How to Thrive, Not Just Survive, The Holiday Season

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.

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The Makings of a Runaway Hit Game:
 Q&A with Inventor Claudia Faierman Shulman

By guest blogger, Jenn Choi

Upon reaching major milestones in Toys R Us Canada:
#1 Games
#1 Preschool Games
#1 Family Games
#1 Autism Awareness

And becoming an Amazon’s Choice game in the U.S., Claudia Faierman Shulman shares some of the secrets of her success in this Q and A with Forbes Contributor and education journalist, Jenn Choi.

The My Feelings Game was expanded to all Toys R Us Canada locations by March 2017

Jenn: Why do you think your game has become such a bestseller in so many categories?

Claudia: I think today’s parents are expecting more. Parents know that all people, children and adults alike are becoming so self-absorbed with their phones, emails, and texts. This worries them and I knew they were looking for a way to have fun with their kids while getting to know their thoughts and feelings. Sadly, no one really attempted to create such a game in the mainstream market.

Jenn: It doesn’t hurt to have endorsements from major luminaries in child development. Who has supported My Feelings Game so far?

Claudia: The response has been overwhelming. We are honored to be praised by luminaries such as Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Tony Attwood, Dr. Stephen Shore, Dr. Lucy Miller, Dr. Serena Wieder, Dr. Paula Kluth, Dr. Brenda Myles, Paula Aquilla, Ellen Yack and Rozanne Israel. All of them are pioneers in their respective fields.

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