Neurodivergent Spoons and Forks: How to Explain Autism & Fatigue (2023)

Hi everyone! Thanks for being here with me, Danielle, to talk about two modelsforunderstanding and managing fatigue that are popular inboth neurodivergent and disability circles. The first is Spoon Theory, and the second is Fork Theory. We’lltake a lookat the ideas of each theory, as well as the benefits and limitations of each one. Boththeoriessharea common purpose – to help folks with autism, chronic fatigue, and other conditions which can impact a person’s energy levels make the most of the resources they have.And, I have a free download for you to help you manage your own energy!

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Neurodivergent Spoons and Forks – Autism and Fatigue

Everyone has different ways of describing how theydeal with fatigue, whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental.Many disabled and neurodivergent peoplehave toration their energy in a way that able-bodiedandneurotypical people do not.

Two models ofexplaining fatigueand energy expenditure, the Spoon Theory and the Fork Theory,were created by disabled folks and distributed throughout their communities by word-of-mouth.These theoriesare applicable to the neurodivergent community – especiallytoautistics– as well.In this post, I’m going to give you an overview of both theories,talk about how they can apply to autism and neurodivergence, and which theory I prefer.

Disability, Neurodivergence, and Fatigue

One of the things I notice whenever I talk to people with a chronic illness, disability,orneurodivergence is how common fatigue isforpeople with one or more of thoseconditions.People may use different concepts or language to explain theirfatigue, butfatigue itself is one of the underlying threads among people who are disabled, chronically ill, and/or neurodivergent.

(Video) Neurodivergent Spoons and Forks: On Autism & Fatigue

Most people with a disability or chronic illness will notice a difference between the amount of energy they can access at any given moment, versus the amount of energy a neurotypical or able-bodied person can access. Similarly, a lot of us neurodivergent folks experience fluctuations in our energy levels that can make it (even more) challenging to keep up in a worldbuilt by and for neurotypical, able-bodied people.Tasks that a neurotypical, able-bodiedperson don’t find particularly draining will use up a lot of energy for a disabled or neurodivergent person.

Enjoying this article? This post is also available in the Neurodiverging Store as a downloadable, easy-to-read PDF, with a table of contents, bibliography, and a BONUS suggested reading list. Click here to learn more!

In part because disabilitiesmanifest differently for different folks, communitiesuse differentterminologytodescribe this energy-cost phenomenon.The autistic community has a variety of helpful terms. The two that I think are particularly accessible, especially for people who may not have thought about it before, are the Spoon Theory and the Fork Theory.

Spoon Theorypredates Fork Theory by about eight years, and the Fork Theory builds on the Spoon Theory. They are somewhat complimentaryideas that approach energy usage from different directions. I think both can be very helpful depending on how your neuroatypicality or disability affects you.Let’stake a lookat the Spoon Theory first!

Want to learn more about neurodiversity, autism, ADHD, or sensory processing challenges? Check out my book lists at!

The Origins of Spoon Theory

Spoon Theorywas developed by ChristineMiserandinoinaround2010, and she initially wrote her storyabout the origin ofSpoon Theory on her blog. Her blog is no longer available, butthere is aPDF available of the originalsanctioned byMiserandino. (See the Links and Additional Reading section below for this article and other interesting reads!)There’s also a video of the author reading the story at a conference, if video is easier for you:

I strongly recommend going and reading Christine’s story – it’s two pages long andworth much more of your time than that.To sum up, though, Christinetellsabout a time she was with a friend at a restaurant, trying to explain to them the struggle she had living with lupus. She gave her friend a bunch of spoons to hold and explained that each spoon represented a concrete amount of energy that a disabled person might have.Once a spoon is used up doing a task, it’s gone, and the person can’t get it back.So, the person must ration their spoons.

Christine says:

“Most people start the day with an unlimitedamountof possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions.Sofor my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for [my friend] toactually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.”

For a person with a chronic, disabling illness likelupus, this means that they wake up and know that they’re only going to be able to doa given number of things during the day. And, that number is likely to be much smaller thanthe numberan able-bodied person cando in the same time period. Of course, able-bodied people can be limited by available time, unexpected events,unexpected short-term illnesses, and the like, but they are not usually limitedtoo much by access to energy.

Neurodivergent Spoons and Forks: How to Explain Autism & Fatigue (2)

Spoon Theory for Neurodivergent People

As we’veheard, Christineused the original Spoon Theory to talk about lupus, and it was quickly adopted by thedisability community at large, especially the chronic pain and chronic illness communities.

