Hi, I have ASD and I have a question about special interests.

I saw someone with ADHD refer to something they're very interested in as a special interest. It seemed they collected this item, and knew a lot about this specific thing.

Other people with or without ASD seemed to be quite upset by that. I tried to do more research on it as I was curious. I couldn't find very much on it.

I understand hyperfixations last a short amount of time, while special interests do not.

If a person with ADHD were to have something that resembles a special interest are they allowed to say that? Or is that harmful.

I would just like to get the opinions of others with ASD and more info as well to be better educated. The opinions online seem very mixed.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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  • Roary


    I personally think it's fine if it is a long lasting interest, but I'm open to hearing other opinions

    • Cassiopeiaa


      People got very upset with this person, but no one really explained why?

  • Magpi


    I think the fear is that the language being used by people who experience their interests in a different way will confuse and change the meaning ultimately rendering it useless to communicate the autistic experience. But ADHD falls under the neurodivergent umbrella. (Also many people are misdiagnosed or under diagnosised and so may have autism but not realize it.) So I am hesitant to tell someone that they can't use a term if it fits their experience. I would just try to make sure they fully understood the meaning so they were not using it inaccurately when something like "hobby" might be a better term.

  • Cassiopeiaa


    I feel the same way. Thank you for your insight, it was very helpful!

  • minime273


    I feel like if the interest fits the criteria, then they should use the word. But I'm also still trying to figure out the difference for my own interests, sorta.

  • mlamey


    I like catching rollie pollie bugs...I liked catching them as a child and I still love catching them as an adult...I do let them go after a few minutes

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