Why Your High-Functioning Autistic Child Obsesses About His "Special Interest"

More resources for parents of children and teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism:

 Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums in Asperger's Children

 Discipline for Defiant Asperger's Teens

 Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

 Launching Adult Children with Asperger's: How to Promote Self-Reliance 

 Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

 AudioBook: Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism

Kids with HFA will often learn a lot about the thing they are obsessed with, be intensely interested in it for a long time, and feel strongly about it. There are several reasons why they develop an obsession about one particular thing:

~ they get a lot of enjoyment from learning about a particular subject 

~ they find social interaction difficult and use their special interests as a way to start conversations and feel more confident in social situations

~ obsessions help them cope with the uncertainties of daily life

~ obsessions help them to calm down and relax

~ obsessions provide order and predictability

~ obsessions provide structure -- and they crave structure

~ for those with sensory sensitivities, obsessions help them reduce sensory input (e.g., focusing on one particular sound may reduce the impact of a loud, distressing environment)

~ obsessions help them to suspend unwanted, upsetting thoughts

~ because many kids on the autism spectrum "fail" socially being an "expert" on a particular subject helps them to feel a sense of power they would not feel otherwise

~ kids on the spectrum tend to think in fewer shades of grey, so when applied to favorite subjects, this can turn an interest into a passion

~ they believe their happiness depends on that one particular area of focus

~ in many cases, they believe the only thing they're any good at is their one favorite activity


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