(Video) Autism and Fatigue, the Spoon Analogy - Remrov's World of Autism #29

It’snot a leap to see that the Spoon Theory applies to someneurodivergencesas well,autism in particular.You’re likely to findSpoon Theory used frequently in autistic circles because the main points of Spoon Theory adapt well to autistic circumstances.

As an autistic person,I’venoticedwe are used to the ideathat we have topour more energy into thinking about things that are simple for neurotypical people.As a result, tasksthat are simple for otherstake us much longer, are harder, and use significantly more energy than forother people.I talkedin the previous podcast episode about my reliance on scripts as a short-cut forfrequently-usedspeech, which reduce the number of spoons I have to use, instead of spending my energy creating unique, spontaneous speech that isn’t, overall, worth the energyexpenditure.

There are plenty of other elements of autism that the Spoon Theory can help us explain.As autisticpeople, weoftenrelyon routines, safe environments, a special meal or two that we can reliablyeatduring a difficult sensory day,and time and space to recharge.Spoon Theory can also help us think through how autistic issues like meltdown, shutdown, sensory overload, and other overwhelms can affect our future energy levels.

For example, if you don’t sleep well one night, you’ll wake up with fewer spoons the next day. Fewer spoonsmeansyou can’t access as much energy, andyou’retherefore more likely to accidentally stress yourself into a meltdown, leading to even fewer spoons tomorrow.For autistic people looking for a way to explain the delicate balance of their energyexpenditure to a neurotypical person, who is used to waking up to a fresh new day, every day, the Spoon Theoryoffers a way to do just that.

Neurodivergent Spoons and Forks: How to Explain Autism & Fatigue (3)

Fork Theory

Now, let’stake a lookat the Fork Theory, which is supplemental to the Spoon Theory.

Jenrose, who lives with Ehlers-Danlos and several complications arising from it, first posted about the Fork Theory on their Tumblr account in 2018, where it then went viral.Jenroseattributes it to their husband, and subsequently wrote up apost on their personal blogabout it.


“You know the phrase, ‘Stick a fork in me, I’m done,’ right? Well, Fork Theory is that one has a Fork Limit, that is, you can probably cope okay with one fork stuck in you, maybe two or three, but at somepointyou will lose it if one more fork happens.

A fork could range from being hungry or having to pee to getting a new bill or a new diagnosis of illness. There are lots of different sizes of forks, and volume vs. quantity means that the fork limit is not absolute. I might be able to deal with 20 tiny little escargot fork annoyances, such as a hangnail or slightly suboptimal pants, but not even one ‘you poked my trigger on purpose because you think it’s fun to see me melt down’ pitchfork.”

This is super relevant for neurodivergent folk. Like, you might be able to deal with your feet being cold or a tag, but not both. Hubby describes the situation as ‘It may seem weird that I just get up and leave the conversation to go to the bathroom, but you just dumped a new financial burden on me and I already had topee, andgoing to the bathroom is the fork I can get rid of the fastest.’”

(Video) Spoon Theory and Autism

Fork Theory: Power to the People!

When I think about the Spoon Theory, I can’t help but hearing it as “Oh, whoops, you’re out of spoons.That sucks! You’ll just have to wait and be an exhausted unhappy puddle on the floor until your next shipment of spoons comes in. Who knows when that will be?”This framing seems to give you very little agency. You are sinking under this illness or condition, and don’t really get to do anything that could help.

Of coursethere are cases, especially with chronic illness and chronic pain, where this is absolutely true – youdohave very little personal agency, and can’t just fix something that’s in your way.But with autism, a lot of our struggles are basedin the reality that society isn’t made with us in mind. It’s not that we can’t do things at all, it’s that we can’t do things in this specific social structure.

What Iloveabout the Fork Theory is that,while it’s describing overwhelm and overload, it’s more hopeful and optimistic than the Spoon Theory.The Fork Theory focuses on obstacles, and then on the ways to remove them.The lastpesky fork may trip you into “all done,” but that doesn’t mean there’s not some smaller fork you’re still able to control, and hopefully, get rid of on your own.

The Fork Theory allows more agency for most folks, and I would argue it is particularly great for autistic people. Our overwhelms and overloads are usually a result in a lot of those smaller forks stuck into us at one time.

