Could you maybe explain the difference between what a special interest and a hyperfixation is to me? I recently figured out that I probably have minor ADHD, and these two terms seem really similar sometimes, but special interest seems like it's used more in the autistic community, and I don't want to intrude by using a term meant for a specific group by generalizing.
Hello! I’ll try to explain as best as I can! I will be covering the terms: Special Interest, Hyperfixation, and Hyperfocus in this! #longpost
Additionally, I will be discussing their mutual use in Autistic and ADHD circles, and talk about whether or not any of the terms are exclusive to one or the other.
Special Interest (SI):
To have a deep, intense, passionate and incredibly focused/narrowed interest in a certain area of study, subject, topic or thing - to the exclusion of other interests. This interest is something that exists for the long-term, most often lasting for multiple months, years, or even you’re entire life! Less commonly they’ll last a couple weeks, but that’s just as valid as others!
“Special interest”defines the interest, and the degree of our involvement/commitment to it!
SI’s are usually very studious-oriented, and I don’t mean this as in they’re academic, but as in we want to learn everything there is to know about them! We’ll research and gather information for hours upon hours just for the enjoyment doing so brings!
SI’s are also typically sensual experiences as well - positive ones! They overwhelm our senses with joy and happiness, fill us with such enthusiastic and heart-wrenching emotion! We Autistic folk often have SI-related stims!
Allistics might look down upon our passion for our SI because it is something inconsequential to them, like ladybugs, but we love it anyway!
Debatable*. But to be safe, it would be wise to assume that it/the term is Autistic-exclusive! If you are neither Autistic or ADHDyou definitely should not use the term!
*Some people think it should be exclusive due to the historical-presence of the term predominantly in Autistic communities, and others believe it to be experienced by both Autistic and ADHD people - Autism and ADHD are “sister” developmental disabilities/disorders, and there is a lot of overlap. Overall, though, ‘special interest’ is most commonly used in Autistic-circles!
With some believing that special interests are Autistic-exclusive, @deathbecoming wanted to prevent the appropriation of the term and instead created one that could be used by allistic neurodivergent people to describe their experiences similar to special interests, etc..
Created only for use by those who are developmentally, intellectually, and/or mentally disabled.
Though it wasn’t the original intent, the term “hyperfixation” has kind of evolved specifically into a verb for the act/subject of ‘hyperfocus,” which has then led many to believe that it is ADHD-exclusive – this is not the case!
To focus intensely on something for a short-term period of time without break to the exclusion of all other things — This is to the point that you won’t process what’s going on around you, adhere to your bodily functions/needs (sleep, hunger, using the restroom), homework/tasks, your hobbies/interests, etc..
One of the reasons why Hyperfocus is often attributed as ADHD-exclusive is due to its unpredictability — You may not always have control or awareness over what you’re hyperfocusing on, or even that you are, it can just happen.
Neurodivergent people only! Both ADHD and Autistic people can definitely use this term, and it is most predominantly used in those circles! While Neurotypical people can experience a similar thing to hyperfocus, it is most often called “Being in The Zone” or “Getting Into the Flow” and isn’t the same thing.
Used most in Autistic circles, in reference to Autistic people
Describes the type of interest (very intense, passionate, and narrow)
Describes our commitment to it (long-term commitment, ranging from months to lifelong, to the exclusion of other interests)
Used only by those who with mental, learning, or developmental disabilities
Used by anyone who is Neurodivergent, most often seen in Autistic/ADHD circles
To focus intenselyto the exclusion of all other things(includes bodily functions/needs, processing of the world around you, etc.)
A short-term commitment, typically lasting under 10 hours and not always by choice
As you’re ADHD you can definitely use the terms Hyperfixation and Hyperfocus! If, after reading this, you think the term Special Interest applies to you, you can use it as well! Just be aware that some people may disagree with your use of it!
Note: Additionally, I think it is good to tell you that ADHD cannot be “minor” or “severe” — You’re either ADHD or you’re not! It may be more difficult or easier for someone to manage how their ADHD symptoms positively or negatively impact their life, but that is a different thing!
This “Scale of Functionally” (in comparison to Neurotypicals) doesn’t truly exist, and believing that it does is actually quite problematic and harmful.It is often weaponized — Used to invalidate and discredit the experiences of other ADHD people, make one seem “better” or “lesser” (more/less Neurotypical) then the other, decide who isn’t or is “truly worthy” or resources, etc..
I do not say this to insult or hurt you, though! As you are just now discovering that you’re ADHD it is only logical that you would not be aware of all the little intricacies like this. I do not blame you!
Overall, thank you for being both so self-aware and considerate to send this message! It goes to show how kind you are that you wish to educate yourself to make sure you’re respectful of others and the terminology for their disabilities/etc.. Good job!
“Well that escalated quickly” you sighed
sat on the side on the road, surrounded by all the suit cases from the various
cars you were traveling in. This was meant to be a family trip and by family
trip you meant a bunch of mutant misfits that had been shoved into cars while Professor
X proclaimed ‘This is going to be a great opportunity for you all’. It was nice
he wanted to give us the same experiences as other children but we weren’t like
You looked around again at the various
different suit cases that were on fire, along with Professor X’s car.
