Moving and children with ASD: How to help them through the process?

For any adult, moving to a new place is a stressful experience, since it triggers feelings of anxiety, worry and sadness, among others. In fact, there are many who do not know how to psychologically channel the emotions it provokes.
Adults have a much more mature emotional development than children, meaning that it is more complicated for the latter to cope with everything involved in a move, even more so when they have autism spectrum disorder, also known as ASD.

How does a move affect a child with ASD?

For anyone, a move is a very stressful experience, but even more so for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as many of them are stuck in a routine and see changes as a difficult action to execute, which usually increases stress and anxiety to quite high levels. That is why making this type of day-to-day modification could affect them enormously. But how?


A child with Autism Spectrum Disorder bears and feels stress on a much larger scale than an adult. Therefore, as mentioned above, a drastic change of location is something that you really need to pay attention to, as it may cause irritability, instability, social disconnection, among others.

Weakness in their skills

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are constantly undergoing exercises that must be practiced daily to achieve certain goals, either in the linguistic or sensory area. The truth is that when faced with major changes, the progress made regarding those skills may be affected.


It is not only children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who present this psychological and neurological problem. However, it seems that children with ASD are more easily affected by depression due to the change that moving generates. This is a very difficult problem to cope with for both the child and the parents.

How can you help a child with ASD in a move?

First of all, it is important to know and be aware of the amount of complexities that the change may cause in a child with ASD. Keeping in mind that every human is different, it is essential to know the child very well in order to determine which is the best and correct way to help them.

What to do?

  • You should begin to write down the changes that will result from the move, from the micro to the macro. This will help clarify which things could affect the infant and which could not.

  • When children feel insecure, ask about their feelings in order to find a gradual solution in which they feel comfortable.

  • Once the changes that could affect the child are clear, it is advisable to discuss the move with the child so that he/she understands what it is and how to deal with the situation from the perspective of his/her guardian.

  • Time is key. Therefore, a move with a child with ASD cannot be done quickly and drastically. In this case, we recommend to take things one step at the time so that the difficulties are not so complicated to face.

Autism Spectrum Disorder in both adults and children must be treated very rigorously by their families, because any wrong step could lead to consequences that are difficult to solve.