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Having Special Interests/SpIns is essential for Autistic/ND self-preservation

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

Introduction to Special Interests (SpIns)


How SpIns help Autistic and ND persons as a form of radical self-care and acceptance

How Autistic and ND SpIns are perceived

“It doesn’t look age appropriate!”

“It isn’t normal nor how boys/girls act!”

“I refuse to understand this intense obsession you need to get over yourself from!”

“Your obsession is concerning/unhealthy!”

How has having SpIns helped both Autistic and ND persons in terms of mental health and their own sense of self-confidence?

Imagine that you’re Autistic and/or ND in a social setting. It can be at any place, in any social gathering (i.e., think of cosy cafes to a friend’s house). Your SpIns are something that aids you in personal growth (no, not the mainstream bullshit that’s the self-help industry) and also increases your sense of belonging in a social group you’re a part of. So, when you’ve got a shared interest with someone (let’s say a friend or relative you trust, or a peer), you’re provided with a sense of belonging that wasn’t there before. This sense of belonging not only is a feeling that plenty of Autistic and ND persons struggle with, but something constant for us because of how neurotypical-centric society is.

How Masking also affects how Autistic and/or ND persons engage in their SpIns

What’s Masking

  • stress and anxiety (higher in ND and Autistic persons who mask a lot)
  • depression (people who mask themselves have reported symptoms of depression and a lack of acceptance from people in their personal lives)
  • exhaustion (masking can deplete large amounts of storage from a person’s spoons [for chronically ill persons], battery, energy, and/or fuel)
  • delaying identifications for autism (some folks are very good at masking their autism/autistic neurotypes and aren’t identified until they’re older; this can lead to mental health concerns because people are unable to receive the adequate support/understanding they need)
  • loss of identity (some folks end up masking themselves, their interests or their SpIns and traits end up feeling like they’re no longer themselves, but non-existent people expected of society to be as; some people express that masking feels like self-betrayal, while others share that masking makes them feel like they’re lying to people)
  • risk of burnout (when people continue to push themselves to behave in ways that no longer feel like their true selves, the consequence is an overwhelming feeling of being overloaded; it requires periods of silent withdrawal/isolation and recovery)
  • an increased risk of suicidal ideation for some ND and Autistic persons (masking may sometimes lead to feeling like you’re a burden to others, therefore leading to more thoughts of suicide over time)


Would you like it if you had your hobbies taken away from you just because society no longer deems them as ‘normal’? Would you also like it if you were forced to pretend to be someone else that you’re not/ Are you more than capable of dealing with feelings of self-betrayal, self-doubt, burnout, and feelings of wanting to end yourself as well?



This Publication is for all who are Autistic and for those of our kind. It is for the Neurodivergent, for those on the Spectrum of all Gender Identities, the LGBTQ*, and all others who are justifiably non-conformant to Society’s harmful marginalization and Ableist views of us.

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[They/He/Xe]|Autistic| This is a safe space for you to read in the comfort of your home! You can find my ko-fi at: