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passionatebach
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11 Nov 2009, 1:14 pm

I don't know if this is the right thread to put this in, but why are many people on the austim/Asperger's spectrum fascinated with the emergency sciences? Maybe it is just my personal experience, but this is the case with two friends of mine on the spectrum.

One of my friends is a volunteer fireman in his community. He avidly talks about firefighting, constantly wears clothing related to the fire department, has firefighting knick-knacks in his house, and even owns a Dalmation dog. I even heard a story through a family memeber that he took a trip to a neighboring state to look at a vintage firetruck that someone had for sale, just so he could park it in the driveway. He didn't make the purchase though.

My other friend had a penchant for following the police and fire department to calls. He had a police scanner that he would carry with him everywhere, including out to eat, etc. He would often talk about the "situation that the police dealt with last night". He has taken the exams to be a dispatcher, or a paramedic, but has never gotten the job. He did work as a security guard for a while and really enjoyed the job.

Even though I have AS, I have never had this fascination. Is there something with AS that attracts people to these kinds of interests, or is this just more of a personal experience that I have had?



cosmiccat
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11 Nov 2009, 2:40 pm

I don't know if this is a trend or just your personal experience. It will be interesting to see if any emergency services people respond to this thread.



cyberscan
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11 Nov 2009, 6:37 pm

I used to be a Emergency Management volunteer. I worked communication during hurricanes.


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11 Nov 2009, 8:02 pm

I worked with the local rescue squad for a bit, but after awhile, I just couldn't handle it. At the beginning I liked it, but I guess it was partly that all the awkwardness kept growing. Like a normal person will be awkward at first, and gradually get better, but for me, the awkwardness grows, partly because people understand being awkward in the beginning, but not staying that way. Plus since it was volunteer, people would want to talk about their day jobs and stuff, and I'm just a loser on disability, so that was uncomfortable. Then when I went to go take the EMT class, a whole freaking lot of it involved getting ready for the practical exam by role-playing. Asking all the SAMPLE questions, making up situations and circumstances when it's your turn to be the patient.. In other words, imaginative play. :pale: My worst nightmare!

And it was really quite impossible to explain the problems I was having with the class, because I'd get extremely high test scores, and people assume that if you score well on a test, then you're doing fine with the class. But the fact that I collect massive amounts of information doesn't help me practically, and being an EMT is much, much more about doing than knowing.



Outtathaway
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11 Nov 2009, 10:32 pm

This was actually a recent development for me. No clue if it has anything to do with my (possible) aspieness though. o.O

I've had almost NO clue what I wanted to do job-wise my entire life. I bounced from becoming a cemetary groundskeeper, to a veterinarian/vet technician, then to being a writer (more my dream), joining the canadian forces, and about a million other things until this past August...and I had the most surreal experience.

(Skip next two paragraphs for the short version. =P)

I went with my family on vacation to Cape Breton Island, and I was literally seeing paramedics everywhere. O_O There was an ambulance in front of us at a Tim Hortons drive-thru, I ended up behind a paramedic at the grocery store and at a gas station in another town, some poor guy had a heart attack near where we were staying (and they inevitably showed up)...and that's just a few occasions. On the drive back home my parents just so happened to stop at a corner store in New Brunswick and ask, of all the people there, two paramedics for directions to the nearest church--without my mentioning anything I was seeing. I know that technically seeing these guys everywhere shouldn't be a surprise, but I never saw this many even when I was living in Toronto.

My 'aha!' moment came when I was just casually looking up information about paramedics on my cell phone, trying to pass some of the 20 hours of driving. We were on the highway, about half an hour or so away from Montreal, and a guy on a motorcycle right in front of us suddenly lost control, swerved sideways and sort of half flipped his bike and trailer. Luckily everybody managed to avoid him, and we (and a trio of friends who were travelling with him) collectively managed to divert traffic and get his motorcycle off the road before the paramedics came...and the entire time they were there I was watching in absolute awe. xD

So anyway, within weeks I was cancelling my well thought out plans to take the local vet tech program and decided to wait an extra year just so I could take the nearest paramedic program instead. The family was not overly pleased, but you know, whatever. No way they're standing in the way of my new found calling. :lol:

I never use the word epiphany, but...this whole thing has had such an affect on me that I also made a habit of exercising/working out to get in proper shape for it, and so far I'm down 11 pounds (losing around a pound a week). AND I'm in the process of becoming a vegetarian. =D The people who know me pretty well are freaking OUT. :3


Maggiedoll wrote:
And it was really quite impossible to explain the problems I was having with the class, because I'd get extremely high test scores, and people assume that if you score well on a test, then you're doing fine with the class. But the fact that I collect massive amounts of information doesn't help me practically, and being an EMT is much, much more about doing than knowing.


I was pretty much the same way all through high school--the best example being that I could get perfect on all the ridiculous sports rules quizzes my gym teachers gave us, but couldn't play half of them worth squat regardless. xD Fortunately, I rather enjoy learning through doing, and even think that I may actually understand things better that way. Memorizing everything in a textbook's always been easy, but I can't say that I always fully understand all of it. Or at least not to the extent that I do when I, for (another) example, learn a recipe from watching and/or being taught by my brother instead of following his written instructions. If that makes any sense. 8O



Side note: it's been over a year since I was last on WP, or even on the internet for that matter! So, sorry if it seems like I popped from out of nowhere. =P


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Callista
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11 Nov 2009, 11:01 pm

People in general are fascinated with emergencies. Think of the many successful movies and TV shows dealing with paramedics, police, and hospitals. It's not surprising that some Aspies would be fascinated with it, in a particularly autistic way, and collect information about the topics just like NTs tend to do things like making TV shows out of them and getting crushes on the actors.


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Kaysea
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11 Nov 2009, 11:26 pm

Perhaps it it is because people in the Fire Dept, EMT's, etc are able to show others that they care, without having to rely on the sort of non-verbals that most in the NT world rely on. By token of their doing something physically manefest to show 'caring', it may be easier for folks on the spectrum to relate to workers in the aforementioned professions.



ruveyn
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12 Nov 2009, 3:50 am

Emergency work is useful and can be interesting and exciting too. Perhaps that is way it is appealing to some Aspie. In handling emergencies the activity is capable of objective evaluation for propriety and usefulness. This makes it different from much commercial activity.

ruveyn