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Featured Aspergers Terminology Rant

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Beguiling Orbit, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Beguiling Orbit

    Beguiling Orbit Neurotribe Champion V.I.P Member

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    One of the things I like about this forum is that we are allowed to get things off our chest (usually) without (too many) repercussions. So here goes:

    I can't stand the term "special interest." It sounds so condescending, like we are barely capable of functioning as humans — as if our existence is to be merely tolerated:

    "Oh, don't mind Billy Bob. His special interest is shiny things. I just wish he didn't get so worked up about them. He just goes on and on, especially when he attaches one to a string and spins it. I'm really at my wit's end about the whole thing."

    I much prefer using the term "passion." It makes it seem that we have attained a level of profundity that is to be admired by others:

    "Wow, Billy Bob! You are really into shiny things! How did that become your passion? And I love how that one you've attached to a string makes those cool reflections on the wall when you spin it. It's like a disco ball!"

    I know I shouldn't get worked up about it, but I do sometimes. Maybe I just drank too much Pibb Xtra today. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. (And don't even get me started about the term "Aspergian." Blegh.)
     
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  2. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    (humor)

    Inbound repercussion in four, three, two,... one .....
     
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  3. Katleya

    Katleya A bit of an acquired taste V.I.P Member

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    First things first, happy birthday, @Beguiling Orbit!

    As for the term "special interest", I'd never considered it from that angle, but now that I think about it... maybe the connotation behind "special" gives it this condescending twist?

    Now, Aspergian... I'm all for people coining terms that mean something to them, but I'll keep on not using it, because it feels weird and sounds like Merovingian.

    Don't get me started on "Aspergirls", though, it's so belittling to use that for adult women.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    "Special Interests" to me will always first and foremost refer to lobbyists on Capitol Hill.

    Whether they are on the spectrum or not. ;) :p
     
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  5. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    I really want to do some jokey insults at the moment....
    But. I'm a bit tired...

    So Could you please insert your own versions of patronising insults?

    Starter words :
    Delicate flower
    Handkerchief
    Fainting

    That kind of thing :)
     
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  6. dragoncat16

    dragoncat16 Active Member

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    Aspergian - isn't that a citizen of Aspergia?

    Yeah, I always feel weird when someone talks about a "special interest". I like "passion", but "current obsession" is more accurate, for me, anyway.

    In another thread I also expressed some dislike of the word "neurotypical" because "typical" is another word for "normal", and I proposed "neuromajority" instead, as it doesn't imply superiority in either group.
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Sounds familiar. :eek: Didn't that flop on Broadway last year ? :p
     
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  8. Ragnahawk

    Ragnahawk Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Try Narrow Interest. It's more accurate. Just because you have an interest in something doesn't make it "special". Maybe to someone. Not for everyone. Special interest is just a biased observation assuming it is special ed, or special important.
     
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  9. Beguiling Orbit

    Beguiling Orbit Neurotribe Champion V.I.P Member

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    Yes! I was hoping all the closet comedians would start riffing off my post. Success!
     
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  10. Katleya

    Katleya A bit of an acquired taste V.I.P Member

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    Dammit, the audition was held on one of those days when I'm not in a punny mood, and now I feel like I missed the call.
    Oh well, back to my closet I go. It needs some organizing anyway.
     
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  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Let's face it. Comedian Dana Carvey put quite a spin on the word "special" some time ago. :eek:

     
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  12. Haiku

    Haiku they/them/theirs

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    I'm with you, I dislike this term. "Special interest" falls in line with terms like "special education" and "special needs". I prefer "perseverative interest", "preferred interest", even "restricted interest" (among professionals), etc... but "special interest" is neither informative nor polite, so it fails on both marks for me.
     
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  13. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member

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    I agree! It is like if you are great at Physics and NT , then it's awesome, like you have a career and can do stuff. If you are Non-NT, it changes everything. Oh, so and so ? Yeah, they are smart and all, yeah....great at physics and all, but you know.......

    Changes everything!!
     
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  14. pjcnet

    pjcnet Well-Known Member

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    The thought never crossed my mind before, but I agree that passionate would be a better word to use, well done!

    PS: Happy Birthday! :D
     
  15. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    I had just been so glad to find a term for my obsessive interests that I hadn't thought of about the phrase itself....yeah, it does sound kind of pathetic in a way. And with that parent example you gave - it sounds like some euphemism frustrated parents would use to describe the passion they found so dreadfully confusing/bewildering/annoying in their autistic child.
     
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  16. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    Happy Birthday :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I honestly think of the word typical in a negative way not in a positive way
     
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  18. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    It ranks right in there with a ride on the "short bus." The special ed bus...

    Passion is cool... but defining passion starts unfolding a whole other emotional disconnect.
    Isn't ASD great? Most the time yes, today not so much.
     
  19. AspieWatchmaker

    AspieWatchmaker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hear you man. I was fortunate to be able to channel my interests into a good career, and a lot of the time when I tell people about aspergers and how I'm able to do what I do it will devalue my accomplishments in their eyes. What does it matter if a medical condition makes some things harder or easier? An accomplishment is an accomplishment.
     
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  20. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hate terms: you are an obsessive person and an anxious person. I know what they mean, but it seems so demeaning!
     
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