maintain proper nutrition.
This is probably one of the areas where we made a mistake. It’s hard to provide balanced, nutritious meals when everything is packed away and you are so busy, but it is crucial for sensory kids. This article from Golden Reflections Blog explains how diet can affect a child’s behavior.
Pack a “First Night” box just for them.
Include their favorite bed linens, room darkening shades, lamps, night-light and/ or the trusty sound machine. Pack whatever you and they need to feel comfortable at night and get a good first night of sleep in your new home. Because we all know how much sleep can affect their behavior.
Help them understand with stories.
Use social stories or read some great books about moving as a visual way of explaining what will happen during the move. We didn’t use social stories, but we talked a lot about what will happen leading up to the big day.
Be aware of their triggers.
For sound sensitive kids be sure to give a warning when using the packing tape. This sound can be very unsettling. Some sensory kids might find comfort in using ear protectors.
The Sensory Fix™ Toolkit from Project Sensory is a backpack filled to the brim with over 15 tools to help your child organize their sensory systems would be a great tool to use when moving! The kit comes with a 1 year membership to Project Sensory’s exclusive printables club (which is not available to anyone else at the moment). The kit also includes a Simple Companion Guide that visually shows how each item in the kit can support their child’s sensory needs, and a behavior chart that matches everyday kid behaviors to tools in the kit. As part of the Printables Club, members will receive a monthly newsletter with exclusive printables only available to them, one video, and a sensory tip they can use NOW. In addition, all printables added during the duration of their membership will be free to them (excluding any ebooks).
If you were to purchase the kit in stores or online separately, it would cost over $200, we are offering it at a 35% discount, including free printables for a year, and donating 1 Sensory Fix™ Kit to classrooms in need for every 20 kits purchased.
© 2014 – 2017, Stir The Wonder. All rights reserved.