anyone else not have just one special interest?

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mb3258a
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23 Jun 2020, 9:39 am

I have a good list of things I am deeply interested in, but if I had to put one "label" on it all, I would say my special interest is simply learning. I learn all kinds of things (hobbies, skills, how things work, and general research on things I find interesting) but the things I learn are vastly different from one another. This really does put a hole in the stereotype that autistics have a "restricted" set of interests - so much so that I've had clinicians say I wasn't autistic because of it (that, and I'm a female *rolls eyes*). My interests don't feel restricted at all, though I do still obsess over them. Anyone else feel the same?



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23 Jun 2020, 9:44 am

mb3258a wrote:
[Does] anyone else not have just one special interest?
Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: It depends.

It could be said that my "One Special Interest" is science.  However, there exists a multiplicity of scientific fields, many of which overlap with the Humanities, including science-fiction based literature.

Also, I have greater interest in astronomy and astrophysics than I have in biology, not to mention the fact that my career path has been in technology and engineering since the mid-1970s.

Does that answer your question?


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Deanne
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23 Jun 2020, 11:53 am

I found my interests changed as I grew older, and have always been varied. Learning has always been at the top of my list, but it's only now that I feel my interests are starting to settle into a couple different areas.

I've always wanted to learn about everything. There've been times when I was sure I was going to go back to school to study archaeology, psychology, neurology, biology, botony. I've lost track of them.

Then there was art/craft interests. I thought I'd learn to draw or paint. sculpt, do metal working, learn to weld. It's a bit dizzying sometimes.

At the moment, I'm interested in plants/creating worlds from plants, aquariums (although I don't have one functioning right now), learning about biological behaviorism/neurology. I still want to learn about almost anything/everything. i feel I can never learn enough.



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23 Jun 2020, 12:01 pm

I have two main interests that I seem to have had since just after I was born, though I do have a third interest. The first is the main one where most of ky life revolves around as it is so encoumpassing... It involves so many different skills that I don't really think I can exhaust it as an interest.


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jimmy m
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23 Jun 2020, 1:37 pm

I have many diverse interests. When I was a child I would capture a special interest and drill very deep into it, become obsessed with it and allow it to capture my imagination. I learned to quickly research topics. And then over the years, I flew like a butterfly from one special interest to another. I became what is called a "Renaissance Man".

A "Renaissance Man" or in your case a "Renaissance Woman" is a cultured person who is knowledgeable, educated, or proficient in a wide range of fields.

Many look at the ability of Aspies to delve deeply into one subject to be detrimental. But they are totally off key here. Because that is the great feature that transforms an Aspie into the "Renaissance" gift.


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23 Jun 2020, 1:46 pm

I tend to be... Well. I tend to have a poor general knowledge, but I go deep into the interests I can "Latch onto". Within the fields of my special interests I know more then many, though I then hone in on a specific field within the hobby which I can explore in depth. I am quite an old hand as I have been there and done that in many cases, but as I have matured in both my main two hobbies, I have become quite specific in what I like and dont like, but I had to go through quite a lot of exploring the hobbies I have to get to work this out.


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vvvvv
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23 Jun 2020, 2:54 pm

Honestly seeing this post made me so happy because I feel the same way. Sometimes I'm obsessed with one thing for a day and just read everything about it but it's not a 'special interest' it's just on that day I learned about something at an intensity most others wouldn't. Other times I'll go through a phase and actually stick to one topic for a while but it's never so exclusive that it could be designated as a special interest. The only common motivating factor behind all of it is I just genuinely love learning. It's like I just have a curiosity for everything and I want to know about it but most importantly I want it explained. I need to know why not what. In metaphor; I don't just want to know the sky is blue, I want to know why it's blue.
In addition, I also think having a special interest may be an indicator of Aspergers or autism but it is not a defining feature. You don't have to have one, and you can also have one interest and it not be considered a special interest. Lot's of people have a passion for a singular thing, it's normal, it's the degree to which you take it that makes it one.



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23 Jun 2020, 3:17 pm

I have a few special interests. They've changed throughout my life, but I'd say great apes and video games have been pretty consistent since I was a small child. Video games were probably my first special interest (the Zelda games in particular), and then primates, which got restricted to mostly great apes. I've also always had an intense interest in science but that's vague, so I'd say biology/the science behind how organisms work is more what my special interest is.



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23 Jun 2020, 3:59 pm

vvvvv wrote:
In addition, I also think having a special interest may be an indicator of Aspergers or autism but it is not a defining feature.


That is a perfect example of what I have learned through being on this site (As I knew hardly anything before! Many on here have been soo patient with me!)


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23 Jun 2020, 6:43 pm

I do in a way. My main special interest is definitely The X-Files but I have other shows, books, and things like animals and computers that I really love and am fascinated by.


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23 Jun 2020, 7:49 pm

I've always had a sort of rotating series of special interests, which have basically been the same for as long as I can remember. Kind of like I'll be completely obsessed with one thing for months, and then suddenly be completely obsessed with something else for months, and so on until it comes back around to the first thing again. Occasionally I'll manage to be completely obsessed with multiple things at once without being overwhelmed by them, and I think if I could figure out how to maintain that it would really be ideal.



CarlM
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23 Jun 2020, 10:03 pm

The restricted interest doesn't means you can't change your interests over time. It means while you have an interest, you're obsessed with it in one or more ways: neglect other responsibilities, annoy people by only talking about it, avoid activities which would take to much time away from the interest, etc. If you can do this with multiple interests at once, where do you get the time 8O?

Even Rain Man had multiple interests, all very circumscribed though.


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24 Jun 2020, 1:08 pm

Same as Deanna and a few ^. They were different when I was younger. A few are long term. Now: science/space, geology, maps, languages.


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24 Jun 2020, 1:21 pm

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24 Jun 2020, 7:26 pm

I love the 60s. There are lots of special interests of mine that fall in that category. The Kinks, Swinging London and Carnaby Street, The Routemaster, Mods, The Tokyo 1964 Olympics, the Disability Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, Stonewall, the other bands and music of the 1960s British Invasion, Hogan's Heroes and The Monkees.


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24 Jun 2020, 8:15 pm

My special interests change, but never completely go away. For example, right now my primary special interest is the movie The Void, but get me started on arthropods (my very first special interest), and I’m still like a walking, talking insect field guide. I absolutely can have more than one special interest at a time, that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with each other (like Cenobites from the movie Hellraiser (and related things) and learning to play the guitar). Any past special interest can resurface at any time, or I may develop completely new ones. At the moment, my interests mostly lie in the same field, though.

I have even had special interests (including repeat ones) that I don’t actually like 8O For example, I’m not a fan of the band Slayer, but for a while I felt compelled to listen to their music anyway, or there are several movies I absolutely never, ever want to watch, but I felt the need to find out absolutely everything I could about them and probably would actually have watched them (yes, while desperately not wanting to) if they had been available to me at the time.

I find simply noticing things about my patterns of special interests quite interesting. (Another special interest? :wink: )


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