Jenrosespecifically calls out being hungry, cold, having to use the bathroom, an irritating clothing tag,andpants that don’t fit exactly right, as some of thoseforks. I’vedefinitely dealtwith all of these as forks in my own life. The nice thing is, if you can manage to notice them– which I admit is tricky and took practice for my autistic brain – you canhave a chance of addressing them. Removing even one small fork can solveyouroverwhelm in one fell swoop on a lucky day.

There are plenty of otherthingsthatcan act as forks for autistic folks, like the lights being too bright, a weird smell in the room,someone breathing too loudly, or too many fans on. We have adaptations such as headphones to reduce noise, turning off the lights, moving to another environment that is a bit quieter, and having routines that arebuilt for our comfort and well-being.All ofthese adaptations remove forks from our lives and decrease the likelihood that we’re going to have sensory overload, overwhelm, or a meltdown.

Spoons? Forks?Your choice!

I’ve already said that I love the Fork Theory, and thesense of agencyits perspectiveoffers.However, neither the Fork Theorynor the Spoon Theoryaresaying,“AutisticPerson, you can control everything in your life all the time and make everything perfect.” Nothing can.

Thinking aboutwhat my problem is through the lens of the Spoon Theory has helped metoimprove my circumstances drasticallymany times. However, at the end of the day,the Spoon Theory feels more limited and limitingto me.All the spoons available to me are the same size;there are no serving spoons, teaspoons, or long-handled jelly spoons.The lack of variation makes it seem as if everything, no matter whether it’s getting out of bed, brushing my teeth, going grocery shopping, or going to the mall to get pants, takes the exact same amount of effort. Then, once all the spoons and energy are gone, there’s no way to regain it.

With the Fork Theory, it seems more about balance andachieving a state of equilibrium. I’m getting rid of all the tiny forksas fast as I can, which makes it just that little bit more possible to deal with the larger ones. There might still be a giantpitchforkI can’t remove, whichis awful,and Icanlose a lot of my energy to it.ButIdo have some agency over the little forks, and their causes.The Fork Theory gives us a way to get in front of some of the obstacles, help ourselves out a bit more,and maybe save our energy for when the pitchforks appear.

While I think that the Fork Theoryimproves upon the Spoon Theory, and works better for me,bothmodels are incredibly importantto the disability, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, and autistic communities. The two models together show different aspects of energy usage, andthehow able we areto access andaddressour own well-being.

(Video) What Are Spoons? What Are Forks? Let's Talk Chronic Fatigue [CC]

And that’s the Spoon Theory and the Fork Theory in a nutshell! I hope this gives you some things to think aboutwhen you’re considering how to maximize your own energy availability, and to make your environment suit you as best it can.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, send me an email!

Did you like this article? It’s also available in the Neurodiverging Store as a downloadable, easy-to-read PDF, with a table of contents, bibliography, and a BONUS suggested reading list. Click here to learn more!

FREEBIE: Neurodiverging’s ‘Getting Unstuck Checklist’

Thanks for making it to the end! Remember how I was talking about how it can be difficult to identify the ‘littleforks’?In my experience, autistic folks have a lot more trouble than neurotypical folks telling when we’re feeling hot, cold, itchy, hungry, thirsty, tired, etc. I know I certainly do!

About two years ago, I made myself a checklist. I use it whenever Irecognize I’m having a problem and I can’t specifically identify it. I can look at my checklist and say, “Hey, are any of these things occurring right now? If so, what’s the intervention to address them?”

My family uses this checklist to help us figure out what we’re feeling, and how we can help ourselves ‘remove a fork,’ that is, feel better!I hope this checklist helps you, too!

Neurodivergent Spoons and Forks: How to Explain Autism & Fatigue (5)

You can sign up for the Getting Unstuck checklist here!

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Links and Additional Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about neurodiversity, autism, ADHD, or sensory processing challenges, here are some of my favorite books,check out my book list here!


Neurodivergingis dedicated to helpingneurodiverse folksfind the resources we need to live better lives as individuals, and to further disability awareness and social justice efforts to improve all our lives as part of the larger, world community. If you’re interested in learning more, you can:

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(Video) Autism Explained ‘The Spoon Theory’


Why do Neurodivergents like tiny spoons? ›

She gave her friend a bunch of spoons to hold and explained that each spoon represented a concrete amount of energy that a disabled person might have. Once a spoon is used up doing a task, it's gone, and the person can't get it back. So, the person must ration their spoons.

