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DevilKisses
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21 Jul 2015, 2:32 am

How are they different for you? When I have a special interest I have trouble shutting up about it and I'm often interested in the technical stuff. If I just have an interest I can have a normal conversation about it and I don't care too much about the technical details.

An example of a special interest for me is optics and glasses. I love learning about all the technical details and I often can't shut up about it.

An example of an interest is fashion. I enjoy shopping and picking outfits. I also enjoy designing clothing in my head. The difference is that I can have a normal conversation about fashion.

I also struggled to learn to sew because I had trouble getting into the technical stuff. I just didn't care. I just wanted to get straight to designing stuff.


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GrandWazoo
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21 Jul 2015, 2:53 am

Basically all of the things i have mentioned here multiple times are considered special interests. When learning about them there almost seems to be some sort of hyper-focus where i can blend out the world up to several hours. They have a very calming effect on me and are being used whenever i feel stressed or/and anxious . As you have also mentioned, there is no chance to stop thinking about these topics. I try to integrate it into almost every conversation, even if the actual topic is far from what i want to talk about.

As for the "normal" interests, i think of them as mostly being topics i just wanna learn superficially without the intention of going to much into detail.



kraftiekortie
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21 Jul 2015, 9:58 am

You'll do well in Optician School, then! You'll get 100 every time!



redrobin62
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21 Jul 2015, 11:24 am

You know, this is an interesting topic. How does one know when an interest has crossed the boundary into a special interest? When I first got interested in guitars I became obsessed to the point I even ignored eating. Of course, I never knew about Asperger's back then so I just thought that everyone who got involved with guitars had the same depth of interest in learning everything they can about it like I did. Same for my morbid interest in torture, punishment and executions. I've enmeshed myself in its study for years but it's hard to say if it's just an interest or a special interest.



tinyteddy
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21 Jul 2015, 11:49 am

when you can't stop thinking about it easily, or the thought of it permeates every fiber of your existence, that would be a special interest. lately my special interest has been autism and aspergers itself. before that it was the sims house building. :D, for me, i have never been so absorbed in something that i forgot about food. maybe when i was taking adderall for ADD, but certainly not after. i love to eat lol



SocOfAutism
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21 Jul 2015, 11:59 am

I've noticed that sometimes my husband HAS to tell me things about his special interests. Even if he knows he's already told me or that I don't understand him or don't care, he's compelled to keep telling me. So I listen the best I can.

As an NT, I try not to talk about things that are interesting to me but not to other people. There's like a sense of committing a social error when you do that and it's...uncomfortable? So there's no joy in talking about the topic because the other person doesn't want to hear about it.



DevilKisses
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21 Jul 2015, 12:16 pm

SocOfAutism wrote:
I've noticed that sometimes my husband HAS to tell me things about his special interests. Even if he knows he's already told me or that I don't understand him or don't care, he's compelled to keep telling me. So I listen the best I can.

As an NT, I try not to talk about things that are interesting to me but not to other people. There's like a sense of committing a social error when you do that and it's...uncomfortable? So there's no joy in talking about the topic because the other person doesn't want to hear about it.

I know that feeling. It really ruins my social life. I do feel more satisfied talking about what the other person is interested in, but special interests really make it impossible.

When I have a normal interest in something it makes conversations way more easy for me. I can have a back and forth conversation instead of fighting myself. If I'm not interested in something it can really show and make things awkward as well.


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starfox
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21 Jul 2015, 5:21 pm

I agree with you guys above. I think something crosses the boundary when you get so interested in something that you can't stop thinking even if you want to; even if you have to go to work or something but you can't focus on your job so well because of having a special interest. That's a bit of a problem.


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tinyteddy
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21 Jul 2015, 6:57 pm

SocOfAutism wrote:
I've noticed that sometimes my husband HAS to tell me things about his special interests. Even if he knows he's already told me or that I don't understand him or don't care, he's compelled to keep telling me. So I listen the best I can.