“Why are we still sitting here?” Peter whined annoying
holding his arms restlessly.
“Because someone thought it would be a great
idea to wear Scotts glasses!” You snapped back.
“Hey!” he shot back just as quick “That wasn’t my
fault okay, I didn’t know he could do that”
“Children please” Professor X pleaded pinching
the bridge of his nose in despair of his vintage car he was so clearly fond of,
while Scott stood there just wishing the life would put him put his misery.
“Oh yea? What did you think those were for?”
you whispered to Peter through gritted teeth.
“I don’t know, I just thought the guy was cool”
You scoffed, as if. Everyone saw Scott destroy the tree in the yard when Alex
brought him here.
“And you just wanted to be cool, huh? Says the guy wearing pacman pajama pants”
“Scott burnt my pants! And these are a classic”
“Classic if your five maybe” You grumbled under
your breath. You layed back on the grass, we were going to be here for a long
time and you’d had just enough of Peter Pacman pajama pants.
Hey Finn! A relative of mine has just come out as trans (ftm) and I'm wondering if you can give me any advice on how best to help him and support him? I don't get to see him very often but it's important to me that he knows how much I love him and want to be there for him, especially as I know he's having trouble with his parents and the older members of the family regarding his transition. Thanks in advance for any wisdom you can share!
The best thing you can do is let him know you’re there for him, and listen to him. It also meant a lot to me when my friends did a little bit of research into trans stuff, because that showed they really cared about me. If you’re interested, you could check out some ftm youtubers such as ty turner, cameron russo, skylar kergil, etc to get an idea of what he may be in for. Good luck with everything and I hope your relative has a smooth transition :)
so in the ISNASK john says that his mom makes him go to every school dance but in IDWTKY a mildly big deal is made about the dance john attends with marci being his first one. do you have an explanation for this? or were you hoping we wouldn't notice? ;)
I’ve been sitting here trying to remember what I meant when I wrote that, and I think I meant that it was his first dance with a girl.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I made a mistake there. It happens, although my assistant @mysoulrunswithwolves usually catches those, so who’s really to blame here?
Im not sure whether you meant it seriously or not but.. i accepted your challenge and drew the clunk…. Not the most extravagant design but this was what came to my mind when imagining it :’-}
Oh my gosh I love them so much!!! This is so great, I love their sweet ol face, I love all the beautiful detail, I love their lil computer station, thank you so much for showing me this it absolutely made my day!!! Take care and I hope you have a wonderful day friend!!
Percy makes friends at a college party, but her intentions aren’t what he expects.
“Oh, thanks!” Percy smiles as the girl - Cassie? Casey? He thinks it’s Cassie, but the music was so loud when she introduced herself he couldn’t quite hear - hands him a fresh cup. “Just Coke, right?”
“Yeah,” she says, matching his smile with her own. “Though I still don’t get why you’re not drinking.”
He tries to subtly sniff the drink before taking a sip, just to be sure. It smells okay. “Not a fan,” he says by way of explanation, taking a small sip.
Cassie tags a swig from her own cup, gagging slightly as the vodka hits her throat. “Yeah,” she coughs, “I can - ah, I can understand that.”
He laughs, and she laughs too, and when Percy settles back against the wall she comes and stands next to him.
She nods out at the crowd and says, “So, what do you think of the party?”
“It’s pretty fun,” he says, which is mostly true. He’d prefer to be back in his dorm, snuggled up in bed with Netflix on in the background and Annabeth curled up beside him. But, as far as college parties go, he thinks this one is all right. The music isn’t terrible, at least. “Although, to be honest, I don’t have that much experience with parties so I’m probably not the best judge.”
Cassie turns to him with a knowing look. “I thought you were shy, hanging out by yourself over here with that brooding expression.”
“Brooding?” he says, lips quirking up.
“Well, you’re not brooding now. But you totally were before.”
This whole thing, it was so stupid, and it made Annabeth feel stupid, and she wasn’t stupid, she was smart, gods damn it, so why couldn’t she do this? She should have been able to do this.
She only realised she was crying when a tear splashed on to the page of her textbook, blurring the black letters printed on the white page. That tear falling felt like conceding defeat, and soon enough she was crying in earnest, sobbing hard enough that the words became even less intelligible than they’d already been.
She put her head down on the book and let herself cry, feeling terribly stupid and sorry and frustrated. Her whole face felt hot, flushed with anger and annoyance - at this essay, at herself, at the fact that she was a daughter of the goddess of wisdom and she couldn’t seem to write a simple fucking essay.
When the door to her room opened she instinctively straightened, grabbing her dagger and spinning in her seat to face the intruder. When she saw who it was she immediately collapsed back onto the desk, face first, letting her dagger fall to the floor.
She heard Percy shut the door behind himself. There were a few soft footsteps, and then a gentle hand on her shaking shoulder and a quiet question. “Annabeth, hey, what’s up?”