Talents

Aspies usually have normal to high IQ and many are gifted in one or more areas.

SPECIAL INTERESTS

Special interests is one of the most common characteristics of an Aspie. Some alternate between favourite interests, others stick to the same one until they feel they have learned or done all they wanted in that area. Not every Aspie has special interests, gifts or talents, but a great many do. Many with ADHD do too.

“Mythologies and Mesopotamia are my special interests. Languages are also interesting, have besides English and German also studied Spanish, French and Turkish. Turkish is a wonderful language for those who are interested in linguistics!”

‘Pazuzu93’, female Aspie from Sweden

“My interests vary. New usually replace the old ones. Right now it is autism, physics (atom physics, optics and general physics) and to sew/knit. Previously I was into biology, math, optics, electronics, programming, various computer games. I also draw a lot.”

Matilda, Aspie from Sweden

“7-13 years of age:
* Sorting, systemising and organising: mom never had to tell me to clean my room; I was the nursery’s own little überführer.
* Books, books, books… read read read read read read read…
* Math…..
* Stamp collector of fantastic proportions.
* Geometry and patterns; find, memorise and internally visualise and play with patterns I discovered around myself…. still do; though not as intensively as when I was a child.

“13-34 years of age:
* Web programming; math and a bit of this and that has sneaked in.
* Chess: discovered it when I was 13; have been fascinated by it ever since; definitely my biggest interest today.”

‘DooM’, male Aspie from Sweden

PERSERVERANCE

Many Aspies have extraordinary perseverance and are able to hyper-focus intently on the same thing for hours, days, sometimes weeks on end, and keep up a special interest for years.

“I’m good at turning inwards and focus 100% on a task. I’m tenacious and persevering.”

Christoffer C, Aspie from Sweden

“I liked BIG and FUN projects when I was a kid, It took me 12 years to do a 2.5 feet by 36 foot mural using colored pencil. I did one segment a year for 12 years. It was of a mine tunnel. You could see coal cars in it, cross tunnels, fossils in the walls. I started it when I was 12.”

Tom, Aspie from USA

LOGIC

Not every Aspie fits the über-logical stereotype, but those who do have a very astute, original and sometimes humorous sense of logic.

“Is the glass half-full?

“This philosophy has bothered me for a long time, some of my friends take this question so seriously that it becomes bothersome, it’s a stupid question if a glass is either half-full or half-empty and they say if you think it’s half-full then you’re a positive person, and half-empty then you’re negative.

“My opinion:

“If you’re filling upp the glass then it’s half-full, if you’re emptying it then it’s half-empty, if it just sits there then it’s half-full because someone filled up half of if to give people something meaningless to think about.”

– Neko-chan, female Aspie from Sweden

LANGUAGE SKILLS

Apart from a dyslexic minority, Aspies often have a fascination with language and a much more advanced vocabulary than their peers. Important to an Aspie is to be able to express oneself with utmost accuracy and precision.

“I am very good at writing. I’ve always liked it. People usually compliment me on my language.”

‘Lilla Gumman’, female Aspie from Sweden

“I have a large vocabulary. I’m good at languages. I’m good at spelling, I think I’d make a good proof-reader.”

‘Alien’, female Aspie from Sweden

“I read quickly and have a large vocabulary. Both in Swedish and English.

Christoffer C, male Aspie from Sweden

“I’m very good at spelling. Always have been. I hear, when someone says a word, how it should be spelled. This goes for both Swedish and other languages. It is very easy for me to learn languages. I have a large vocabulary and good all-round knowledge of things. (Always win quiz games, which some find annoying. 😉 People call me a ‘living dictionary.’ Hmmm… I have a talent for writing and easily think up whole stories quickly in my head. Easily find rhymes and synonyms for words.”

Verbena’, female Aspie from Sweden

“I can spell any word in the English language and after seeing words once I know them. As a kid I learned the make of every car on the road and could name it from 200 yards away.”

Nick, Aspie from USA

“I’ve always been better at spelling than others. Regardless if it’s Swedish, English or German. Sometimes amuse myself by figuring out how French words and sentences are spelled and pronounced. Have never studied French, which makes it a challenge.”

