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AlfredRI48
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15 Jun 2014, 8:25 pm

Hello,

I was just wondering if everyone with AS generally has just one topic of interest that they focus on or do they change or do you have multiple focuses?

For example, I think at about 10 years old my first obsession started with knowing all the types of dinosaurs, land, air and water varieties and even what period they lived in, size etc. Then at about 12 I had a focus on model trains, operating, collecting, and building them. Later around 16 I started a car phase primarily with exotic cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus etc. I knew, makes, models, engine stats, performance stats, prices, whether they were available in the US or Europe etc. Now the car phase is still active even now at 48, but in a lesser sense. I have in the process picked up other focuses which I concentrated in a very detailed way and pretty much bored everyone I know by talking endlessly about the subjects. Some of the more recent focuses have lasted anywhere from a month to a year or so. Recently they included Secular Humanism, The Old Testament, War strategies of WWII and related history, DNA research and ancestry, and medical research of diseases and vitamins. I learned an enormous amount of information from all the focuses, but I was primarily wondering if others have also experienced changes of focuses from time to time or stayed on the same one your whole life?

Thanks,
Alfred



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15 Jun 2014, 9:18 pm

The first intense special interest that I have is in The Kinks which were a London based 60s band. Mick Avory - the original drummer is my favourite Kink because I'm the most like him. People usually tend to like band members or TV characters that they're the most like.

The second intense special interest that I have at the moment is working and saving money. I'm going to be working on a vegetable farm for 4 hours a day a few days a week this summer and I've already started that job. I'm picking peas right now. Next will be cucumbers and corn.


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SecretAgent
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15 Jun 2014, 9:20 pm

I've been obsessed with clothes/pretty colors & patterns ever since I was little. It's my main interest. But many other interests come and go; I'll obsess about a new thing every few weeks and then get bored of it.



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15 Jun 2014, 9:32 pm

I'm no expert by any means, but I suspect that your experience is pretty typical. In my teens, I obsessed about the pop group T.Rex and its lead singer Marc Bolan in particular. Football was also a massive interest - I was one of those nut-jobs who intended to visit the grounds of every club in the English league, and would probably have done so had my interest persisted beyond my teens and early twenties.

After that, I had obsessions with stamps, coins and cars. More recently I've been into films (probably well over 1000 dvds and VHS tapes in the house), and video/gaming hardware (16 VHS players, DVD or HDD recorders, 5 PS2s etc.).

Reminds me a bit of the character in Nick Hornby's first novel (can't remember the title!), who makes lists for all his interests and obsessions. A few years ago, I found myself writing down the locations of all the branches of McDonald's I'd visited, as well as every London library I'd been to. It got to the point where I'd visit a library purely to add it to my list!

Pretty crazy really.



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15 Jun 2014, 10:39 pm

Totally happened to me with coffee; all the specific parameters for getting the perfect espresso shots, the ideal roast profile for particular bean origins, pouring art, etc. When I started my first cafe job I read up and experimented endlessly and couldn't understand why anyone behind a coffee bar wouldn't care enough to get their shots and milk perfect. Honestly I still don't know why some people serve garbage lattes after all the effort it took to grow, harvest, process, ship, and roast those beans, but over time being able to share that passion helped me out of my shell socially.



AlfredRI48
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15 Jun 2014, 10:42 pm

Thanks, I forgot about video games especially the role playing D&D type. I was a big dungeons and dragons fan back when it was all on paper, but usually I took the DM role and just gave information to everyone about what they were going to be doing. When I am into an interest like this, I tend to get so enthralled that I actually start to live the obsession if that makes any sense. Like for a while when I was really interested in D&D type video games (Elder Scrolls to be exact) I would actually go to a store and buy mead and drink it when I was playing the game because I wanted to bring it to life as much as was possible.

I do tend to put things in order, put labels forward, make lists for everything. I have lists of snow fall each winter in my area, cars I've driven, how much I spent on health costs each year etc etc.

So at least I know I am not the only one who changes interests every so often. To this day I really don't know what brings them on or how intense they will become, but usually when I get bored I go on to something else.

