By Claudia Faierman Shulman
Every year, many parents of children living with autism approach the holidays with anxiety and dread. As a fellow member of this community, I do understand why but I believe that it doesn’t have to be this way.
As a game inventor, I found that using my principles of relationship-building through fun and games can be helpful in making great memories that last forever.
Here are the top three strategies that have worked for my family, friends and network of game-tester kids.
1- Plan to have fun.
Can fun be had if you plan for it? Absolutely. We do it all the time when we plan family vacations. The holidays are no different. Part of the reason we may feel stress sometimes is because we worry too much about things that we cannot control. For example, there are environmental demands, interactions with others, and most importantly, the state of children on any given day that we need to monitor. Instead of burning our energy on such concerns, let’s use it to prepare for a fun experience. Strategies can be as simple as bringing engaging material for our children, such as books, toys, or games to be shared. In addition, I always bring plenty of their favourite snacks to make sure they eat and feel comfortable. I also find that giving children opportunities to rest before the event is very effective.
Thrive Rule #1: Plan to have fun. Thwarting unwanted situations is necessary but saving energy to plan for the fun stuff is just as important. photo: Sensational Learners Inc.