When we are young and exploring the types of things we like, we often get fixated on a certain subject or topic.
We may know the names of all the original Pokemon, are able to recite the lyrics to our favorite song, or can name all the players on a specific sports team. This is normal for young kids. Their minds are at the height of wanting to learn and know all about the world.
When you reach K-12 age your interests get more serious. You have a better idea of what you like and do not like. Instead of knowing professional sports players names you may start playing a sport. At this stage it is still very normal for the kids to have fixated interests that are the main part of their lives.
But within the high school years, especially towards the end of high school, kids go through the biggest changes. For one, they turn into teenagers, gain more responsibility and fall into social groups. During this time teens continue to pursue the interests they have had since they were young and these interests might turn into their topic of study in college.
When I was in elementary school and middle school I fit in pretty well. I shared my peers interested and had a solid friend group. In middle school it got a bit harder but I still managed and was still in tune with my peers interests. In high school things got more complicated.
I still had my same interests from when I was eight while everyone else had moved on to more age appropriate interests. I still liked playing with Nerf guns while they became more interested in dating (which I was not interested in that at all).
I began to notice that the nature of my interests were not the only thing that differed from my peers. Whenever I found a topic that I was interested in I would research it until I knew everything possible about the subject. And whenever I would try to talk to people about my interest they would think it was weird for me to have all that knowledge on that one subject.
I have since learned that having Asperger’s gives me the ability to remember facts about topics and causes me to become fixated on those topics to the point where it is all I want to talk about.
In sophomore year of high school I discovered a TV show called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. I was immediately obsessed with it and watched all seven seasons within the span of a month. I started to research all I could about the actors in the show, I bought collectors merchandise, and I watched more of the shows Joss Whedon created. I would talk constantly about the actors and some of the major plot points.
Now that I am in college my interests have stayed the same. I still love “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and I occasionally play with Nerf toys. I have learned how to use my attention to detail and good focus to my advantage in my courses.
Some people see my fixation on certain topics as an imperfection of having Asperger’s. But I feel that it is more like a quirk that makes me unique. This quirk allows me to remember all sorts of things. My parents always come to me when they want to know a name of a celebrity because I can remember many celebrity names and faces. I love this aspect of having Asperger’s and I would not change it for anything.