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Undiagnosed - Part Eight

Special Interests
I guess one of the main reasons I have some doubts about having AS is that I don’t seem to have a special interest. I would love to have one actually but I don’t have the attention to stick to any one thing. When I was younger I was really interested in computers, I used to get books from the library and try to learn as much as I could about them, this was when I was 13 or 14 when most of my friends were doing more typical things teenage boys do. I loved the acronyms, learning about computers was really about memorizing acronyms and there are plenty of them to learn. CPU, ROM, RAM, HDD, FDD, SIMM’s, DIMM’s, DDR and the list is really endless. I spent my teenage years and most of my twenties in front of a computer screen trying to learn new things like web design, programming and networking. It was fun, I loved it actually but I don’t think I would call it a special interest because as the years went on my interest waned and now, although I still spend a huge amount of time at my computer, I mostly use it for entertainment.

Over the years I’ve had many different interests and hobbies and the pattern is that I get intensely interested for a short amount of time and then, almost like a flicked switch, my interest is gone and I’m onto something new, usually having wasted a lot of money. Every now and again I become interested in fishing, it’s a fun, quiet, solitary hobby but usually after a few months of fishing as much as I possibly can I just become bored and want to do something else. I’ve done the same thing time and time again. I wanted to learn guitar so for a bout 6 months to a year all I did was read about guitars online, watch videos online, look at guitars online and eventually spent a small fortune on several guitars. I learned a few chords but I was finished with it inside a year. I did the exact same thing for mountain biking, became obsessed with it for about a year, spent a small fortune and I was done. Sometimes it’s music, I have a love hate relationship with music as most of it is generic rubbish but every now and again I’ll find a singer or band that I like and I’ll just listen to them over and over again. When I discovered I liked Johnny Cash I listened to him constantly, I just wasn’t interested in listening to anything else. And then of course I’d need to buy books about Johnny Cash and read them too. One of the reasons I wanted to learn guitar so much is that I became obsessed with Guns ‘n Roses, I would listen to their albums on repeat it didn’t bother me at all to listen to the same songs over and over again.

Repetition has played a big part in my life, I listen to the same music over and over again, I watch the same TV shows and films over and over again and I even read the same books, I find it really hard to try new things which is why when I do find something new that I like I tend to become obsessed with it even if it is only for a short period of time. Even my eating habits tend to follow this pattern, when I find something that I like to eat I try to eat it everyday and I probably would but of course I just get bored of it eventually.

Some smaller traits.
  • I’ve just never been very good with my hair. When I was younger I was always styling my hair a certain way to fit in with everybody else that was doing it but as I got older I just got fed up with it. It was unpredictable, everyday it would look different, it wouldn't sit right so I eventually just shaved it off. I know this seems silly but I’ve read that people with AS typically complain that they just can’t seem to manage there hair.
  • I also think I speak with a monotone voice which is an AS thing, several people have made comments about the way I speak.
  • I used to make throat noises when I was younger but I grew out of it eventually.

  • I hate tight clothes, I’ve quit jobs before over the uniforms I was required to wear. They were either to tight or I didn’t like the feel of it on my skin. I only like to wear certain colours and usually only loose clothes. I need to wear a shirt and tie to my current job and I'm miserable all day long I sometimes don’t know why I’m so miserable as in many ways my job is great so I wonder if is actually the clothes that are making me feel so bad.

  • When I’m in a comfortable setting, I can be a complete open book, I’ll tell you anything about me. The comfortable settings are rare though.

  • When I’m extremely stressed my instinct is to revert to silence, I get to a point where it seems impossible to even speak. I think this is called a silent shutdown.


So do I have Asperger Syndrome? I still can’t really decide whether I have it or not. I did the Autism Spectrum Quotient Test and scored a 37 out of 50 which apparently indicates that I have significant autistic traits. Hopefully I can get some feedback from somebody who reads this.

Do I have Asperger Syndrome


I would say you do have Autistic traits or have Asperger's but I'm not an expert. In a sense it doesn't matter. The discovery that you might is enough for most people. A different way of saying that is: if you can relate to the people on this website, then it's more important that you relate to the people here than having had a formal diagnosis.

I'm quite interested in your obsessive nature. I see this in a lot of people who have Autism or Asperger's, including myself. It also happens with people who are manic depressive, although their obsession doesn't last as long. What is ironic however is that for people who are manic depressive their obsession lasts such a short amount of time that they are mostly frustrated that they don't feel they have any legitimate obsessions at all. You can't learn piano in a month. What's even more interesting is that people who are obsession because they are Autistic tend to get very very close to their obsession being useful, but just not close enough.

To me an obsession is useful when you can use it to stay engaged with life and with other people. Or even if it simply if it entertains or fulfills you. But sadly most of use get close to that but move on to something else (you're not the only one). Personally I make my obsessions just slightly useful before moving on, but not nearly close enough to help me in any way. I can do a lot of difficult things 75% but nothing 100%. It has given me joy and intense lifelong frustration. I can sculpt, contact juggle, paint, write fiction and science, do science, engineering, but only almost professionally, not actually.

Sorry mate, I don't have an answer for you other than to say a lot of people here are struggling with the same.

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