– ‘KrigarSjäl’, male Aspie from Sweden

“I find that speaking is sometimes a hindrance because people say I talk like I am a doctoral dissertation legs. People find me hard to understand for that reason. But when I speak I want the precise word, not a word that comes near to the meaning I am looking for. Thus my vocabulary is quite extensive. From my point of view, it is irritating to talk to some people who do not use precise diction because their imprecise vocabulary tends to cloud their meaning and intent.”

– Tom, Aspie from USA

Much to our surprise and dismay, many of us discover that enthusiastically assuming the role of self-appointed language-police in various social situations, rarely gets met with the appreciation one expected…

MATH SKILLS

While some have trouble with math, others are extra skilled. Some have very good memory for numbers.

“My talents are spelled numbers. I can do head calculations very easily, have since an early age been able to multiply two-digit numbers, something most people can’t do, unfortunately there are computers and calculators who can do it even better so one doesn’t have much use for it:( Can also express itself in easily remembering birthdays, doesn’t matter how well I know the person, often it’s enough to have seen the birthdate once and I’ll remember it without effort, still remember most birthdays of classmates from junior high and high school although I don’t have any contact with either of these persons now (25 years old today).”

D.A., Aspie from Sweden

“I’m one of those geeks who wants long intricate mathematical calculations with only a bunch of Greek letters. Read math at university and that suits me. Differential equations are fun to dig one’s teeth into.

Kaks’, female Aspie from Sweden

“There was a case of me trying to calculate something at the dining room table during a discussion (and I multiplied three digits by three digits) and then the adding machine proved my numbers correct after dinner. Mom was stunned because this was the first time (in the 37 years of my existence) that she had ever seen me do something like that, even though I knew I had the skill for ages.”

Tom, Aspie from USA

“I’ve always had math as a special interest for as long as I can remember, and I made 5th in the finals of a Swedish math competition for senior high school students in 1979.”

Mats, Aspie from Sweden

PATTERN RECOGNITION

“When I was younger I enjoyed looking at stocks in newspaper – I would be able to predict which stocks would do well – looking back it was all about spotting patterns, but then again I also like reading the obituaries – yes, I was considered a weird child.”

Julie, Aspie from England

“I learned how to read the stock pages when I was in third grade or so. This happened one Saturday when I was tired of watching cartoons and found a stock market program. They explained it very clearly and the charts are very logical anyway. Now and then I watched the show again and learned a lot. Funny thing though, the adults were quicker to make fun of me than to listen to the stock advice. Too bad about that because some of them really turned out well, Microsoft being one of them. Imagine buying it back in the early 1980’s.”

William, adult Aspie from USA

“Sure, we are darned good at details. E.g. to notice that something is wrong. My brother is renovating a house and I’ve helped him when I discover faults from my point of view. I think it is our need for structure/symmetry that helps us spot deviations and indirectly affect our minds.

“I am stuck in a horse/racing interest. I love to analyse a race in advance. To be able to foresee events. If you have calculated correctly you gets ecstatic. It can be who is quicker at the start for example. This is one of my special interests. One reads winning statistics, rearing and pedigrees. Which horses work best in which positions etc. Has stored in memory that this horse was in top condition last year at the same time. I don’t think it is any coincidence that I won five-figure sums 4 times during a 3 week period. I was perfectly clear which horses had the greatest chance of winning. I’ve been called ‘The Racing Professor’ at work because of my knowledge. Sometimes it pays.”

‘Dumle’, male Aspie from Sweden

“I seem to have in innate ability to combine statistics and probability with intuition. And if it looks as though somebody is taking an action that is going to lead them in a certain direction, then I can spot it right away based upon the data I have previously witnessed, accumulated, and stored in my mind. There are many instances of my ‘predicting’ (extrapolating) that things will happen and then seeing them come true.”

Tom, Aspie from USA

“I am good at spotting patterns in pictures and text etc. Patterns that exist, one might add.”

‘Peter’, adult with AS- and ADHD-traits from Sweden

INVENTIVENESS & CREATIVITY

Some AS/HSP/ADHD people are creative, visionary and inventive.

“I am rather good at solving practical problems and often my solution is a little different. I also easily think of other functions for things than what they were originally meant for.”

