Special Interests vs. Narrow Interests

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Joined: 2 Jan 2016
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12 Jan 2016, 8:26 pm

ImAnAspie wrote:
r2d2 wrote:
I knew one Aspie who memorized area codes, bus routes and luggage arrangements at airports. So special interest are not necessarily that interesting.

To them, they are. If they're anything like me, their Special Interests are their life.

Honestly, at times in my life, my Special Interests are the only thing that have got me through.

Amen. They give life meaning, stability, and awe.

"When does the human cost become too high for the building of a better machine?"


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Joined: 20 Jun 2014
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12 Jan 2016, 8:29 pm

To me, "special interests" seems to mean those interests (among many others) that are my favorites and return to them frequently. "Narrow interests" seems to mean that I have few interests to start with.

While the former is very true, the latter is completely incorrect.

Diagnosed in 2015 with ASD Level 1 by the University of Utah Health Care Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic using the ADOS-2 Module 4 assessment instrument [11/30] -- Screened in 2014 with ASD by using the University of Cambridge Autism Research Centre AQ (Adult) [43/50]; EQ-60 for adults [11/80]; FQ [43/135]; SQ (Adult) [130/150] self-reported screening inventories -- Assessed since 1978 with an estimated IQ [≈145] by several clinicians -- Contact on WrongPlanet.net by private message (PM)


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24 Mar 2018, 5:12 am

one-A-N wrote:
For me, one of the issues is "falling in love" with a topic. I am interested in languages, and sometimes when I hear about some obscure language I just have to know about it ... but I won't be at all interested in another related obscure language. It is like the language becomes my "secret garden" - it is just me and my obscure language. I feel like I am exploring a hidden world where no else goes - although of course, if it is a real language then people on another continent do speak it and (obviously) do know more about it than I do.

But in the English-speaking world where I live (Australia), when I say that I read or speak a certain obscure language, I then have to explain what the language is because usually no one else has ever heard of it. I really like those off-beat little paths where so few others go ... my private world. The odd thing is, the language will have to be a specific dialect - any other dialect of the language just leaves me cold. E.g. when I bought a book about Rheto-Romance (eastern Switzerland), I only cared about information on the Engadine dialects (Vallader and Puter) ... I just wasn't interested in the other dialects for some reason (well actually I do know the reason: there is a suburb called "Engadine" in my part of Sydney, and somehow I felt I had discovered a mysterious Engadine behind the ordinary Engadine that I knew - kind of like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia).

I don't know if others feel this sense of secret wonderment with any of their special interests? It's like you're the only one who cares about your special topic.

That is awesome! I have a liking/interest in certain dialects...for example Neapolitan dialect. Mainly because a) I have always enjoyed learning languages and b) I am a bit obsessed with Naples itself. My love of languages is nowhere near your level though! I take my hat off to you sir, good work!


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24 Mar 2018, 6:08 am

My special interests also seem to be narrow interests. If you want to know what they are, just look at my avatar.




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24 Mar 2018, 9:16 am

I have been told my interests are very focused. My two main ones are animals (particularly cats) and tennis (both watching and playing). I am fortunate that many of my friends also have pets and a lot of them are cat lovers and that I can talk about my favorite players at the tennis center without being considered weird. I don't consider my interests narrow because, when I get interested in a specific country, I want to learn everything about it, especially about famous people from those countries.

My interest in Spain as a teenager led me to appreciate Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer now.

It also worked in reverse. An interest in Denis Istomin led me to research Russia, Uzbekistan, Orenburg and Tashkent. I would like to interview Denis one day and ask him what his life was like growing up in Tashkent as an ethnic Russian.