Not all Autistics have obsessions, but I am one of the ones who do. In my case people would consider them rather normal Dinosaurs as a child(somewhat now as well) horses, history, dogs, service dogs, learning about Autism, Harry Potter mainly Severus Snape and fanfics my rather guilty pleasure, and the tree house books through elementary school. If you are wanting to have a long conversation with me these are the best subjects. I can go into rather detailed explanations on the whys and hows.
Not every Autistic will have ”normal” and ”age appropriate” obsessions. Some will even be strange, weird, or freaky. Take for instance this little girl, who is the reason I am writing this blog post, and some of the reactions I saw from it both non-disabled and disabled some were even Autistic themselves.http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/cvs-ftw?bffbdiy&utm_term=.mxnOoZ1bD#.ijp7zK2oq
I am happy her mother threw her a CVS party. Not because I like the corporation( here in Chattanooga the parking lot is where accidents are common). I am happy because that is a parent of a Autistic little girl, who only want to make her child happy. She isn’t trying to fix her baby. She isn’t telling her how weird she is. Nor is she making her feel different, or bad about being different.
My own mother tried to do things like this when my obsessions when things were “normal” and mainly when I was a child, but as a adult she made feel bad about wanting to talk about the interesting thing I did, or learned about horses. Or how why did I have to talk about bloody service dogs (I wanted one long before I became blind, for my sensory issues, my general Pysch issues, and the issues I have had for a long time with my vision that were not legal blindness).
It means I might repeat things to you, and I don’t mean to (please just remind me if I have saves you trouble, and me). It means I just sometimes have to, and I mean have to tell you something, and I am sorry if you care nothing about it. It means I at times sound like a law book, even if I don’t mean to. It means that if you are willing to talk about one of my obsessions I might sound ”normal”, but when we talk about something else I will come off as strange or weird because I sound so different than before.
My obsessions are not super powers. While history might be helpful some if I choose to major in it( I don’t plan to have it as the only thing it will either be part of a double major, or my minor). It doesn’t mean I am more intelligent than NTs nero typicals, or Autistics with no obsessions. It simple means that I like these things more than anything else, it means my brain focuses on these things.
I will forever be the horse girl, the history buff, the service dog law quote-er. I am though no more no less like little Iris Gill. And as people laugh at the CVS girl I hope her and her mother know they are not alone. Happy late birthday Iris, and Sarah you are a wonderful mother.