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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Expanding the Battery Levels

For the past year, I've been working on an app that is based on Spoon theory and my connecting it with batteries, Autism, and my expansion on spoons.  Initially, this started as an assignment for class, but I feel that this can benefit the greater Autistic and Disability community.  

However, I need some feedback, so I need some help from you, dear readers.  One of the steps has been to develop stages of the "battery" that drains towards meltdown/distress.  What I need is feedback about the definitions of these stages.  So, please, read the following, and leave your constructive criticism; meaning, suggestions to make them better.  

Blue: perfectly fine, calm, relaxed, under control and fully recharged, refreshed. Bliss (realistically, this state is probably only achieved for a short period at the beginning of the day, if not in a week.  However, while rare, it is achievable, and thus included on the battery chart)

Green: active and working, but still energetic, managing drain on resources ("spoons"), still collected if not completely relaxed and calm.  Go (probably the more realistic starting point for a day, this is what in clinical medical language would be called high-functioning and is the impossible to maintain goal of therapy and interventions.  That is to say while it is difficult if not outright impossible for most neurologically typical persons to maintain this level of functioning and stress management, it is not impossible to achieve this for periods of a time.  As such, it is included on the battery chart.)

Yellow: feeling the drain more, needing breaks but managing with self-care skills and sensory management.  Ideally, this is the lowest that a person would go on the battery chart.  However, life is never ideal.  Instead, it is the general goal of the app to build the self awareness of autistic people and others who experience meltdowns, as well as give them the tools to communicate, in order to managed their meltdowns.  It is the hopeful goal that in time, they will less likely to past this point.  This is the draining, but managing point, where skills and tools are being used at their most and the person is holding on.  Probably cannot maintain this stage for too long, but long enough to get what needs to be done and get to a safe spot for decompression.  

Orange: the end of resources and need for considerable time to recharge as soon as possible if not immediately in order to stop a crash and/or meltdown.  The person needs to get to a safe spot, because they are running on reserves and feeling overwhelmed.  Everything is becoming overloaded and they don't have the emotional, mental, and physical resources to deal with it.  At this stage, there is a slim chance of stopping a meltdown into a mild crash, but only if action is taken immediately. 

Red: point of no return.  If it hasn't already happened, then a crash or meltdown is going to happen soon and the person is trying to delay it as much as possible, which often only makes it worse.  The person needs to go to somewhere safe, to be able to decompression, potentially "regress" and release of emotions and overload.  They need to "let off steam" in the way that suits them best, usually left alone, and then be left to fully recharge.  This can take a long time, depending on the amount of drain they are experiencing and their personal rate of recharge; downtime/ recharge time should be included on info card.  

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Thank you so much for all your assistance!  And feel free to spread this around, I want to get a lot of feedback for this.  

1 comment:

  1. It looks really good. I feel like I'm pretty much constantly in the yellow zone lately. This app seems like it would be really useful.


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