Moving and Neurodiversity

by | Sep 16, 2022 | Moving Home, Moving House, Moving Tips, News | 0 comments

The experience of moving house – so often a time of emotional upheaval – can throw up different challenges and obstacles for clients with autism and related neuro-divergent issues. While many moving companies try to limit the stress and complication faced by their customers, not all are equipped with the right kind of knowledge to help ND movers. That’s because they may be wholly unaware that a particular client has to adhere to a strict routine and may not be able to tolerate disruptions and changes to their environment. At Anthony Ward Thomas, we’ve been able to support clients with issues ranging from autism to obsessive compulsive disorder, so that their experience of moving house is not unnecessarily traumatic. 

For every AWT moving job, clients are assigned a specific account manager/booking representative. This means one principal point of contact from the start of the move to the end. Any concerns you have about how the move might impact you can be discussed at the start, and at any subsequent stage. That’s why we’re confident we can help you move, no matter what additional factors are brought to bear on the process.

What is Neurodivergence?

Neurodivergence is a catch-all term to describe someone whose mind processes information and behaves differently to that which is considered neurotypical. Thinking about Neurodivergence has progressed considerably in recent years. Though once regarded as a problem and even a disability or illness, Neurodivergence is now thought to be merely a difference, sometimes bringing with it as many potential benefits as challenges or complications. However, it’s still possible for someone with Neurodivergence to book a removals job through a company staffed by people who may have no understanding or knowledge of Neurodivergence. Neurodivergence covers ADHD, dyspraxia, synesthesia, Dyslexia, Tourette’s, Down syndrome, dyscalculia, OCD, depression, borderline personality disorder and anxiety.

While many forms of Neurodivergence may be innate, even if they’re not diagnosed until adulthood, there can also be acquired Neurodivergence. For example, strokes and traumatic brain injuries can lead to Neurodivergence. At Anthony Ward Thomas, we strive to offer neurodiversity-informed moving so that you can safely choose us for your move without having to worry that we neither appreciate nor understand neurodivergent issues.

Moving House and Autism

Some of our clients with autism have an adverse reaction to their belongings being touched by strangers and the loss of control this signifies. An experience that can be overwhelming for clients without autism is, therefore, even more stressful for them. We’ve discussed options with our clients so that solutions can be found. If the client has access both to the property they’re leaving and the one to which they’re moving, we’ve structured the move so that it takes place gradually in two-hour chunks over several days. This makes it much more palatable for the client. We’ve also arranged a one-man pre-pack service by which one packer comes to the property alone, to get things ready in stages, rather than overwhelming the client with a full pack/unpack in one day.

Key to our ability to accommodate ND clients is the understanding that autism is a broad spectrum – while some ND clients are happy to be involved in the moving process, finding that participation diminishes their stress, others do not want to enter the new property until the move has occurred and everything is in the right place. We realise that a solution for one ND client is not necessarily the right one for another ND client. Some of our clients, for example, do not want to avail themselves of the packing service because only by doing the packing themselves are they reassured that nothing is going to be lost or damaged. 

Moving House and OCD

As with autism, the term OCD relates to a broad range of symptoms rather than one narrow definition. If you have OCD, you can talk to us prior to your move so that we can put in place whatever you might need to make the move work. In the past, we’ve been able to reassure clients with OCD relating to hygiene that our vans and equipment are clean, our movers, drivers and packers wear freshly laundered uniforms and the blankets we use are similarly clean and spotless. 

Moving House and ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can amplify the stress of a move because of what moving entails; all the planning, the decisions that need to be made, the packing and more. Add in the fact that routine-disruption can worsen ADHD symptoms, and you could well feel very daunted. When you get in touch with us, we’ll do our best to devise a move that takes your symptoms into account. We might, for example, recommend a gentle decluttering process well in advance of the move so that when our packers arrive, you’re not still in the grip of deciding what to keep and what to leave behind. If it’s at all possible, you could also keep one room (or section of a room) in your old property reasonably ordered and neat so that you have a haven from the clutter and claustrophobia of the move; an area you can retreat to if it all gets too much, somewhere that lets you de-stress and recharge yourself. 

AWT Moving For Everyone

Anthony Ward Thomas can take on your moving job, regardless of any ND-related factors. Knowing how much stress and upheaval the process can cause, we advise building in as much time as possible, so you’re never put in the position of having to fight against the clock, but can go about things in a more calm, measured fashion. Call us today on 020 7038 0449 for a quick quotation.