Behavioral Challenges and Solutions
- Black and white thinking
- F.A.T. City Workshop – Classic video showing what it’s like to experience auditory processing deficits
Spoon Theory (Wikipedia): The spoon theory is a disability metaphor (for a combination of ego depletion, fatigue, and other factors), a neologism used to explain the reduced amount of mental and physical energy available for activities of living and productive tasks that may result from disability or chronic illness. Spoons are a visual representation used as a unit of measure in order to quantify how much energy a person has throughout a given day. Each activity requires a given number of spoons, which will only be replaced as the person “recharges” through rest. A person who runs out of spoons has no choice but to rest until their spoons are replenished.
This metaphor is used to describe the planning that many people have to do to conserve and ration their energy reserves to accomplish their activities of daily living. The planning and rationing of energy-consuming tasks has been described as being a major concern of those with chronic and fatigue-related diseases, illness, or conditions. The theory explains the difference between those who don’t seem to have energy limits and those that do. The theory is used to facilitate discussions between those with limited energy reserves and those without. Because healthy people typically are not concerned with the energy expended during ordinary tasks such as bathing and getting dressed, the theory helps healthy people realize the amount of energy expended by chronically ill or disabled people to get through the day.
Spoons are widely discussed within autoimmune, disability, mental and other chronic illness online communities, as an emic descriptor. The term spoonie is sometimes used to refer to a person with a chronic illness that can be explained with the spoon theory.
Dealing with Meltdowns
Nate Sheets is an international FASD behavior consultant, speaker, and advocate. He has a decade of experience in the developmental disability field and helps families, schools, mental health programs, and government agencies understand the needs of people with FASDs. Nate is interested in taking neuropsychology concepts and finding practical ways to apply them to challenging behaviors in a way that values the dignity and respect of all people involved. Nate works with both children and adults, and provides free videos to parents and professionals at www.youtube.com/oregonbehavior. He is a producer and co-host on the “It’s a Brain Thing” podcast, and is producing two video series on FASDs.