Our Mission

Here at Tiddlywinks and Hijinks, we review games. Our primary focus is board games. However, we may review games in a way most people haven’t thought of… we have multiple special needs people in our family. This ranges from physical issues to learning and cognitive problems. We have Asperger’s, Tourette’s, ADHD, among other issues as well in the house.

Games are not only fun, but we use them as an extension of therapy. In our reviews, we will explain why we feel the game is a good therapy tool and what area it works on. In some games, we may share “house rules” we have created to help the game fit those in our house who were unable to play the game per the normal rules.

We will occasionally throw in a video game here and there or other type of media. We may also touch on some of the worst games rated by special needs families and therapists. LOL.

Note: It was requested I convert some of my posts into podcasts for those with dyslexia or other reading impairments. I will try to work on the conversion over the summer… so stay tuned.

Meet the team

Who we are:

Drawing by Piper – Thing 2

Holli – Mom:

The brain child of the project. After many trial and errors with games and products, I began making suggestions to other families in person. I was encouraged to spread my base out.

Once upon a time, I worked in the medical field… so I’m not some random weirdo throwing odd opinions out there… My humor can be haphazard, but that’s intentional… to an extent.

Favorite board game: Red Dragon Inn, Character: I pick at random (female)

Photo (Not Matt) by Klaus Nielsen on Pexels.com

Matt – Dad:

I’m very thankful. He helps fund my board game “addiction”. He is amazing and has never had a second thought being a step father to special needs kids with medical needs. He always encourages me to have personal time. I’m thankful that he still looks at me with affection whether I’m dressed up or a slob, have an immaculate home or am barfing… I greatly appreciate and respect that he never tries to hold me back from what I desire in life and often pushes me towards my goals when my self doubt kicks in.

He’s been an essential worker during this chaos often working over 60 hours a week. I can’t brag enough.

Favorite board game: ~blank look~

Thing 1:

Typical tv portrayed moody teen. Not raised with board games; wants to be invisible and left alone at all times.

She wants to be left alone when she grows up. Just kidding… she wants to be a famous writer and illustrator.

Favorite board game: ~covers head with blanket and grunts~

Drawing by Piper – Thing 2

Piper (teen) – Thing 2:

One of the biggest board game players of the kids, raised with it. Very invested in this project. She feels games have helped her greatly.

Thing 2 has several neurological issues. She was nonverbal until around the age of 4, relying on ASL. She has Tourette’s, SPD, Asperger’s, anxiety and some other neurological issues. There are some learning issues associated with the above.

However, she is amazing when it comes to musical talents, can play several instruments, is in the color guard, and is obsessed with Pokémon and The Beatles. She wants to be a music teacher when she grows up.

Favorite board game: Red Dragon Inn, Character – Pooky

Drawing by Piper – Thing 2

Tighe (tween) – Thing 3:

The only boy. He is very creative and can build some amazing things. He originally didn’t want to do board games, but they have grown on him over the years and he gets excited when we get new ones now.

Thing 3 has significant ADHD with anger issues. He is learning how to control them and we are very proud.

That boy can sing.

He wants to develop video games when he grows up.

Favorite board game: Red Dragon Inn, Character – Gerki

Drawing by Piper – Thing 2

Kendyl (tween) – Thing 4:

Tiny but determined. She loves games. Games have always been a huge part of her therapy. Closest thing to a brother for Thing 3 here… loves sci-fi; steals her brother’s clothes.

Thing 4 mimics mild CP. She had a tethered spinal cord with a fatty tumor, mostly removed, at age 4. (There is a chance of it growing back). She has permanent spinal cord damage from this and it healed strange causing her constant pain. She’s physically and emotionally developmentally delayed. Her BMI puts her in failure to thrive category more times than we like, even though she eats more than the teens.

She wants to be a firemedic.

Favorite board game: All of them

Drawing by Piper – Thing 2

Ari (young) – Thing 5:

The youngest, but not unheard from. Same height as Thing 4, but outweighs her by 20 lbs… acts older often. She often forgets she is the youngest. Very girly .

So far, neurotypical! YAY! However, she does have PTSD from some events in early childhood. Girl is amazing and is working through it.

She wants to be a librarian.

Favorite board game: Cupcake Race

Photo by Holli

Chessie (senior) – support:

Our old lady bird dog. Adopted from a rescue group. She ran away from an abusive home while pregnant. She was so sad looking when we met her as her puppies were just given to homes. She was very excited to meet the kids, though and we have joked she has been like Peter Pan’s Nana ever since. She is Chesapeake Bay Retriever, not a first time dog owner breed.

Favorite hobby: ignoring commands, especially by 4/5 of the kids unless treats are involved, literally rolling her eyes

Photo by Holli

Chloe (adult) – support:

The little pugglet. This cute pup is half Pug and half Miniature Australian Shepherd and 100% accident. Her dad broke into all the female pens on the farm and oops.

She is our only non rescue. We had hoped to train her as a service dog or therapy dog, but she’s too neurotic. She does do well as a in house emotional/therapy animal, though.

Favorite hobby: being read to and going down the slides in the back yard playground

Photo by Holli

Mina (adult) – support:

Mina’s full name is Minnaloushe. Adopted through the PetSmart adoption program. Very affectionate, assumed to be part ragdoll as she goes limp when picked up, which she asks to be by her favorite people. Vet says also black smoke Maine coon. Her other nickname is “Roadkill”, and yes, I have received phone calls from the school over that.

Favorite hobby: contortionism and pretending to be dead

Photo by Holli

Sauin (young) – support:

Pronounced Saw-win, an alternate spelling to Samhain… he is true to his name. This kitty can’t decide to give you tricks or treats. One moment he thinks he’s a dog and is running around the house, wrestling with everyone, nipping, tearing up toys… and wants to be held and snuggled the next minute. We believe he is part Maine Coon as he is a big boy and keeps growing.

Favorite hobby: being predictably unpredictable and hanging out on the pre-school playground in the backyard with the dogs (on leash)

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The unknown 6th child *aka* It wasn’t me *aka* I didn’t do it *aka* I don’t know *aka* Huh?:

We have never met them, but apparently they are responsible for many things.