Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Autistic Interests

Many people with autism, particularly people with Aspergers Syndrome, sometimes have a single interest that amounts to an obsession in their minds. They funnel their entire being into this interest over a lifetime.  This interest could be anything ranging from Ancient Greek Mythology, to TV shows, even to genres such as fantasy or horror. 

You could not find anyone more knowledgeable about their subject of interest than a person with Aspergers Syndrome. These individuals on the spectrum dedicate their entire lives to understanding their interest.  A problem that loved ones often experience is that this narrow-minded focus is not naturally extended into other essential areas, which could be problematic when it comes to school.  However, in some cases, I have heard of this interest being used as a tool for learning, although I have no personal experience in that area.  My interest was never used to support learning in school.

When I was younger, I was well known for being obsessed with Star Wars.  From age six to fourteen, I would talk about nothing else with the same feverish enthusiasm as I did with Star Wars.  I knew all six movies by heart (and still do) and would often quote them to people, much to their displeasure.  I knew the score from the movies and could play it on my clarinet. 

I have long since grown out of this interest as an obsession. I owned quite a bit a Star Wars merchandise when I was younger, but have given much of it away over the years.  However I am still the proud owner of at least fifty Star Wars books from the expanded universe. I have not yet read them all, but I plan to at some point.  My interests are more varied now than they were then, but Star Wars will always have a place in my life.

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