I wanted to write an honest blog post all about my focused interests. But before I could do that I wanted to address my change in terminology.
I’ve replaced the word special with focused. From the outside looking in the term ‘special interest’ has a negative connotation and I wanted to change that.
From a Neurotypical lens the phrase special interests brings up a whole host of negative words including obsession, which is seen as a bad thing.
But in my eyes my interests bring me a huge amount of autistic joy, they are something I celebrate, not something I should be ashamed of.
Now, I’m not saying I created this, or that I coined the term ‘focused interests’ because honestly I have no idea if anyone uses/used it before I started talking about it. I genuinely have no clue.
But I’m here and I’m going to use it. It came about when I was trying to define Autism for my PhD. I wanted a definition that matched my views, that reflected how I see Autism as an Autistic adult.
That is when I decided to replace the word special and restricted to focused. To add a different pleasant word, to change the narrative. I wanted to use my voice to promote positive change.
With that I started using focused interests in place of special. And from here on out it is what I will be choosing to use.
Disclaimer: again, as stated I’m not saying I coined this term, because I honestly don’t know if anyone else did, I have no idea. I just wrote it and came up with it when writing my new (own) definition for my studies.
And as always, stay awesome!