Why I'm Proud of My Special Interests

At age 8, whenever someone would ask me about my interests, I’d respond with, “life during the 1800s.” Unlike other children, I found adventure through reading classical literature, and I marveled over the lifestyle of the age. Once, I surprised my mother by claiming, “I do not prefer Dickens.” My favorite TV show was “Little House on the Prairie.” I saved up my allowance to purchase an abundance of old-fashioned dresses. All my dolls lived the lifestyle one would during the Laura Ingalls days. The reality of the modern age brought despair to me, and I longed for a time machine that could allow me to sense the joy of the age outside of my mind’s eye. 

Now, it’s airships. Most assume I enjoy it because I am a “Steampunk” or simply a “Geek,” which may not be entirely false. What they do not realize is that I own notebooks full of my planning on how I may one day soar the skies as the captain of a small-sized zeppelin. 

I hear of people with wonderful-sounding interests all the time. It stretches from Leonardo da Vinci to Gothic fashion. They seem to find ways to use their special interests to create wonderful, magical things. They tend to know more about these interests than many other people do. There is sometimes a tendency to make fun of people who do not think the same way as “normal.” This finds its way to those with special interests. For example, instead of skateboarding, one child wishes to build his own jetpack. He knows all about the past and present history of them and some day will become their future. Yet if the child is called a “nerd” and “weird,” he might rethink his idea. The wonder of the future could be rewritten and fall away simply because one kid is not allowed to be creative. 

Special interests are a special thing, and I’m proud of them. They can lead you to places no one else dares to go. Interests can carry people toward ideas and an abundance of knowledge and creativity. Never doubt these special interests.

 We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Pieces of Advice for Employers Working With Someone on the Autism Spectrum

The Mighty teamed up with Autism Society to ask our readers for one piece of advice they’d offer employers about working with people with autism. This is what they had to say. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_dPs4FPb0_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/dPs4FPb0.json","ph":2} );   Read the full story.

Before My Autism Diagnosis: Being the Little Girl Looking Out the Window

If I could take a single snapshot of myself as a child, it would be of me as a little girl looking out the window, watching the children play. A child wishing to join in, but too afraid to step outside and ask, “Can I play?” Maybe if she had asked, they would have let [...]
Boy using Google Street Maps view on iPad

How My Son on the Autism Spectrum Uses Google Maps to Communicate

If there is one thing my son Isaac has taught me in the last eight years, it is this: Communication is much more than words. Isaac has autism. He is nonverbal and has global delay, significant learning difficulties and NF1. For a few years now, he has taught himself to communicate via Google Street View [...]

10 Things I Wish People Knew About My Autism

A woman shares 10 things she wishes people knew about her autism while debunking misconceptions. Read the full version of 10 Things I Wish People Knew About My Autism.