Is autism considered neurodivergent? ›

Some of the conditions that are most common among those who describe themselves as neurodivergent include: Autism spectrum disorder (this includes what was once known as Asperger's syndrome). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Down syndrome.

What is spoon theory autism? ›

• The spoon theory or spoon metaphor is. a disability metaphor used to explain the reduced amount of mental and physical energy available for activities for living and productive tasks that may result from disability or chronic illness.

Can you be neurodivergent without ADHD or autism? ›

You absolutely are neurodivergent if you have been diagnosed with a developmental or learning disorder, such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, or Tourette's syndrome. You may decide to consider yourself neurodivergent if you have no diagnosis but think, behave, or interact in ways that are outside the norm.

How can you tell someone is neurodivergent? ›

What characterizes neurodivergent people?
  • Struggling with reading and writing.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Finding it hard to cope with crowds, bright lights, loud, sudden noises, or social situations.
  • Difficulty with focusing or keeping still.
  • No smiling or social responsiveness.
18 Jun 2020

How do you explain the spoon theory? ›

According to spoon theory, people without a disability or chronic health condition wake with enough spoons to tackle the expectations of their day. They can tend to their body, home, job or studies, and social plans and not worry that they'll run out of energy.

What is the analogy of spoon? ›

Spoon theory has been a popular metaphor for more than a decade among numerous disability communities. The theory uses spoons as a visual way to explain how much energy someone has throughout the day; we all start the day with the same number of spoons. Each action causes us to hand some spoons over in payment.

What is the difference between autism and neurodivergence? ›

Autistic people, individuals on the spectrum, or those who have other neurological differences are referred to as “neurodivergent.” Instead of seeing autism as a disorder, people use the term “neurodiverse” to recognize the rich differences, abilities, and strengths autistic people and other neurodiverse people have.

How do you unmask a neurodivergent? ›

Seven Steps to Unmasking as a Neurodivergent Person
  1. Figure Out Your Own Pace. ...
  2. Think about What You're Like When You're Alone. ...
  3. Notice The Behaviors You Do For Other People. ...
  4. Recognize Internalized Ableism. ...
  5. Let Yourself Rediscover Passion. ...
  6. Find A Neurodivergent Community. ...
  7. Get Professional Support.
12 Sept 2022

What is Allistic neurodivergent? ›

Allistic. Also referred to as nypical, the term refers to all non-autistic people, which comprises both neurotypicals and non-autistic neurodivergent people. This is what was originally referred to as neurotypical.

Does autism cause fatigue? ›

Being autistic can make fatigue and burnout more likely, due to the pressures of social situations and sensory overload. If your child or the person you care for is experiencing fatigue or burnout, helping them to manage their energy levels is essential, as this guide explains.

What is tapping in autism? ›

Stimming is a term for self-stimulatory behavior. It often manifests as repetitive body movement and is common among people on the autism spectrum. Stimming can bring enjoyment and help people cope with uncomfortable or stressful situations. They may include nail-biting, tapping, or repetitive movement of objects.

How do I teach my autistic child to use a spoon? ›

Gradually reduce the amount of physical support you provide as the child becomes more independent.
  1. Start by encouraging your child to hold a spoon or cup whilst feeding so they get used to handling feeding tools.
  2. Help your child scoop the food, bring the spoon up to their mouth and put the spoon into their mouth.

What is neurodivergent burnout? ›

One such consequence is neurodivergent burnout – a state of complete emotional, physical and mental exhaustion2. Fortunately, CareClinic can better help you understand yourself, and how you navigate life and help you track unhealthy habits or symptoms that precede a potential burnout episode.

What are neurodivergent people good at? ›

However, even though neurodiverse people face a number of challenges at work, they also bring a lot of unique strengths to the table. In addition to the technical skills mentioned above, neurodivergent employees often bring a unique perspective, creative insights, and excellent problem-solving abilities.

Is neurodivergent gifted? ›

I want to emphasize that giftedness is one form of neurodiversity, and it is not exclusive. Many people have giftedness as one part of their neurodiversity experience, and they may also have other kinds of diagnoses, for example ADHD.

Can you be neurodivergent without knowing? ›

While neurodivergence is common, many people do not realize they are neurodivergent until they reach adulthood. This can create challenges as people find ways to adapt to the differences in how they think and process information, but it can also be helpful.

