Spoon Theory¬†isn’t specific to autism. It was developed by Christine Miserandino, a woman with lupus, in order to help explain the difficulty of living with a disability that limits the amount of mental or physical energy that you have available at any one time. The idea is that you start the day (or week, or hour) with a certain number of imaginary spoons and each activity that you undertake takes one or more of those spoons away – a food shop might be five spoons, a social interaction with one person might be three, getting dressed might be one, only you know how many spoons your activities cost you. When your spoons are all used, it’s time to respect your need to rest your mind, your body or both.

This is a quirky and simple idea and I love it! I use it all the time. In fact I’ve just bought my daughter a collection of tiny silver coffee spoons (all vintage, all different) in the hope it’ll help this make the concept more tangible… and maybe it’ll even set them off with a new collection!

So, if someone says to you, ‘I just can’t do that today, I don’t have the spoons’, you’ll now know what they mean!