Most autistic people that I’ve come across (including in my own family) have various special interests that they’re into. I’m no different.

But I’ve learned that I have a couple of different types of special interests: those that I’m always interested in but am in no way an expert about, and those that always draw my attention no matter what.

This second category, whenever I see anything in it, I go, “Ooo,” and am often compelled to stop what I’m doing and study whatever it is. Sometimes I do deep dives in it. Thus either know a lot of facts about it or I just absorb it at every opportunity.

The first category I find interesting and enjoy spending time with, but am not always compelled to stop what I’m doing and pay attention to. Though I usually do. It’s just a less visceral reaction.

Some of my regular special interests include:

  • Travel
  • Crafts, especially sewing, crochet, needlework
  • Photography
  • Astronomy and space-related stuff
  • Art in styles I like
  • Mail/stamps/postal related things
  • Residential architecture

Some of my REALLY special interests include:

  • Jane Austen’s novels and some of the movie/miniseries adaptations
  • Genealogy and my family history
  • American history (especially social history)
  • Residential floorplans
  • Planners/organizational things/bags/containers
  • Maps
  • Meteorology and clouds

I’ve had other special interests over the years that come and go. One early special interest that bordered on obsession (though I had very little to go on other than MTV because the internet didn’t exist yet) was Duran Duran. When I was 10-11, they were my biggest special interest. My love of Duran Duran was instrumental to us getting our first VCR (that I paid for half of, because I was a good saver).

But I digress.

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