Autism and House Hunting

 

We are house hunting.  We have to be out of our current rental by July 31st because our landlords sold the house.  I thought they’d have some trouble in this economy, but after a week on Craigslist, they sold it.  They got a lot less than what they were asking for — but I am happy for them.  And I wish we could have bought it.  It is in a bad school district with a sub-standard autism program.

So we are moving again. We have to quickly find a home and get in a school district before Ava turns 2 1/2.  We want to buy something this time.  Yes, we want to be home-owners, but I so dread moving because I know Ava will be traumatized.  She loves where she lives now.  She finds comfort in her home.  I hope she can adjust but I know it is difficult for kids on the spectrum.

However, after going to see about six houses last weekend, I realized how hard our search is going to be.  Not only do we have to find an affordable home — even in this housing slump it is hard to find a house in our price range in a good school district, we have to find a school district with a good autism program or a district willing to send her to a private autism school or an out of district program.  With all of NJ’s budget cuts in education, it will be hard to find a district that will send her to a private school.

We need to find a safe house, one that can be child-proofed for a special needs child with gross motor and sensory issues.  I want a finished basement because I don’t want Ava to fall down steep steps or get hurt. We have to find a safe neighborhood.  We have to find a house that is not close to a high traffic area. Our property has to have a fence.  We can’t have ponds, lakes or creeks near our property.  And our new home has to be in a nice, quiet neighborhood with conscientious neighbors.  It is a tall order, I know.  I also want an attached garage, central air, nice appliances and a family room for Ava’s therapy.
Ava is a “runner”.  If there is an open space, she will run without abandon.  Last week I took her out of the car and put her down.  I turned my back for one second and she bolted down the street.  Thankfully, we live in a cul-de-sac.  But sometimes my neighbors speed down the hill and into their driveways like bats out of hell.  I have to be so careful.  We may get a bracelet for her to wear or a backpack with a leash.  Oh I know it looks cruel, but I am so afraid for her!  With all of the missing autistic children, you can’t be too careful.
I hope we find a new home within the next few weeks — and it is a safe haven for Ava.

 

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How do you define a safe home?

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Kim Cristo
Kim Cristo is the mother to a child with autism and a neurotypical child. She advocates for the rights of autistic individuals and their families.
Kim Cristo

Kim Cristo

Kim Cristo is the mother to a child with autism and a neurotypical child. She advocates for the rights of autistic individuals and their families.

One thought on “Autism and House Hunting

  • June 28, 2010 at 9:05 pm
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    I feel your pain. We are looking to move rental properties and yet stay close to our chosen school.  So challenging.

    Reply

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