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Kitty4670
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09 Nov 2022, 9:35 pm

What is special interest for Aspergers & Autism people?


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10 Nov 2022, 6:10 am

Is something they cant let go. Is for me a way of life. My life and thinking adheres to my special interests in such a way that I relate my thinking to my main special interest by using examples of my main special interest to enable me to relate to things being talked about outside it.
My special interests have been with me as special interests ever since I can remember! There have been changes as I mature in how I approach my special interests in that where I once embrased everything, I now specialize and go deep, but the general subjects have remained the same.



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15 Nov 2022, 3:56 am


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Gammeldans
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18 Nov 2022, 2:55 am

Kitty4670 wrote:
What is special interest for Aspergers & Autism people?

Such a good question.
I think people define special interest as something they are really interested in and enjoy focusing on and hate not being able to focus on.
Is this a good definition?

But my thinkig goes like this: what about all the difficulties involved? Can a special interest really be enjoyable at those times when you have to overcome a difficulty?

What if you like singing a lot, ie. the special interest, but have many difficulties?



jimmy m
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19 Nov 2022, 9:48 am

Special Interest is the way that I learn. Something catches my fancy and I look deeper and deeper until I become a SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT. Then something else catches my fancy and I move off into exploring another area. The universe is huge and there is always things that need to be explored.


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ToughDiamond
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19 Nov 2022, 5:00 pm

Gammeldans wrote:
Kitty4670 wrote:
What is special interest for Aspergers & Autism people?

Such a good question.
I think people define special interest as something they are really interested in and enjoy focusing on and hate not being able to focus on.
Is this a good definition?

But my thinkig goes like this: what about all the difficulties involved? Can a special interest really be enjoyable at those times when you have to overcome a difficulty?

What if you like singing a lot, ie. the special interest, but have many difficulties?

I'm sure special interests aren't 100% wall-to-wall enjoyment. Who says they are? Certainly I don't like being torn away from my interests and I usually get a lot of satisfaction from them when they're going well. It's bound to be fun to indulge in something fascinating. But naturally it's frustrating when the thing I'm pursuing isn't going the way I want it to, and I suppose the feelings of frustration are greater when I feel strongly drawn to the pursuit.



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19 Nov 2022, 6:27 pm

My special interests are interests that I've had all my life. I have three big ones that have stuck with me through all the years. The Kinks, the Internet and the Olympics both summer and winter.


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TheOutsider
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19 Nov 2022, 7:08 pm

A special interest is essentially an obsessive interest in something. Apparently most autistics have one or several. I've actually had several over the years.



Gammeldans
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20 Nov 2022, 4:50 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Gammeldans wrote:
Kitty4670 wrote:
What is special interest for Aspergers & Autism people?

Such a good question.
I think people define special interest as something they are really interested in and enjoy focusing on and hate not being able to focus on.
Is this a good definition?

But my thinkig goes like this: what about all the difficulties involved? Can a special interest really be enjoyable at those times when you have to overcome a difficulty?

What if you like singing a lot, ie. the special interest, but have many difficulties?

I'm sure special interests aren't 100% wall-to-wall enjoyment. Who says they are? Certainly I don't like being torn away from my interests and I usually get a lot of satisfaction from them when they're going well. It's bound to be fun to indulge in something fascinating. But naturally it's frustrating when the thing I'm pursuing isn't going the way I want it to, and I suppose the feelings of frustration are greater when I feel strongly drawn to the pursuit.

When I hear people speak about special interest they often talk about how much energy it gives people.
I would like to add that it also takes energy from people. Studying something and trying to be really good at it takes time and energy. I can even see how the special interest can gave its difficulties and make a person very frustrated.
You don't always enjoy it then. This is very tue for me.
What can you say about this?

The we also have the thing about not being as good as you wanted be at your special interest.
If you rocus very much on something you really want to be very good at it, I think. Most people I talk to are like that. Some gets a bit depressed when they won't become as good as they wanted.
What do you think?



Gammeldans
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20 Nov 2022, 4:57 am

TheOutsider wrote:
A special interest is essentially an obsessive interest in something. Apparently most autistics have one or several. I've actually had several over the years.

"Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that cause distressing emotions such as anxiety, fear or disgust"
https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-fam ... reasonable.

Is this what you are refering to?


"Special interest or obsession? 

