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Multiple Special Interests

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by total-recoil, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. total-recoil

    total-recoil Well-Known Member

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    I was reading the other night on the subtle differences between HFA and Aspergers. This is because I strongly suspect I have HFA and not Aspergers, although as a non psychologist I can never be absolutely certain. Anyway, it turns out one of the subtle differences mentioned is that people with HFA usually have mutliple special interests whereas aspies usually have just the one. Maybe here people will blow this theory and post that indeed, despite aspeger diagnosis, they have more than one "special interest".
    Anyway, here are my multiple special interests and this is really quite amusing. I put them in order of rank, importance and time spent on them:
    (1) Music. Making my own tracks, playing keyboard, doing covers of artists and learning to sing. Aspirations to publish my material or even make a group.
    (2) Audio engineering with emphasis on tube technology as used in Marshall amps, vintage radio. However, I do dabble in semiconductor electronics to a small degree.
    (3) Marine electrics, including some mechanical engineering but mostly interest covers how to effectively wire up boats to run lights, pumps, inverters and so on.
    (4) Sport. I used to do weights but these days seem to be getting back into cycling and in the past I used to read up a lot on Tour De France and follow the big riders like Armstrong and Indurain.
    (5) Interest in facts regarding people. I can spend hours just researching some movie star or musician. I don't know why but certain people or maybe even the cast of a series I watched as a kid fascinate me. For example, I know quite a bit about the cast of Lost In Space but have no idea at all why I feel fascinated enough to learn about their background. Maybe there is some connection I have to certain people.
    I tend to try and juuggle all these interests together which, as you can imagine, is almost impossible. I make a point of devoting more time to the primary interests and kind of hope I can keep the others going on any free, rainy day.
    In some ways, having so many special interests can exhaust me.
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I've had very similar concerns myself. However hasn't the DSM5 in their infinite wisdom re-categorized both into a single spectrum of autism? As a consequence, I'd think our concerns have become somewhat of a moot point.
     
  3. total-recoil

    total-recoil Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but that is getting deep because
    I guess I still prefer to stick with the former diagnosis made by Hans Asperger and that there are slight differences between Aspergers and HFA, typically seen in the reading delay at school. I definitely had this problem and recall people were worried over the fact I seemed slow to pick up reading.
    Also I'm not exactly sure autism hasn't been looked at from a whole new perspective but that's a whole new thread in itself.
     
  4. King_Oni

    King_Oni Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think even an actual psychologist might sometimes do a bit of guessing and assuming when it comes to HFA or Asperger's. I mean; there's a lot of aspie in me, yet not everything I do falls under the aspie umbrella as such. Some stuff even was totally not aspie (my lack of structure and my. at times, extrovertness)

    Like you I have a few special interests I spend time on and they're not that related much like yours (even though, I guess if you were to dig deep enough there's probably a connecting aspect in all of it).

    What my issue tends to be is that I do things in phases. Currently I'm a bit more into my painting and modelling (wargaming miniatures) phase and spend a lot of resources on that. My creative hobbies are laying low now. Though I know when I pick up my guitar and get to that I won't do a lot of painting and I'm recording and making demos 16 to 20 hours a day. Writing would be a similar thing, as is illustration and graphic design.

    I do have a small interest in the passive hobbies. I still read up on music theory every now and then, I still analyze songs I like, but it's not nearly as active then when I'm actually... well pursuing this activity "actively".

    What I have found to be a good tool to distribute my skills and interests is to pack it all together in a project of sorts. It's something I would enjoy more. Writing songs because I like to write songs is only half as interesting to me, as when I can write songs in a certain context. An example would be; writing a story about a travelling musician, then making an illustration where he is playing in the streets and finally writing the actual song he would be playing in this image/scene. That's how I would tie interests together; but I'm quite sure getting involved to that extreme is a bit daunting for most people... but that's how I find motivation and the interest to distribute my interests in equal shares (the fact that these parts together don't really warrant a healthy lifestyle with enough sleep and obsessive interest does keep you out of a job or social interaction is a different deal alltogether though, lol).
     
  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I did well in reading as a child. However I also didn't even begin speaking until I was four years old. Spent a lot of time at that age by myself as well. While formally undiagnosed, I'm just comfortable with the notion that I'm on the spectrum, however professionals decide to split hairs over it.

    If I ever do decide to seek a formal diagnosis, it does make me wonder about how much medical knowledge I may or may not know that I impart to a physician examining me. Perhaps the less said, the better? It concerns me...I'd hate to "compromise" my own diagnosis. Know what I mean?
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  6. Ereth

    Ereth Well-Known Member

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    Isn't Asperger's just a term related to high-functioning autism? That's my understanding of things, at least.
     
  7. Spinosaurus kin

    Spinosaurus kin Well-Known Member

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    Technically the DSM-V no longer diagnoses Asperger's syndrome or PDD-NOS and is now under Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Theoretically, the only thing differentiating Asperger's from other forms of autism is speech. Asperger's is the only disorder where there are no speech difficulties as a child. On average, autistics who have no developmental speech issues are more likely to be high-functioning (although I understand that term is arbitrary at best) and so that stereotype came along with it. So yeah, it is just HFA, with no childhood issues with speech on top.
     
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  8. Ereth

    Ereth Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm aware of the DSM revision. I'm just using the term Asperger's as it applies within the context of this discussion.

    Thanks for the details---that's what I thought.
     
  9. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    I prefer the former distinction between autism and aspergers? Why? Because if I am high-functioning autism, or if i am on the upper end of the autistic spectrum, how do I refer to those who even previously would have simply been called autistic? Low functioning autism? lower end of the spectrum? That just sounds so insulting, and I don't want to use language like that.
    I ran into this exact issue recently when talking to the father of an autistic young man. If I said I was high functioning autism, would it be as if I was implying that his son was low-functioning? I would rather just say I have Aspergers and So-and-So has autism.
     
  10. tlc

    tlc Well-Known Member

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    Good to know, I didn't know that. I too thought Aspergers and HFA were the same thing, but was confused when I joined and both were given as choices. Leads me to believe I am more HFA because I did have speech problems and was regularly sent to a speech therapist. In my mind I never knew why I had to go, I was just me, but it must have been something pretty considerable, coming from parents who never wanted to believe there was anything wrong with their kid.
     
  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Personally I think there's just too much overlap between the two in seriously differentiating one from the other.

    At least in this respect I can see the logic in the DSM5 incorporating multiple conditions into "Autism Spectrum Disorder".
     
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  12. Spinosaurus kin

    Spinosaurus kin Well-Known Member

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    My parents were the same. Took a lot of arguments to get anywhere close to getting diagnosed
     
  13. total-recoil

    total-recoil Well-Known Member

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    It's a smart move to not tie yourself totally to music as a sole interest. I always figured a lot of the best musicians only peaked at a given point in time. I mean, Brian Wilson had about 5 years of excellence and then just burned out. Sometimes you need something to fall back on. A peak just tends to happen when it wants.
    Actually I am so keen on music, motivation is never an issue so I have to force myself to follow my other special interests to keep a balance. I even do music as a kind of reward for having devoted time to other special interests where I have to be far more disciplined to do the work. Like last night, I may well have wanted to play keyboard and work on songs but instead I disciplined myself to study diesel engine mechanics. The night was spent going through a workshop manual and visiting engineering forums for tips and hints.
    On the quiet phases I may do lyrics while walking the dog. I sort of hate doing lyrics but will walk around with the dog totally absorbed trying to get words to fit to a beat and with other words.
    One problem I do have is I am so wrapped up in these special interests I've no desire to work or be distracted from a need to keep learning more.