I'm really just starting to learn about AS even though the traits have been with me all my life. I just wish this was known about when I was a child because I had really suffered and gone through a lot of frustration, anger and anxiety because I was rejected many times by peers in school. Teachers just thought I was different, and I felt like an outcast.



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16 Jun 2014, 12:18 am

I'm obsessed with Wurlitzer theatrical pipe organs, the kind that used to accompany silent movies at old movie palaces back in the 20s.



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16 Jun 2014, 3:11 am

As my screen name would suggest, my main area of obsession is films, though I have minimal interest in those made before I was born. I grew up mostly on classic Disney animated films, and a few others like "The Wizard of Oz" or "The Sound of Music", but that's pretty much it prior to 1980. I've also developed intense curiosity about political matters, reading books by folks such as Ben Shapiro, Ann Coulter, and Dinesh D'Souza.


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16 Jun 2014, 3:28 am

I become fixated with something and then eventually that gets replaced with another fixation. Numismatics is one of my fixations, although I don't actually collect coins much. Others have been motorcycles, Japanese swords, botany, geography.... and perhaps with a total of 15,000+ posts in forums in 9 months... maybe I'm obsessed with internet forums :P



AlfredRI48
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16 Jun 2014, 6:12 pm

Thats a lot of posts! I guess I'm into online forums too.



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16 Jun 2014, 6:41 pm

I find that once I become interested in something, I need to learn as much as I can about it. For example, when I was a kid I got into Pokemon, and it became an obsession for many many years. I knew everything about every pokemon all the way up to the 5th generation, which was something like 649 different pokemon. I spent thousands of hours on an online program called netbattle which allowed you to construct your own teams of pokemon and battle other people. There were different tiers depending on the strength of the pokemon, and I played every single one. I participated in the community (now called Smogon, a well known competitive pokemon site), posted a couple thousand times over the years, became a moderator for a brief time and even won a few tournaments. A lot of people with autism seem to be drawn to pokemon, I'm not sure why. It was an obsession that took over my life from age 9 to about 22 or so.

Another example is Super Smash Bros. Melee. The first time I played the original Smash Bros. game it was like Christmas morning for me. I was beyond excited that something like that existed. I spent a lot of time perfecting my playstyle and won a few tournaments, one of the prizes was a Nintendo DS back when it was first released. People at the tournament called me a freak because I won fairly easily. Lol.

I was bored a few years ago in college and the NHL playoffs were on, so I decided to tune in and now I'm obsessed with hockey. I wish I had discovered my love for it earlier so I could have played in school. I went from someone who couldn't name 5 teams to someone who knows the stats of most players in the league, know more about the history of the sport than most of my friends who have been watching since they were kids, and I constantly lurk online message boards about hockey just to get more information.

Music is another big passion of mine, I'll listen to just about anything but my favorite genres are punk, metal and folk (anything acoustic). I also play the guitar.

Basically if I'm interested in something it becomes an obsession and I strive to become a beast in whatever I am interested in.



AlfredRI48
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16 Jun 2014, 7:32 pm

Thank you everyone for your responses! :D



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16 Jun 2014, 7:38 pm

I don't know if mine are really what you would call special interests. I've had the same basic interests since I was a kid, mainly music, psychology, and psychic phenomena, but my specific ways of exploring those interests change a lot. I will do something really obsessively for a time, could be days, weeks, months, or years, and then just suddenly drop it and likely never go back to it.



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16 Jun 2014, 7:39 pm

and now for my present obsessive interest/perseveration-
[img][800:756]http://www.larriedee.com/Conn653.jpg[/img]
the state of the art of the home organ, the crowning achievement of conn/Kimbal;- the mighty conn 653 theatre organ emulation of a Wurlitzer! :o



AlfredRI48
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16 Jun 2014, 9:02 pm

Thats quite an organ! I remember those being quite popular in the late 70's to early 80's. Very nice though.



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16 Jun 2014, 9:03 pm

AlfredRI48 wrote:
Thats quite an organ! I remember those being quite popular in the late 70's to early 80's. Very nice though.

I got to toodle on one once while it was in the repair shop getting fixed. I so want one. I remember when they used to GIVE those away with mobile homes!