Do most aspies grow out of having intense special interests?

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22 Jan 2010, 3:23 pm

I'm 20 now, and I do still have periodic interests, but they're nowhere near as obsessional as when I was younger. Back then I got so preoccupied with them I would barely think about anything else, and there was always another goal or addition to a collection that I was completely fixated on. I'd go on and on about them to anyone who would listen, they'd take over my whole life. Now they're tiny in comparison, and completely within the realms of the kind of interests NTs have. So does this normally happen to aspies?



HarryHaller
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22 Jan 2010, 3:27 pm

Mostly I would grow out of an interest if I saw a flaw in whatever I was interested in. Which probably means that I limit myself a lot.



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22 Jan 2010, 4:19 pm

It depends on the individual.


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22 Jan 2010, 4:36 pm

Again as CockneyRebel, it really just depends on the person, I was the type who would go on and on and on about my obsessions about Thomas the tank engine... :lol:
Many years later, I've eventually grew out of it and moved on to another obsession of mine... It still goes on and on.... Until I find something better than that obsession and then I end up moving on to the next one :lol:


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22 Jan 2010, 4:41 pm

Maybe you don't seem as focused on one obsession anymore, because now that you're older, your interests have broadened and you have to split your attention between several obsessive interests.


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22 Jan 2010, 4:42 pm

No I've tried and tried and I've never been able to outgrow them.

If there is a cure let me know.


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22 Jan 2010, 4:44 pm

I was obsessed with Thomas the tank engine too.
As a kid I would go on and on about my special interest because I didn't know other people didn't want to know, as an adult I'm a little bit more aware. I still have obsessions, but I don't spend every hour of the day on them.
As a kid you also have more time with your obsessions. You don't work or have many other responsibilities. My obsessions also got in the way of homework so I had to learn to when to be preoccupied with an interest and when to do homework. It didn't really work out for me.


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22 Jan 2010, 4:54 pm

superboyian wrote:
Again as CockneyRebel, it really just depends on the person, I was the type who would go on and on and on about my obsessions about Thomas the tank engine... :lol:
Many years later, I've eventually grew out of it and moved on to another obsession of mine... It still goes on and on.... Until I find something better than that obsession and then I end up moving on to the next one :lol:


:O Thomas the Tank Engine! I had LOADS of those trains, and I'd like them all up in colour; length and purpose :D I sold them all when i reached about 12 though - despite still being slightly obsessed with trains.


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22 Jan 2010, 4:59 pm

My Special Interests* change over time - some will last for a few years, others will last for decades. Right now, I'm between Special Interests - although I do have some current "regular interests" (subjects that I'll focus on for weeks or months - but not to the same degree as a Special Interest.) I also continue to be interested in things that once were Special Interests (music, for example).

I have no evidence to suggest that my Special Interests decrease in intensity as I grow older. My most recent one - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2009) - was just as intense as any interest I had when I was younger.

* For me "Special Interests" are those interests that consume my life. When I have a Special Interest, I rarely think of anything else & I relate everything in my life to that interest, in some way.


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22 Jan 2010, 5:02 pm

I'm not sure though I know an adult with AS and he still has very strong obsessions. He's 48.

Though I think to say no or yes would be to overgeneralize - everyone is different and everyone's mind works in a different way. Though I am guessing that they don't really improve. Though by saying that I've overgeneralized: which is what I didnt want to do.


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22 Jan 2010, 5:09 pm

Avengilante wrote:
Maybe you don't seem as focused on one obsession anymore, because now that you're older, your interests have broadened and you have to split your attention between several obsessive interests.


hmm I don't think that's the case. I have a couple of academic interests but they're just things I enjoy, not ones where I'll obsessively seek out information regarding them. If I add up the amount of interest there is concerning the things I'm interested in at the moment, it's way, way less than what was the case with my interests years ago, despite them then being only a single interest at any one time.



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22 Jan 2010, 5:14 pm

I don't wish for there to be a cure. I'll take The Kinks to the grave, with me. :twisted:


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22 Jan 2010, 5:30 pm

According to the doctor who diagnosed me it's common for people with AS to have less intense interests as they get older, mainly because they have more things to do and less time to just do what they enjoy doing. She also said that obsessions can be a substitute for social interraction so as someone gets older and learns more social skills, they obsessions might come down on the priority list.
I'm not sure how correct this is but it seems true in my case. The times when I was the most socially isolated from everyone else was also the times when my interests were the most obsessive.


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22 Jan 2010, 5:48 pm

I do not think most do.



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22 Jan 2010, 6:22 pm

I did.

Well, I've still got an "obsession," which would be music, but it's technically not an obsession, just a major part of me. I think about other things, and I do other things, and I talk about other things, but it's kinda like it's constantly running in the background, it's who I am. But it's not on my mind constantly.

As for "periodic obsessions:" I don't feel there is anything wrong with those. Right now it's Stargate. But it's like a book that you're really into. You just keep jumping endlessly from each chapter to the next, and spending a little time on the side speculating what you think might happen or stuff like that. I've been watching SG-1 constantly lately for the past couple weeks on Hulu, it's quite addicting for me as I like the concept of the storylines. But the periodic thing is another something else I would not label as "obsession."

So I guess you could grow out of obsessions. I've grown out of a lot of other traits as well. I can rarely watch a movie more than once unless it's extremely funny enough it keeps its comic value, or the storyline is possibly epic enough.


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valkyrieraven88
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22 Jan 2010, 6:26 pm

21 and I still have it. I think it's a good thing though so I'm not too worried about it. My friends understand, and I hang out with geeks so a lot of them do the same thing.