Am I the only one out there who gets flustered when you ask someone what they want for Christmas or their birthday and they say “surprise me” or “you know what I like”. I don’t do vagueness. Never have and never will. Now I know that that is part of my autism.
So a cheat that I have learned about is making a Wish List. But, it doesn’t stop there. You get everyone that you buy presents for to create a Wish List as well.
Take for instance Amazon. I have a Wish list set up there and I have set it so that any time someone buys something from it, it clears off. I have also asked my brother to do one, my mum to do one for her and dad, and I will be asking my sister to set some up for her, her husband and her kids. This way when it comes to shopping for Christmas I can peruse their wish list and get items that I know they will like.
This is a cheat around having to be frustrated with Neurotypical people who just don’t quite understand that the vagueness is not something we as autistic people can handle. It also means that I know when it comes to birthday and Christmas, I will get something that I actually want instead of something that I might not necessarily want or need.
For anyone who does not know how to set up an Amazon Wish List, let me know and I will skype you and talk you through it.
So, its sounds like a crazy title of a blog on disability however today I wanted to talk about these thing.
Lets start with Spoon Theory. This is a theory that people with disabilities have x amount of spoons for each day and they have to apportion the spoons so that they can make sure that they have enough to get through the day. Every time that you do something starting with getting up in the morning you loose a spoon. The idea is to not be in negative numbers (or borrow against the next day).
Social energy is relating to neurodiverse conditions which states that a Neurotypical person has one size tank and neurodiverse people have a smaller tank. Like Spoon Theory your tank empties during the day however, unlike spoon theory you can do things to refill your tank. The idea is that you need to know where your tank is and know when you need to go out. Because a neurodiverse persons tank is smaller it empties a lot quicker and when you get to around 30% your in the danger zone of meltdowns or over-stimulation. So you have to manage your tank well and take regular breaks so that you never get to that 30% mark or below.
Now, you may be wondering where music comes into this. Well, for me, Listening to music is one of the ways I refill my tank. It doesn’t help with the spoons but it helps with the tank. You see most people with disabilities have more that one condition. A lot of Autistic people I have met also have another medical condition which also relies on the spoon theory as well. it is easy to say that you follow one or the other theory but the truth is that it does not always work.
This, I have learned the hard way. I have tried living with one theory and realised I have struggled and not understood why until I found the other one. There is also nothing wrong with following both theories either. You can be low on spoons and have to plan the rest of your day carefully however, you are able to say you have a 1/2 full tank. This is what I choose to do on a regular basis and so far it has worked.
I am not saying that it works for everyone but here are some helpful things for you to remember;
- If you are following spoon theory make sure that you know how many spoons you start off with for the day. Some people could start off with more then others depending on their condition and how it affects them.
- If you follow the social energy theory then you have to keep a regular eye on your mood and when you feel the most hyperactive.
- If you follow the social energy theory, know what will help you refil your tank. For me, I get to the 30% mark and I stick my headphones in and start listening to music. He helps bring me back to an even keel and I am a lot better then I was before I put them in.
- But most importantly, know yourself. Know which is best for you. If you dont need to use spoon theory dont as it can cause you stress and vice versa with the social energy tank.
What I have found with this is that I am able to do a lot more a a proud disabled person by following these theories and you can do so as well. Just find what works for you.