We put our stuff in storage, took our summer clothes and moved into my parents’ house. We will be here for six months while our new home is being built. We bought a pre-construction, new townhouse in a new development in a Northern NJ suburb.
Moving can be a harrowing experience for a child on the autism spectrum, but it wasn’t for Ava.
We didn’t prepare her much. The day we were moving into my parents’ house – where we share a small room with her on the lower level – we dropped her off with my mother while we carted things to their house. First, the toys. Then the clothes. Then the extraneous stuff — how did we get so much STUFF? After the movers carted our furniture off to long-term storage, we took her back to the empty house. We showed her the living room, kitchen, her room and the basement where her therapy took place. She was confused, but loved the open space. Then we took her back to my parents’ house and showed her the crib (with the same linens we used at our house), her toys and her high chair. We told her that we were living with Grandma and Grandpa now. I don’t know if she fully understood, but she seemed to be fine. Of course she is fine — she is spoiled ROTTEN now!
The real test came the next morning when the therapists came to my parents’ house. Ava had a stunned look on her face like, “what the heck are you doing here?”. She had two pretty good therapy sessions that day, but was not working as hard as she had been previous to our move. I think she thinks she can get away with things at Grandma’s house. She had a miserable OT session, but that is to be expected.
I think moving to my parents’ house is harder on us adults than it is for Ava. We have to adjust to schedules, living in tight quarters and having less privacy. We are used to our creature comforts and it is an adjustment. My parents have less space and so do we. The good part about it is, we get ’round the clock babysitting and they get to see their grandchild.
In six months they will be happy to be rid of us I am sure. But right now, we have a roof over our heads and Ava has a lot more adults to help her and spoil her. I just hope she transitions as well when we move again in six months!