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question for other autistic folk 

Does anyone have a term for "special interest" that maybe feels less... demeaning? While also still conveying that they are special?

Or perhaps this is an internalization of "special" as a bad thing and the term is worth reclaiming? I dunno I'm conflicted on the whole thing.

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet Yea I get what u mean. I used to use special interest when I was younger but I don’t use it a lot anymore probably for this reason

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet hyperfixation or something like that

question for other autistic folk 

@basicbishoujo that sounds so clinical to me though. Like I want something that conveys "this is my jam and i am way more into it than a neurotypical person probably would ever be but like in a cool way."

Maybe i can just start calling things my jam lol.

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet yeah, I don't see why not lol.

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet attentional focus

subject focus

you can mix and match those two words in different forms to find something maybe?

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet "Bloodborne is my focal subject atm!!!"


hmm

Attention worm??

"Bloodboure is my attention worm atm!!"?

question for other autistic folk 

@alexandria "i'm way into bloodbourne" i think would work for me in that instance... thanks for putting me on the right track

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet i use "alpha fascination" because why do anything if i can't do it aggressively against the grain? 🤷 i also just use 'fascination', or 'i am currently fascinated by..."

question for other autistic folk 

@popstar not particularly my style but thank you i appreciate the suggestions

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet I don't like the term "special interest" either. It... yeah, feels demeaning.

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet Personally I like the "my jam" or "way into" suggestions. :3

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet tbh i just say interest. No need to pathologize or other my interests just because it happens to be an autistic person having them. Yes, the interests and how I think about them are different than how allistic people think about them, but the way I as an autistic person think and process everything is different, because I'm autistic.

Though this is just my personal view and others may see it differently and the way they're autism is may make it qualify as its own category, idk

question for other autistic folk 

@julia yeah for some reason i feel the need to distinguish them. maybe it's an identity thing or something? who knows, brains are weird

re: question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet @julia to be fair i also like distinguishing them

re: question for other autistic folk 

@FirstProgenitor @hoppet @julia I distinguish interests and special interests because they're different to me, especially since I have plenty of interests that aren't special interests lol. That whole "restrictive" thing isn't actually how it works for me, I have way too many interests, I just get obsessed with some of them

re: question for other autistic folk 

@CatEntity @FirstProgenitor @hoppet it's hard for me to tell the difference tbh (if there even is a distinct one for me idk)

re: question for other autistic folk 

@julia @FirstProgenitor @hoppet yeah it can get a little fuzzy for me too lol, especially if I just hyperfocused but it's just a coincidence and not my special interest

re: question for other autistic folk 

@CatEntity @FirstProgenitor @hoppet yeah tbh the difference feels like a social construct for me, there's only a need to make that distinction if it's actually useful for you personally

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet idk maybe it's a location thing but here everyone uses "special" in a mostly positive way, so "special interest" as a word doesn't have a problem for me, I take it to mean an interest that is "special" (as in greater or better or specific, the good definition lol). My problem is that NTs found a way to pathologise having hobbies properly!

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet
"Really interested" or "passionate about" maybe? "Really into"?

re: question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet Hobby? "Special interest" is just a (largely reclaimed) medicalist term for a hobby when an autistic person does it.

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet hyperfixation?

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet "I'm a [interest] nerd"? I really like reclaiming "nerd", but it might not be for everyone.

question for other autistic folk 

@hoppet Depending on what you mean, it could be "area of expertise," "current obsession," "guilty pleasure," or other terms that people take much more positively.

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