Updated: May 1, 2020
One of the qualities common in the spectrum is an unusual fixation about certain topics or interests. But what makes an interest unusual or intense? Is being an enthusiastic fan of something unusual?
One thing I've noticed is that sometimes it's not the interest itself that is striking, but rather the way it is expressed.
Let's take sports as a common interest. While the general sports fan often enjoys favorite rivalries, childhood memories of sports and family connections, favorite players, and seeing records broken by outstanding coaching or athleticism.
What may be present for some in the spectrum is an intense interest in sports that lacks these relational qualities. For example, an ASD gentleman who loves baseball may use social media to post scores of his favorite sports during the games: Cubs 4, Cardinals 8, 5th inning; Brewers 0, Astros 3, 3rd inning.
Also, his interest doesn't involve inviting groups of friends over to cheer together or going with people to the game. There are no tailgate parties and friendly bets. His fascination with the game seems to lack common the quality of interpersonal sharing. There are no favorite teams or rivalries. There is no fascination with matchups, the stories of the players personal lives, and how coaching impacted the outcome of the game.