When does a Interest become a “Special Interest”?

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Rocket123
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22 Nov 2015, 8:39 pm

I work in the tech industry. I seem to have a “knack” for analyzing and constructing systems. I regularly work with both software systems and people systems. When I am not at work, generally all I think about are the systems I am constructing and how to make them better. In many ways, it’s like trying to solve a really difficult -- and sometimes impossible -- puzzle.

The other day, I began to wonder whether my work is an Interest, an Obsession or a “Special Interest”.

Also, I began to wonder how many people have their work as a “Special Interest”.



shlaifu
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22 Nov 2015, 9:31 pm

'Special interest' and 'obsession' are interchangeable, but obsession sounds very unhealthy to the parents of a newly diagnosed child.

And: I just decided to quit engaging in my special interest for tonight, because it's 3 am and a sunday night (and I completely forgot to get tired by myself). Then again, it's also my work, so I'll get back to it tomorrow.
According to some research quoted somewhere I read earlier today, only 13% of the people questioned actually liked their job.
I guess there you have the difference between regular work-interest, and aspie special interest exemplified in one anecdote and one very unverified citation.


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Mesecond
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04 Dec 2015, 1:03 pm

My spouse's special interest is dogs. She spends 80% of her non work life with our dogs. She does agility, obedience, etc. She also teaches dog classes after work as a science researcher.

All of the dogs are on medication - two on Prozac, one on anxiety meds. All are rescues.

We bought an RV so she is able to attend trials. She told me if she could she would do dog stuff and not work.

Her home office has 200 ribbons and 50 pictures that are all dog related. She has a closet stuffed with more ribbons, dog toys, etc.

Does anyone else have a spouse who is so involved in an activity and has AD?

It is lonely.



shlaifu
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04 Dec 2015, 2:39 pm

Sorry to hear you're suffering under your spouse dog-obsession.

Pt what I'm actually fascinated/disturbed by: they're putting dogs on prozac now? How did they diagnose the dogs? I mean, did they tick boxes on a list of items, like, "dog feels suicidal on some days, but not all", as they do with humans? How does it work


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killerBunny
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13 Dec 2015, 3:29 am

How many hairs until it is considered a beard. That pretty much is your answer.



goatfish57
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13 Dec 2015, 6:22 am

Rocket123 wrote:
I work in the tech industry. I seem to have a “knack” for analyzing and constructing systems. I regularly work with both software systems and people systems. When I am not at work, generally all I think about are the systems I am constructing and how to make them better. In many ways, it’s like trying to solve a really difficult -- and sometimes impossible -- puzzle.

The other day, I began to wonder whether my work is an Interest, an Obsession or a “Special Interest”.

Also, I began to wonder how many people have their work as a “Special Interest”.


Sounds like you found the right career. Your focus and hard work will be rewarded.

I was the same. Building systems was my life. But, the office politics kept getting in the way. I got tired of all the games and retired early. Built my own systems and had fun with that.


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killerBunny
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18 Dec 2015, 7:50 pm

When you add th qualifier special. I will take stupid questions for 600 Alex.



RenaeK
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21 Dec 2015, 11:30 am

I've made a couple of special interests into a job. And I am never doing it again. My family and finances suffer every time I decide to become an expert on a new thing and get wrapped up in changing whatever it is in that field I think they are doing wrong. Have asked a few friends to never let me do it again. I need to make sure my interests stay as research hobbies only, not consume my entire life.



slave
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09 Jan 2016, 2:23 am

Mesecond wrote:
My spouse's special interest is dogs. She spends 80% of her non work life with our dogs. She does agility, obedience, etc. She also teaches dog classes after work as a science researcher.

All of the dogs are on medication - two on Prozac, one on anxiety meds. All are rescues.

We bought an RV so she is able to attend trials. She told me if she could she would do dog stuff and not work.

Her home office has 200 ribbons and 50 pictures that are all dog related. She has a closet stuffed with more ribbons, dog toys, etc.

Does anyone else have a spouse who is so involved in an activity and has AD?

It is lonely.


I can believe you are lonely. :(
Does you wife know how you feel?
Have you explained it to her?



slave
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09 Jan 2016, 2:25 am

RenaeK wrote:
I've made a couple of special interests into a job. And I am never doing it again. My family and finances suffer every time I decide to become an expert on a new thing and get wrapped up in changing whatever it is in that field I think they are doing wrong. Have asked a few friends to never let me do it again. I need to make sure my interests stay as research hobbies only, not consume my entire life.


What interests where they? :D



Yigeren
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09 Jan 2016, 4:01 am

Pretty much anything I like doing enough becomes a special interest very quickly. It could last weeks, months, or years. But if I like doing something, I will be obsessed with it.

And I can't seem to do anything in moderation. It's all or nothing. I will also instantly become bored with something for no apparent reason after being obsessed for awhile and totally abandon it.



Ashariel
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09 Jan 2016, 5:08 pm

I agree, the difference is having a 'normal' amount of interest in something, vs. a totally obsessive interest.

That's one part of autism that I have learned to embrace, and not see as 'disordered'. I've spent a lifetime carefully trying to act 'normal' and play it cool, rather than coming across as an 'obsessed weirdo with no life'. But now I give myself permission to just be me. It's okay to really, really, really love your hobbies (or job), and it's nothing to be ashamed of. :)



traven
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10 Jan 2016, 4:42 am

slave wrote:
Mesecond wrote:
My spouse's special interest is dogs. She spends 80% of her non work life with our dogs. She does agility, obedience, etc. She also teaches dog classes after work as a science researcher.

All of the dogs are on medication - two on Prozac, one on anxiety meds. All are rescues.

We bought an RV so she is able to attend trials. She told me if she could she would do dog stuff and not work.