As an NT, I try not to talk about things that are interesting to me but not to other people. There's like a sense of committing a social error when you do that and it's...uncomfortable? So there's no joy in talking about the topic because the other person doesn't want to hear about it.


i know what you mean. but in this case i'm coming from your husbands point of view. i always talk to my mom about my special interests and always have. i'm not sure if she's really listening or not and she only sometimes tells me to be quiet lol. she says i go on and on. compelled to keep talking about it, you nailed it there. i do feel compelled to talk about my special interests, with anyone who will listen. lol.



tinyteddy
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21 Jul 2015, 7:00 pm

starfox wrote:
I agree with you guys above. I think something crosses the boundary when you get so interested in something that you can't stop thinking even if you want to; even if you have to go to work or something but you can't focus on your job so well because of having a special interest. That's a bit of a problem.


my special interests have always gotten in the way of school and work. i used to work at game stop and my special interest was the sims 3. it was all i thought about. and at work we had sims 3 books and i would read them when i was supposed to be working.



starfox
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21 Jul 2015, 7:05 pm

tinyteddy wrote:
starfox wrote:
I agree with you guys above. I think something crosses the boundary when you get so interested in something that you can't stop thinking even if you want to; even if you have to go to work or something but you can't focus on your job so well because of having a special interest. That's a bit of a problem.


my special interests have always gotten in the way of school and work. i used to work at game stop and my special interest was the sims 3. it was all i thought about. and at work we had sims 3 books and i would read them when i was supposed to be working.


Oh dear. That's really cool though, that that you got to work somewhere that incorporates the things you like.


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ZombieBrideXD
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21 Jul 2015, 7:27 pm

i like to use the differences between me and my Cousin.

My cousin Billie: 15 years old, LOVES horses, has pictures of them in her room, knows everything about them, and has riding lessons, dreams of having her own horse, this interest does not interfere with her school work nor her social life. she can maintain conversations beyond just horses and mostly keeps it to herself unless she finds friends with a similar interest. interested for 5 years. Normal healthy interest

Me: 18 years old, LOVES Sonic the hedgehog, changed my name to a sonic character when i was 13, only drew sonic and still continues too, when i was 14 i couldn't maintain a conversation if it wasn't about sonic. dropped out of school to draw and research sonic. Instead of doing school work i only drew sonic characters. Couldn't make friends unless they shared a interest. people told me, "stop talking about Sonic, PLEASE". interested for 5 years. Special Interest,


The Thing that describes it as a 'special interest' is actually a obsession. its Maladaptive, its Unjustifiable, Its Disturbing and its Atypical. Its what seperates it from a healthy interest.


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kraftiekortie
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21 Jul 2015, 7:30 pm

That's excellent, Zombie!

Couldn't have done it any better myself!



Marybird
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21 Jul 2015, 11:02 pm

"The apparently ‘restricted’ aspects of restricted interests are at least partly related to pattern detection, in that there are positive emotions in the presence of material presenting a high level of internal structure, and a seeking out of material related in form and structure to what has already been encountered and memorized."
I can't find the article I got this from, but it explains special interests pretty well.
It's like getting addicted to a certain pattern of thought.



tinyteddy
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22 Jul 2015, 9:27 am

starfox wrote:
tinyteddy wrote:
starfox wrote:
I agree with you guys above. I think something crosses the boundary when you get so interested in something that you can't stop thinking even if you want to; even if you have to go to work or something but you can't focus on your job so well because of having a special interest. That's a bit of a problem.


my special interests have always gotten in the way of school and work. i used to work at game stop and my special interest was the sims 3. it was all i thought about. and at work we had sims 3 books and i would read them when i was supposed to be working.


Oh dear. That's really cool though, that that you got to work somewhere that incorporates the things you like.

yeah it was great but unfortunately it distracted me from actually working lol