This article is property of and copyright © 2003-2015 Jene Aviram of Natural Learning Concepts.  Reference of this article may only be included in your documentation provided that reference is made to the owner - Jene Aviram and a reference to this site

Good morning.  My name is Max the Mover.  Take a look around because when you get home today nothing will be here.  That's right.  Your house will be gone.  Forever.  You'll probably never come back.  You know that chair that always gets the sun?  You won't be able to sit there anymore.  And the faucet which always drips and puts you to sleep at night?  Well, you won't hear that anymore.  There's no need to worry.  We'll just take all your things and put them in a new place that you're unfamiliar with.  I know. You didn't choose the new place and you don't want to go there but your things will be with you so everything is OK.  Right?


Moving can be traumatic to people with autism.


Anyone that's moved houses knows all too well how overwhelming it can be.  There's lawyers, agreements, papers to sign, addresses to change, packing, buying new things, registering at schools, closing accounts, transferring telephones and a hundred other things to do.  This of course is in addition to all the daily tasks that you never have enough time for in the first place! With all the chores, it's hard for us to realize the emotions of people with autism - particularly because they often don't express it.  Because you have enough to think about, we've compiled a bunch of ideas to help make the transition a lot smoother for those with autism.


Make a count down caterpillar.  We recommend you do this at least 2 weeks before you move.  Each day, let your child cross off a number.  This will visually show your child how long it will be until he is in his new house.





Draw a picture of your new house with your child.  Draw your family all smiling and happy in the house.  Are there things your child loves such as a favorite game?  Draw that in the house too.

house2 copy


Think of a small gift your child would love.  A book, a game or a DVD.  Make sure you take a picture of it and keep reminding your child it will be waiting at his new house.  Make sure you don't pack it as it's important it's right there for him when he enters his new house for the first time.


Stick the picture of this gift he will be receiving in the drawing of your new house.

house3 copy


Write a social story.  Here are some ideas for you to use:


On _________ we are moving to our new house.  The movers will come with a big truck.  They will help us pack our things and take them to our new home.  Our new address is _____________.  When I get there, I will find my ___________ (gift from above) in my new room.  It will be waiting for me on my bed.  There are lots of great things in our new home.  We have a big new yard that’s fun to play in.  We will put our sofa and TV in our new living room.  I will have my bed and toys in my new bed room.  We are a happy family and we will all be together in our new home.


If you can, take pictures of your new house.  Make copies and put them on the wall in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and other rooms where your child spends time.  This will give you an opportunity to talk about the new house often.


Explain all the great things about the new house that you think your child will like.  He might not care that his room will be bigger but perhaps the street lamp at the bottom of the drive will intrigue him.



Parents are just as important.  Here are some tips for you



Moving Tips

Give notification. Make sure you notify schools, old and new. Notify the utility companies and if you are moving out of town, remember to obtain your medical and dental records. It's also a good idea to send change of address cards to your friends and relatives.

Items not to be moved. Decide which items you don't want to move and either arrange a garage sale or give them to a charity of your choice. A lot of items you no longer need might be helpful to friends and family.

One last look. When you're finished packing, take a last look. Check all your closets, your basement, garages and sheds. On such a busy day, it's easy to leave things behind. Make sure you have everything.

Open first. Pack one or two bags to take with you and mark the one or two boxes you will need immediately in your new home “open first”. This way, upon arriving at your destination you will know where to find everything you need.
OOPS! It's very easy to make this common mistake and pack away items such as your keys, your plane tickets, directions to your new house etc. While packing, make sure you know where all these items are.


Move Planner

Two to Three Months Before Moving

  • Check into the laws and requirements of your new city regarding home-based businesses, professional tests, business licenses and any special laws that might be applicable to you.
  • Check schools, and start enrollment and placement testing for your children (if possible)
  • Start to investigate moving companies (See Avoid Choosing the wrong moving company)
  • Make sure that you have a lease on your new apartment, or confirm the details of the closing of your new home.

One Month Before Moving

  • Get estimates from the moving companies you have chosen. When you have all the estimates, call the moving company you have selected. Give them the date for your move if you have it, or advise them that you will give them the date when you are able to.
  • Fill out change of address order form for post office.
  • Fill out an IRS change of address form.
  • Make travel arrangements, if necessary, with airlines, buses, car rental agencies and hotels.
  • Transfer memberships in churches, clubs and civic organizations.
  • If you are moving out of state, obtain medical and dental records, x-rays and prescription histories. Ask doctor and dentist for referrals and transfer prescriptions.
  • Set up a checking account in your new city.
  • Make arrangements for transporting pets.
  • Start using up food items, so that there is less left to pack and possibly spoil.

One To Two Weeks Before Moving

  • Switch utility services to new address. Inform electric, disposal, water, newspaper, magazine subscription, telephone and cable companies of your move.
  • If you have not yet set up your move date, call your mover to arrange it.
  • Confirm travel reservations.
  • Reserve the elevator if moving from an apartment, and find out if your building has any certificate of insurance requirements.
  • Plan ahead for special needs of infants.
  • Close bank accounts and have your funds wired to your new bank. Before closing, be sure there are no outstanding checks or automatic payments that haven't been processed.
  • Collect valuables from safe-deposit box. Make copies of any important documents before mailing or hand carry them to your new address.
  • Check with your insurance agent to ensure you'll be covered through your homeowner's or renter's policy during the move. If you require additional insurance through your mover, call and make arrangements for this at least 1 week in advance.
  • Defrost freezer and refrigerator. Place deodorizer inside to control odors.
  • Give a close friend or relative your travel route and schedule so you may be reached if needed.


On Moving Day

  • Double check closets, drawers, shelves, attic and garage to be sure they are empty. Make sure that you go through every room, closet basement and garage before movers leave your home.
  • Make sure you have your keys and directions to your new home
    After Arriving At New Home


If moving out of state…

  • Renew your driver's license, auto registration and tags.
  • Shop around for new insurance policies, especially auto coverage.
  • Revise your will and other legal papers to avoid longer probate and higher legal fees.
  • Locate the hospitals, police stations, veterinarian and fire stations near your home.


All American Van Lines wishes you luck in your new home!


This article is property of and copyright © 2015 Jene Aviram of Natural Learning Concepts.  Reference of this article may only be included in your documentation provided that reference is made to the owner - Jene Aviram and a reference to this site