Her home office has 200 ribbons and 50 pictures that are all dog related. She has a closet stuffed with more ribbons, dog toys, etc.

Does anyone else have a spouse who is so involved in an activity and has AD?

It is lonely.


I can believe you are lonely. :(
Does you wife know how you feel?
Have you explained it to her?


this one , and this
Yigeren wrote:
Pretty much anything I like doing enough becomes a special interest very quickly. It could last weeks, months, or years. But if I like doing something, I will be obsessed with it.

And I can't seem to do anything in moderation. It's all or nothing. I will also instantly become bored with something for no apparent reason after being obsessed for awhile and totally abandon it.


Really? The last one says give it up to self, without evaluation
and the former's treatened by another's , with may or may not be subjective,
making it into a blaming the activity, that I allow you to allow me to blame yo for that!



RenaeK
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11 Jan 2016, 10:01 pm

slave wrote:
RenaeK wrote:
I've made a couple of special interests into a job. And I am never doing it again. My family and finances suffer every time I decide to become an expert on a new thing and get wrapped up in changing whatever it is in that field I think they are doing wrong. Have asked a few friends to never let me do it again. I need to make sure my interests stay as research hobbies only, not consume my entire life.


What interests where they? :D


Wow, how exciting someone taking an interest in my special interests. Don't worry, I will control myself from writing an essay :)

One of the big ones was Sleep, particularly sleep disorders in infants, which I made into a consulting business and wrote programs using gradual withdrawal and behaviour modification to help babies and young children with extreme sleep disorders. My programs are used by loads of professionals now, I get bored once that happens.

The latest in 2015 was disability bicycles for kids with physical disabilities. The bikes existed, but they were trying to use bike fitting techniques designed for normal people on people with disabilities, so we rewrote the book on that. Then I noticed heaps of kids being referred for disability bikes who only had mild disabilities like dyspraxia (mild compared to being in a wheelchair with paralysed legs) and found out noone on the planet had invented a program to teach them to ride a normal bike. So I did that. We essentially just use propriceptive feedback and the natural workings of the peripheral nervous system to teach the brain what cognitive sequence it needs to engage to do a peddling action. That's usually all they need, once they can move their legs round in circles and peddle, they can learn to ride.

10 years ago it was career guidance and the idea that a career can be chosen by testing personality, which I completely disagree with for multiple reasons. There were career tests for aptitude, and personality. What there needed to be was a test to determine likes/dislikes/topics of interest, and match it with aptitude.

They are the main ones.

I'm trying really hard not to get roped into a friend's recent diagnosis of digestive problems. I have emailed a research team in US with an idea about how people with this may be able to reintroduce table sugar into their diet, they are already working on it. I need to stay out of it. If I'm going to focus on something it needs to be my sons dyspraxia and writing development. I believe the stages of learning to write need to be further broken down than they currently are for kids like him, that means researching the stages... here we go...lol.



slave
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13 Jan 2016, 5:35 pm

RenaeK wrote:
slave wrote:
RenaeK wrote:
I've made a couple of special interests into a job. And I am never doing it again. My family and finances suffer every time I decide to become an expert on a new thing and get wrapped up in changing whatever it is in that field I think they are doing wrong. Have asked a few friends to never let me do it again. I need to make sure my interests stay as research hobbies only, not consume my entire life.


What interests where they? :D


Wow, how exciting someone taking an interest in my special interests. Don't worry, I will control myself from writing an essay :)

One of the big ones was Sleep, particularly sleep disorders in infants, which I made into a consulting business and wrote programs using gradual withdrawal and behaviour modification to help babies and young children with extreme sleep disorders. My programs are used by loads of professionals now, I get bored once that happens.

The latest in 2015 was disability bicycles for kids with physical disabilities. The bikes existed, but they were trying to use bike fitting techniques designed for normal people on people with disabilities, so we rewrote the book on that. Then I noticed heaps of kids being referred for disability bikes who only had mild disabilities like dyspraxia (mild compared to being in a wheelchair with paralysed legs) and found out noone on the planet had invented a program to teach them to ride a normal bike. So I did that. We essentially just use propriceptive feedback and the natural workings of the peripheral nervous system to teach the brain what cognitive sequence it needs to engage to do a peddling action. That's usually all they need, once they can move their legs round in circles and peddle, they can learn to ride.

10 years ago it was career guidance and the idea that a career can be chosen by testing personality, which I completely disagree with for multiple reasons. There were career tests for aptitude, and personality. What there needed to be was a test to determine likes/dislikes/topics of interest, and match it with aptitude.

They are the main ones.

I'm trying really hard not to get roped into a friend's recent diagnosis of digestive problems. I have emailed a research team in US with an idea about how people with this may be able to reintroduce table sugar into their diet, they are already working on it. I need to stay out of it. If I'm going to focus on something it needs to be my sons dyspraxia and writing development. I believe the stages of learning to write need to be further broken down than they currently are for kids like him, that means researching the stages... here we go...lol.


Fascinating :!: :!: :!: :!:
:nerdy: :nerdy: :nerdy: :nerdy:



claycarter
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22 Jan 2016, 1:46 pm

Quote:
When I am not at work, generally all I think about are the systems I am constructing and how to make them better. In many ways, it’s like trying to solve a really difficult -- and sometimes impossible -- puzzle


I used to do it myself with my work, to the point I started believing what I did for a job was my special interest at the same time. I spent countless hours reading books and figuring out how to address the situations that required my attention at work, and that gave me joy at the time.

This has disappeared, mostly from my work becoming repetitive throughout the years. I'll still get a flare when something remotely different appears and needs to be solved, but it is quite clearly not a special interest nowadays. Or maybe I don't get obsessed about it anymore because there's no more reason to it, since work doesn't seem to demand enough from me intelectually this day and age.