Two tips to keep in mind if your child has Asperger's Syndrome and you need to move house

Children who have Asperger's Syndrome often need routine, familiar surroundings and predictable schedules to feel at ease.

As such, the upheaval and chaos that comes with a house move can make them feel very stressed out and unhappy. If your child has this condition and you need to move house, here are some things you can do to make the moving process easier for them.

Give your child a safe space where they won't have to interact with the removalists

It is very common for children with Asperger's Syndrome to struggle with socialising. Many children with this condition find it hard to make eye contact and to accurately interpret body language and facial expressions. This can then cause them to get quite stressed when they are around people they do not know very well.

Because of this, your child might find the presence of removalists walking around the house to be quite distressing. They might not know how to behave around these people and may feel awkward and uncomfortable as a result of this.

One way to deal with this is to completely clear out a specific room in your current home before the employees from the removalist company arrive, and to allow your child to relax and play in this room whilst the removalists do their work elsewhere in the property.

This should make them feel safe and comfortable, and ensure that they do not feel forced into a situation where they have to endure the discomfort of talking to or being around strangers.

Print out a schedule of events for the day on which you plan to move

Children who have this condition tend to feel most comfortable when they know exactly what is going to happen throughout the course of any given day. The sense of control and familiarity that a set schedule provides helps them to feel safe.

Moving house can disrupt their usual routines and make them feel very distressed. However, you can ease this distress by printing out a schedule of events for the day on which you intend to move, and giving this to them in advance so that they can familiarise themselves with it.

If for example, they know that the removalists will be arriving at 10 am, they can then decide to move into the above-mentioned emptied-out room (i.e. their safe space) before this time in the morning. If the schedule states that the removalists will be finished loading up their van by midday, your child will then know that it is safe for them to emerge from their room at this time.

This will give them a sense of control over the events of the day and make it slightly easier for them to manage their emotions during this chaotic and stressful period.