Do neurodivergent people think differently? ›

Someone who is neurodivergent behaves, thinks and learns differently compared to those who are neurotypical. This term can be used to describe an individual whose brain functions differently to what we consider “normal”.

What is masking for neurodivergent people? ›

Masking is a term explaining how neurodivergent people feel the need to camouflage in social situations to appear neurotypical. Masking is a form of social survival displayed in different ways depending on the behaviours the individual wants to conceal.

What does it mean to be low on spoons? ›

Using spoons to describe energy levels has become a popular way to explain how draining certain tasks or activities can be. Originally used by the chronic pain community to describe energy and stamina, it has since become a more widely used metaphor for effectively explaining your limits.

What is spoon and fork theory? ›

Each activity uses up your spoons and when they are gone, so is your ability to keep up with the demands of life. The fork theory comes from the phrase “stick a fork in me; I'm done.” This theory says that everyone is stuck with forks, large and small, all day — and sometimes they reach their limit.

What does having enough spoons mean? ›

A person has roughly the same amount of energy each day. Each unit of energy is represented by a spoon. Healthy people have more spoons (energy) than those with an illness that causes chronic fatigue. Some activities cost more spoons than others.

What are spoons ADHD? ›

The Spoon Theory posits that individuals start each day with a certain amount of energy — or number of spoons — that daily tasks and activities deplete. As you might imagine, those living with chronic conditions have fewer spoons than do their neurotypical counterparts.

What does spoons mean mental health? ›

The metaphor uses spoons to represent energy units. For every task a chronically ill individual performs — depending on how difficult it was for them — they lose energy units, meaning more and more spoons get taken away. And when they're gone, a person has no energy left to get through the day.

What is the analogy of fork spoon? ›

Fork theory came about as an elaboration of the phrase, “Stick a fork in me, I'm done.” Unlike Spoon Theory, which posits something you have at the beginning of the day that gets taken away, Fork Theory says that everyone is stuck with forks, large and small, all day — and eventually, they reach their limit.

Can you be a neurodivergent without autism? ›

“You can choose to identify yourself as neurodivergent, but you should not unilaterally assign other people the label of neurodivergent. Not all individuals with a medical diagnosis like autism or ADHD self-identify as neurodivergent. There is also no standard for a 'neurotypical brain.

What is the politically correct term for neurodivergent? ›

A Neurodivergent individual is a person whose neurology/mind-body diverges from that of the predominant neurotype (AKA: Neurotypicals). To describe an individual as 'Neurodiverse' is just WRONG. So, when is it valid to use the term "Neurodiverse"? Well, one can describe the global population as 'Neurodiverse'.

How do I know if I'm masking? ›

Signs you or someone you support may be masking include:
  1. Mirroring others' facial expressions or social behaviors.
  2. Rehearsing or preparing scripted responses to comments.
  3. Imitating gestures such as handshakes or initiating eye contact.
  4. Noticeable difficulty with disguising autistic traits in unfamiliar environments.
19 Apr 2022

What are examples of masking? ›

Examples of masking can include, but are not limited to: Mimicking the social behaviour of others, including gestures or facial expressions. Deliberately forcing or faking eye contact during conversations. Hiding or underplaying their own intense interests.

What is ADHD masking? ›

If you hide your adult ADHD symptoms from other people, that's called masking. Basically, you're trying to seem more “normal” or “regular.” ADHD causes some people to act hyperactive or impulsive. It makes other folks have trouble paying attention. And still other adults have a combination of those symptoms.

What is the word for not autistic? ›

Neurotypical (NT, an abbreviation of neurologically typical) is a neologism widely used in the neurodiversity movement as a label for non-neurodivergent people. That is, anyone who has a typical neurotype, so excluding autistic people, those with ADHD, dyslexia, and so on.

What is Neurovariance? ›

Neurodiversity, neurodivergence, or neurovariance refers to variations in the human brain and cognition, for instance in sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions.

Is neurodivergent considered a disability? ›

Neurodiversity isn't the same thing as disability. Though, people who have neurodivergent features may need accommodations at work or school.

What does autistic fatigue feel like? ›

Autistic fatigue has often been described as exhaustion with additional difficulties such as: increased meltdowns and sensory sensitivity. physical pain and headaches. physically shutting down, including the loss of speech.

How do you deal with autism fatigue? ›

What should you do if you are experiencing autistic fatigue and burnout? Making time for interests that re-energise you, having time off school or work and 'unmasking' can all help you recover from fatigue and burnout.

