The Spoony Rainbow

A couple weeks ago, Dr. Arlene Taylor shared an infographic that I’ve come to think of as The Spoony Rainbow. Dr. Taylor called it ‘Escalation Curve Dynamics’, which is a very descriptive title, but not at all catchy and way too many syllables for me when I’m having a bad day. So I call it the Spoony Rainbow.

Dr. Taylor presented the Spoony Rainbow as being for autism, but like Spoon Theory was created to describe lupus, but had much wider application, the Spoony Rainbow also has applications way beyond Dr. Taylor’s original goal.

Okay, before I go any further, here is

the Spoony Rainbow.

(For some reason WordPress isn’t letting me set a description for this image. My apologies to folks using screen readers. Ten rectangular boxes in paired colors, starting in blue at the bottom, then green, yellow, orange, and red at the top. In the left box of each pair a description of how an autistic person will be acting at this level, in the right box of each pair an assessment of what this means in terms of how they are doing and if they need help/how much help they need. I don’t have the spoons to type out the exact words. My re-phrasing is below.)

You get it right? It’s a rainbow for spoony people. Each color is a different level of able-to-cope-ness. A different measure of ‘how many spoons do I have left?’ ranging from ‘plenty’ all the way to ‘NEGATIVE SPOONS! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!’ But better — it’s not just a descriptive tool for spoony folks. It’s a guide for our friends, family, and caregivers.

Blue/Level 1: All is good, don’t worry!
Green/Level 2: Working on getting back to blue, help appreciated.
Yellow/Level 3: Having some problems here, help me get back down please!
Orange/Level 4: DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO MY PLATE DON’T YOU FUCKING ADD ANYTHING TO MY PLATE. A LITTLE HELP HERE?
Red/Level 5: … [yeah, you gotta fix this, I’ve checked out for the day]

Here’s Dr. Taylor’s twitter thread exploring and explaining how what other people do impacts what level autistic people are at and knowingly doing stuff to raise the level is just plain shitty.

I meant to say more about this, but spoons are a thing (I’ve been bouncing between yellow and orange with occasional bounces to red for the past week+), and I’m not sure more really needs to be said? Like the best infographics, it’s pretty self explanatory.

Though if someone can leave a proper description in the comments for folks using screen readers, that would be awesome?

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