An obsession is a form of anxiety disorder and when a special interest tips over into an obsession it can create complications for children and young people - impacting on things like their wellbeing and ability to learn."
https://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk ... -interests

I really like these questions:

"Here are some questions to think about to determine whether the behaviour is actually an obsession. 

Is the behaviour causing the person unhappiness - but they are unable to stop?It is creating issues for other people, for example siblings? Is it undermining their ability to learn? For instance, are they unable to concentrate on anything else at school?Is it limiting their ability to make friends or meet new people?

If the answer is yes, it's worth visiting a GP to raise your concerns. They will be able to investigate the behaviour and may recommend therapy. "

But I think the big question have to be: when we talk about the term special intetest do we always refer to an obsession? In most cases we are just refering to a big interest that means a lot to someone, I think.



ToughDiamond
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20 Nov 2022, 12:45 pm

Gammeldans wrote:
When I hear people speak about special interest they often talk about how much energy it gives people.
I would like to add that it also takes energy from people. Studying something and trying to be really good at it takes time and energy. I can even see how the special interest can gave its difficulties and make a person very frustrated.
You don't always enjoy it then. This is very true for me.
What can you say about this?

I may be luckier than most. If I'm recording a multi-track song (probably my favourite special interest) and it's not working right, I don't let the misery of frustration get me down, I just redouble my efforts. For at least the last couple of decades I've always eventually succeeded in getting a passable result or better, even in my own perfectionist judgement, and I guess that's given me the confidence to just continue with good hope.

Though even when I first started in my very early teens I never accepted defeat, in spite of overwhelming evidence that I was crap. I remember reading later that budding musicians often need a strong degree of "applied pig-headedness" to improve. That's not to say I feel no frustration. It's just that it's never really got me down. At worst it makes me anxious, and I have a strong fear of failure, but again that soon passes. I tend to feel that I haven't failed until I say I've failed, and I only rarely say that, and never about an obsessive special interest, only about other stuff, and even then it's so rare that I'm still learning to do it, and when I do it comes more as as a relief.

More commonly, though still quite rarely, an unproductive music project will imperceptibly fall by the wayside, so I'm protected from that "I can't go on" feeling, and all the bad feeling I get is the frustration of my failed attempts to make it work well, and as usual I just think I'll probably do better next time I tackle it. And I've sometimes managed to go back to unsatisfactory recordings I'd made decades before, and used modern technology and my improved skills to resurrect and fix them, even though at the time of their creation it was impossible to do so.

Quote:
The we also have the thing about not being as good as you wanted be at your special interest.
If you focus very much on something you really want to be very good at it, I think. Most people I talk to are like that. Some gets a bit depressed when they won't become as good as they wanted.
What do you think?

I certainly get a transient but strong bad feeling when I notice my results aren't perfect. It's probably getting more pervasive as I've grown older because it's harder for me to believe I'll have time to put everything right. Delay is now more and more approximating to defeat as I realise that like everybody else I'll die without finishing whatever work is current when my time is up. But for now I can still mostly ignore that, and if I'm lucky then I won't know much about my death, I'll just go to sleep one night hoping to make progress in the morning, and never wake up.

I seem to be almost immune to depression, and it only expresses itself in me as ennui which I've always risen out of. Anxiety is more of a problem for me (and I even deal with that quite successfully in the end). I've often thought that the one advantage of anxiety over depression is that anxiety can only exist while there's hope that I can do something about whatever it is I'm scared of.

But that's just me. It'll be interesting to hear how others with different personalities experience the downside when their special interests frustrate them.



Aspieangeldude
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20 Nov 2022, 8:25 pm

Angels have always been my special interest since 18 and onwards.


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20 Nov 2022, 8:32 pm

for me its something i can focus on that makes it all worthwhile

my special interests is my job driving buses
i may be autistic and find life challenging but as soon as im behind the wheel in the cockpit of the bus and doing my favourite bus route then im very happy and i enjoy it and i can quite happily mask when interacting with the passengers you wouldnt even guess that im autistic if you get on my bus

but im autistic like reeeeally autistic


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Gammeldans
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21 Nov 2022, 5:02 am

Caz72 wrote:
for me its something i can focus on that makes it all worthwhile

my special interests is my job driving buses
i may be autistic and find life challenging but as soon as im behind the wheel in the cockpit of the bus and doing my favourite bus route then im very happy and i enjoy it and i can quite happily mask when interacting with the passengers you wouldnt even guess that im autistic if you get on my bus

but im autistic like reeeeally autistic

Masking? What are you refering to?



