Sensory Diets

It’s all about the spoons

Added on Sunday 13 September 15

This is a technique my Occupational Therapy (OT) introduced me too, it’s a way of managing energy throughout the day so that i don’t get to spaced out or stressed.

It builds on the concept of using a timetable.

The basic idea is that every activity is colour coded for the amount of energy it uses and the effect it has on me.

High energy things that make me feel spaced out are red. Things which make me feel less spaced out are green and things which are neutral are Amber.

The rule is that a red activity or three Amber activities must be followed by a green activity.

In practice for me that means a shower (a red activity) is always followed by a lie down (a green activity) and never followed by travel (another red activity).

My red activities include:

  • Showers
  • Travel
  • Phone calls
  • People visiting the flat (e.g. plumber)
  • Managing post
  • Online shopping (eg buying train tickets)

My green activities are:

  • Sleeping
  • Spending time with Lion
  • Listening to Music
  • Play with Lego / Sensory Toys
  • Sitting in the buggy

Some of the green activities like Lego can be Amber depending on the details.

I have found the sensory diet approach to be really useful and it means I can talk in terms of red, Amber and green with people who support and build up effective days.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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Lion: @Lickr