How do you fix fatigue in autism? ›

How can you recover from autistic burnout?
  1. Remove obligations. It's time to get a little ruthless with your schedule and commitments. ...
  2. Participate in soothing activities. ...
  3. Sensory interventions. ...
  4. If you can't sleep, rest. ...
  5. Practice self-compassion.
23 Sept 2021

What is oral stimming? ›

Oral sensitivities are also known as oral stimming. A child 'stims' as a way of regulating emotions or when he or she is under or overstimulated with their environment. For those who need oral stimulation, managing chewing behavior can be challenging.

What does stimming feel like? ›

It's stimming, short for the medical term self-stimulatory behaviours - a real mouthful. Stimming might be rocking, head banging, repeatedly feeling textures or squealing. You'll probably have seen this in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but not really wanted to ask about it.

What is vocal stimming autism? ›

Vocal stimming, also known as auditory stimming, is self-stimulatory behaviour that involves the use of the mouth, lips and vocal cords. It can also involve the use of ears.

What motor skill is a spoon? ›

Fine Motor Skills: Children learn to use utensils through coordinating their hands and eyes, like learning to grasp a spoon and raise it to their mouths with precision.

Can autistic toddlers use a fork? ›

To add to this, some children with autism may have motor problems that make it difficult for them to use their jaw properly when chewing and swallowing, or to use knives, forks and spoons to feed themselves.

Why are sensory items important for autism? ›

Sensory toys help children with autism relax, focus, and calm down to a scenario or event. It helps them grasp objects with decreased dear and discomfort, ultimately helping them play naturally. Futhermore, sensory toys help develop social learning skills like negotiating, planning, and sharing.

Is being neurodivergent traumatic? ›

Neurodivergent individuals are at greater risk for experiencing stress and trauma, which can also influence neurodevelopment. They are more likely to experience emotional neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and bullying.

What is a high functioning neurodivergent? ›

One phrase that is often associated with ASD is “high-functioning,” which refers to an individual who experiences the social and emotional difficulties and stereotyped behaviors or interests that are associated with autism, but does not have any significant delay in intellectual or verbal development.

How Long Can autistic burnout last? ›

So far, researchers have learned that periods of autistic burnout can last a long time (weeks, months, or years) and that some people never fully recover.

Is autism a Hyperlexia? ›

Hyperlexia is often, but not always, part of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It's considered a “splinter skill,” a unique skill that doesn't have much practical application. But therapists can often use a child's hyperlexic skills as a tool for their therapy and treatment.

Is anxiety a neurodiversity? ›

“With this definition, anxiety can be considered a form of neurodivergence, although it may not be as commonly recognized as ADHD, autism, or trauma,” she says. Many people utilize self-identification to categorize themselves as being neurodivergent, explains Claney.

What percentage of the world is neurodivergent? ›

Driven by both genetic and environmental factors, an estimated 15-20 percent of the world's population exhibits some form of neurodivergence. Neurodivergent conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD)4 are overrepresented in STEM fields.

What are the 5 Overexcitabilities? ›

Kazimierz Dabrowski identified five types of “overexcitability” that he believed connected strongly to giftedness: intellectual, psychomotor, imaginative, sensual, and emotional.

How do you spot a neurodivergent person? ›

What characterizes neurodivergent people?
  1. a lack of babbling or pointing by the age of 12 months.
  2. poor eye contact.
  3. no single words by the age of 16 months.
  4. no two-word phrases by the age of 2 years.
  5. no smiling or social responsiveness.
  6. not responding to their name.
14 Jul 2017

What are some signs of being neurodivergent? ›

How to know if you're neurodivergent: what are the signs &...
  • Struggling with reading and writing.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Finding it hard to cope with crowds, bright lights, loud, sudden noises, or social situations.
  • Difficulty with focusing or keeping still.
  • No smiling or social responsiveness.
18 Jun 2020

Are Neurodivergents smarter? ›

Many people who are neurodivergent have higher-than-average abilities—for example in pattern recognition, visual-spatial thinking, memory, or mathematics.

What is a neurodivergent brain test? ›

These could include autism spectrum tests, dyslexia tests, ADHD and many more. A neurodivergent spectrum test uses questions from all these types of tests to diagnose you with one of these disorders. Your self-test responses help identify diversities and uniqueness.