Gammeldans
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21 Nov 2022, 5:21 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Gammeldans wrote:
When I hear people speak about special interest they often talk about how much energy it gives people.
I would like to add that it also takes energy from people. Studying something and trying to be really good at it takes time and energy. I can even see how the special interest can gave its difficulties and make a person very frustrated.
You don't always enjoy it then. This is very true for me.
What can you say about this?

I may be luckier than most. If I'm recording a multi-track song (probably my favourite special interest) and it's not working right, I don't let the misery of frustration get me down, I just redouble my efforts. For at least the last couple of decades I've always eventually succeeded in getting a passable result or better, even in my own perfectionist judgement, and I guess that's given me the confidence to just continue with good hope.

Though even when I first started in my very early teens I never accepted defeat, in spite of overwhelming evidence that I was crap. I remember reading later that budding musicians often need a strong degree of "applied pig-headedness" to improve. That's not to say I feel no frustration. It's just that it's never really got me down. At worst it makes me anxious, and I have a strong fear of failure, but again that soon passes. I tend to feel that I haven't failed until I say I've failed, and I only rarely say that, and never about an obsessive special interest, only about other stuff, and even then it's so rare that I'm still learning to do it, and when I do it comes more as as a relief.

More commonly, though still quite rarely, an unproductive music project will imperceptibly fall by the wayside, so I'm protected from that "I can't go on" feeling, and all the bad feeling I get is the frustration of my failed attempts to make it work well, and as usual I just think I'll probably do better next time I tackle it. And I've sometimes managed to go back to unsatisfactory recordings I'd made decades before, and used modern technology and my improved skills to resurrect and fix them, even though at the time of their creation it was impossible to do so.

Quote:
The we also have the thing about not being as good as you wanted be at your special interest.
If you focus very much on something you really want to be very good at it, I think. Most people I talk to are like that. Some gets a bit depressed when they won't become as good as they wanted.
What do you think?

I certainly get a transient but strong bad feeling when I notice my results aren't perfect. It's probably getting more pervasive as I've grown older because it's harder for me to believe I'll have time to put everything right. Delay is now more and more approximating to defeat as I realise that like everybody else I'll die without finishing whatever work is current when my time is up. But for now I can still mostly ignore that, and if I'm lucky then I won't know much about my death, I'll just go to sleep one night hoping to make progress in the morning, and never wake up.

I seem to be almost immune to depression, and it only expresses itself in me as ennui which I've always risen out of. Anxiety is more of a problem for me (and I even deal with that quite successfully in the end). I've often thought that the one advantage of anxiety over depression is that anxiety can only exist while there's hope that I can do something about whatever it is I'm scared of.

But that's just me. It'll be interesting to hear how others with different personalities experience the downside when their special interests frustrate them.

I am into music and drama.
I always hate when I can't sing a song that well when I think should be easy.
Jingle bells might sound easier than it is. It's true.
Nowadays I know that but in the past I was uppset that I couldn't sing a song the correct way that nearly everyone can sing.
I finaly realized that not many people can sing it that well.
When I become a good singer I started to sing it better than most people.
I was given a difficult task that I thought was an easy task.
I am not that angry with myself anymore.
My learning curve was steep but I became a good singer.
I don't think singing for me is a special interest. It is more of a thing that I have to do. I have to do o
It even if I get angry with myself at times.
Special interests are more about pleasure. I sing even if it is gives me anger at times.

I envy the people who have a special interest in which they can escape the difficulties of life for a moment.
I haven't met such a person irl so far...but I hear about them from time to time.
But then again. We want to deal with life. So I should probably not seek for an interest in which I can escape from my difficulties.
Even if singing can calm me down it can also upset me!
As long as I only focus on.my strength then I probably won't get upset.


What does "transient but strong bad feeling" refer to?



Caz72
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21 Nov 2022, 6:11 am

Gammeldans wrote:
Caz72 wrote:
for me its something i can focus on that makes it all worthwhile

my special interests is my job driving buses
i may be autistic and find life challenging but as soon as im behind the wheel in the cockpit of the bus and doing my favourite bus route then im very happy and i enjoy it and i can quite happily mask when interacting with the passengers you wouldnt even guess that im autistic if you get on my bus

but im autistic like reeeeally autistic

Masking? What are you refering to?


masking is what most of us do to a greater degree isnt it?
being able to appear social and chatty when interacting with the public and then being exhausted when i get home


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