‘Verbena’, female Aspie from Sweden

“When I was about 5, I thought up a device that would have been almost identical to TiVo – the thing that records tv shows and takes out the comercials.  However, being 5, I never mentioned it to anyone, and forgot about it for a while, untill someone else came up with the same idea.”

Laura, Aspie

I have always been full of ideas on practical solutions for how to improve and simplify things, designs or inventions I’d like to see etc. Many of them have become realised by others some years or decades later.

As a kid I dreamed of being an inventor and envisioned a helicopter hat to make you fly, and a boat which could mow reeds underwater. At 25 I thought of a make-up case in which you could stick any combination of colours you want and refill when your favourite colour runs out. Only a year or so later, Kanebo and ArtDeco did it almost exactly as I had envisioned. A toothbrush with replaceable brush head was another idea I had in the 80s, which now exists. Computers now function as I dreamed of back then, and cars finally look as they ‘should’ (although they still run on the ground, and on petrol.. *sigh*).

Unfortunately, I rarely find it worth the trouble to try and make anything of the ideas I get. All I have to do is wait and someone else will sooner or later do it instead…

Ing, site-author

OTHER TALENTS

“I’m good at programming. I’m generally good at most things to do with computers. I have good procedural memory (things you can do but may have difficulty explaining), semantic memory (memory for facts) and ’sound memory.’ I’m good att logical thinking. I’m good at various computer games (nothing to brag about perhaps).

Christoffer C, male Aspie from Sweden

“I am good at systematically analysing various interesting subjects I happen to become spontaneously interested in. Alas I’m bad at keeping the interest up and de facto doing something of those analysis. The subjects I’m best at learning and analysing are in philosophy and psychology. Perhaps it is mainly because I’m interested in them, but part of the interest is that I’m actually good at them.”

‘Peter’, adult with AS- and ADHD-traits from Sweden

“I’m great at optimising and make things more efficient. Almost always find the most easiest way of doing things, yes… when it’s something that interests me.

“I’m a whiz at knitting and crochet. I can knit a cap in an evening. A sweater may take a day. Then I may have to hurry a bit. 😀

“I’ve written half of a five point home exam for my ex – and got him through! I’ve never studied economy. Ever.”  <snip long list of other talents; linguistic, mathematical, technical etc.>

‘weasley’, female Aspie from Sweden

“I have good image memory, am good at proofreading information, good at building computers, good at English, photography, cooking, programming CNC, drawing in AutoCad, cost-calculation for furniture, accounting, training my dog, very good at writing all sorts of literature, water-colour painting, composing, very good at doing speeches, change clock-batteries & simpler clock-repairs, I sing well, have very rich imagination and broad knowledge of all types of religions.”

Tonzon, male Aspie carpenter, writer, artist, composer & programmer from Sweden

LINKS

Asperger’s Syndrome, Disability or Different Ability? by A.J. Mahari

Asperger’s: Making intelligence a disease by Colleen Clements

Is AS/HFA necessarily Viewed as a disability? by Simon Baron-Cohen

What is smart? by John Elder Robison

Autism and Computing by Dinah Murray & Co

What Asperger’s syndrome has done for us by Megan Lane

Stephen Wiltshire savant autistic artist who can draw whole cities from memory

Dr Donald A Treffert specialist on autistics with amazing savant skills

Incorrect Pleasures Referenced list of famous people with possible ASD

Autistic art & poetry links compiled by neurodiversity.com

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4 Comments »

  1. […] är https://insideperspectives.wordpress.com/. Jag kan börja med att länka till sidans artikel om talanger med citat som följande: Many Aspies have extraordinary perseverance and are able to hyper-focus […]

  2. Ing…Don’t put this comment through, or delete it if it posts please. But…You said if I ever published “Geo-213” you’d want to know.

    http://thomasdtaylor.wordpress.com/about-geo-213-the-lost-expedition/

  3. Tuz said,

    My interests include music, electronics, anything to do with Apple, debates (nothing specific, but I like to take the opposite side, whether I believe in what I argue or not, and convince the other debater to believe what I argue), and Bose products. I also enjoy reading published work and finding the grammar and punctuation errors; I read just to find these errors. I enjoy improving the speed and quality of mundane tasks; making minor adjustments to improve the flow of procedures and the outcomes. My newest interest is cooking eggs…all different ways.


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