Are highly sensitive people neurodivergent? ›

High Sensitivity is therefore a form of neurodiversity as the brain is working differently from the expected norm. Just as with other forms of neurodiversity, people with High Sensitivity are more prone to stress as their systems can be overloaded with too much sensory input.

What is autism burnout? ›

''Autistic burnout is a state of physical and mental fatigue, heightened stress, and diminished capacity to manage life skills, sensory input, and/or social interactions, which comes from years of being severely overtaxed by the strain of trying to live up to demands that are out of sync with our needs.

Why is my autistic child always tired? ›

Being autistic can make fatigue and burnout more likely, due to the pressures of social situations and sensory overload. If your child or the person you care for is experiencing fatigue or burnout, helping them to manage their energy levels is essential, as this guide explains.

Why do people prefer small spoons? ›

Because some of us don't like the way a big fork or spoon feels in our mouth. It can feel like you're overstuffing. Either that, or we want to enjoy the food, and smaller bites can help you really just sit there and just relax whilst we eat.

What do spoons symbolize? ›

The spoon is a symbol of sustenance and support and has been used not only in idioms such as the silver spoon someone who never wants for anything would have, but also in the Spoon Theory, a powerful allegory for people suffering from chronic illnesses, particularly fatigue-related ones.

What are miniature spoons used for? ›

This is because there are so many tasks in the kitchen that require a spoon—but are actually better accomplished with a mini spoon. Demitasse spoons, which measure around 4 ½ inches long, are most commonly used for coffee, perhaps placed on a coaster next to a shot of espresso for stirring in sugar.

How do you help someone who is low on spoons? ›

For some, cooking dinner helps them gain spoons back. For others, cooking dinner may take away spoons. Other self-care techniques include listening to music, taking a bath, going for a walk, exercise, spending time with friends, spending time with a pet, reading a book, listening to a podcast, etc.

What does my spoons are low mean? ›

Using spoons to describe energy levels has become a popular way to explain how draining certain tasks or activities can be. Originally used by the chronic pain community to describe energy and stamina, it has since become a more widely used metaphor for effectively explaining your limits.

Can autistic toddlers use a spoon? ›

To add to this, some children with autism may have motor problems that make it difficult for them to use their jaw properly when chewing and swallowing, or to use knives, forks and spoons to feed themselves.

What does spoon and fork symbolize? ›

The spoon and fork were symbols of good health since “food” would be the source for a healthy body. 2) The symbolism means family strength since the time that the family is actually gathered together is at meal time.

What is the fork theory? ›

The fork theory comes from the phrase “stick a fork in me; I'm done.” This theory says that everyone is stuck with forks, large and small, all day — and sometimes they reach their limit. Everyone has a fork limit, and when that limit is reached, the person either falls apart or retreats from the fray.

What is the purpose of a demitasse spoon? ›

A demitasse spoon is a diminutive spoon, smaller than a teaspoon. It is traditionally used for coffee drinks in specialty cups and for spooning cappuccino froth. It is also used as a baby spoon, and in some surgical procedures.

Why do people collect souvenir spoons? ›

Souvenir spoons grew out of the birth of leisure tourism in Europe around the mid 1800s. Wealthy Americans on a Grand Tour of Europe brought home these souvenirs marked with the names of cities and some of the famous landmarks they had seen.

What are miniature spoons called? ›

Baby Spoons (or Baby Teaspoons) are small-sized spoons. This type of spoon is larger than the Moka Spoon and the Tea or Coffee Spoon, and is designed for use at breakfast time, for yogurt or any other drinks or foods that require a slightly larger spoon cup.

What are emotional spoons? ›

Spoons are a visual representation used as a unit of measure to quantify the amount of mental and physical energy a person has available for activities of living and productive tasks throughout a given amount of time (e.g. a day or week).

What is a Spoonie disability? ›

Spoonie is a term coined by a chronic illness blogger, who used spoons to demonstrate how much energy a person with a chronic illness has each day, and how much is used up doing simple tasks like washing or getting dressed.

What is the spoon theory anxiety? ›

The idea, right, is that each spoon represents the energy that it takes to complete tasks. So it's common for somebody with depression, then, to have low energy and to really need more time to complete a task. So that might require more spoons, for example.


1. Spoon Theory & Autism
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3. What Spoon Theory Means to Me (as an Aspie)
(Cherry Blossom Tree - My Neurodivergent Experience)
4. what does the term 'spoons' mean?
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