September 4, 2017 at 9:57 pm #59667eliz2112Participant
Do any ADHD parents notice that their child has obsessive interests? My son watched the Lion King several months ago, and ever since he has been OBSESSED with lions…talking about them, drawing them, etc. Before that it was something else. He’s not on the autism spectrum, but he’s always become intensely interested in a subject. I guess this is the part of ADHD that is the hyper-focus part?
September 5, 2017 at 2:40 am #59668EerieParticipant
Hi, sorry I’m not an ADHD parent but an ADHDer, I have had obsessive interests since childhood continuing until now (I’m 21). When I was younger I would watch the same DVD’s so many times over that I could repeat every single word. When I was about 9 or 10 I watched Happy Feet so many times that I even learned the Spanish lines spoken by the Spanish penguins and even started to teach myself Spanish. From there I became so intensely interested in Spain and Spanish that I wrote a 56 page story (unfinished) which was set in a fictional universe called “Stain”, in which I had certain characters speak Spanish.
… Yeah haha I’m sure you will get responses from ADHD parents, but wanted to share my perspective also.
September 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm #59718
Same with my son he is so intrested in toy vechicles so whenever he talks,he draws,he colours that isabout vechicles only,In isupermarket n malls also he will go to toy vechicles section n will explore it for a long time without even looking at other things.Most of the time i find it so boaring.whenever someone asks which is his favourite colour he will ask which colour is faster,But i feel this is more of adhd than autism because he has set of friends n with them he interacts n participate in group games.besides these he has this fixed sort of topic of intrests like kidnapper story,his friends,sheep.90 percent he will talk,ask,see the videos about them only,
September 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm #59725Penny WilliamsKeymaster
It could be hyperfocus:
but… I’m not sure hyperfocus pinpoints one interest.
As you said, it’s a symptom of autism, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he meets the criteria for diagnosis.
You could certainly use this interest as an educational opportunity in all sorts of ways too.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
September 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm #61096
since my last post of 5th sept.my sons (6) obscession with toy vechicles has certainly increased. first he would select a vechicle at shopping portal,then after an hour or so he would think something is wrong in the vechicle giving excuses like design,speed,type etc,then again he would go on that portal and change the item from the cart.this was continuously for a week.then i suggested we would go to shop n select the vechicle, In a shop also he would explore for very long time then would suggest me other shop,like that we would go to 4 to 5 shops and finally after finding so many faults he would select a vechicle.He is extremely choosy and finds unreasonable and minute faults in almost all vechicles untill he settles for one.This thing is continuous till today.I have to bare all this because if i turned it down he would be violant,will start heating me,shouting n yelling n all the time peace and harmony of home would be at stake.plz advise if anyone has experienced sort of this and some tips how to manage it.ONCE HE GETS HIS VECHICLE,he is absolutely quiet n wellbehaved,but insists of keeping these vechicles in carry bag then clean it with some cloth and keep it in a position where it willbe clean n untouched.He plays very less with them ,its like a collection.Generally he forgets about these newly purchased vechicles within 2 days n then never wants to play with it.is it kind of ocd?
September 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm #61125deb91Participant
Have your doctor re-evaluate him. It could be OCD or the inflexibility and stereotyped interests of ASD. Are the rages due to inflexibility as found in ASD, or is it extreme anxiety at not being able to follow through on the compulsive shopping behavior. It seems to me that hyper-focus is more of a positive behavior for the ADHD person and does not come from a place of inflexibility or anxiety. BTW it does sound like my son who has Inattentive type ADHD, and was recently diagnosed with medication induced OCD. His obsessions and compulsions def come from a place of anxiety. Otherwise he is fairly flexible in his behavior, and has certain subjects that he just really loves like space, planets, and before that dinosaurs. He’s a science kid.
September 14, 2017 at 10:06 pm #61134
@deb91 .He is not on spectrum but definately having some traits of autism.Little bit flexibility he shows but that to in term of cost of toy,type of toy or sometimes place from where to buy or if you assure him to travel by public transport or cab….So basically everything stops at the point of vechicles only.And that to immediately irrespective whether i am tired or busy.After buying or travelling he is happy n will not trouble me at all.But buying the the things immediately is extremely difficult.He is on Methylphenidate 5 mg twice a day.Whenever he is off the medicine his anxiety is less n he is very much flexible but he cant focus on study.Again while buying he is super explorer having very minute criterias.N IF I want to get the things done if he wants to buy a toy,he does those things or study but extremely anxious.He is extremely obsessed with the vechicles but with the stimulant i think there is extreme regidity and persuasion.
September 23, 2017 at 10:40 am #62235
Thanks Penny.Doctor has changed his medicine from Risperidone to aripiprazole 5 mg along with he has asked to continue methylphenidate .And asked to report back after 3 weeks.Lets see.
August 26, 2019 at 7:50 am #126449BlueParticipant
I know this is a bit of an old thread to necromance considering it’s from 2017, but I’m an ADHD adult and i’ve had special interests my whole life without being diagnosed on the autistic spectrum.
And @eliz2112’s question never seemed to get an answer, and was somewhat derailed. So to answer Eliz, 2 years late:
I’m 27 now, but ever since I was a little kid, I had an intense interest in mythology and folklore, and pirates to the point I had stacks upon stacks of books about the golden age of piracy, dragons, magic, fairies, sea creatures. I’d spend alllll my pocket money in a corner store that sold these beautiful fairy statues to the point the shop staff had nicknamed me the ‘fairy girl’. I made my parents take me to castles and museums because I loved seeing the ancient buildings. I spent hours and days researching folklore and greek gods. I still have friends buy me dragon themed stuff even now.
The moment anyone brought these things up, i’d infodump for as long as I could talk for before I’d get told off for ‘talking too much’, or ‘being too loud’, because I was so excited to share my special interest with people, and everything I knew and learnt.
These were HUGE sources of great joy, and literally encompass my thought space because I always want to learn more, and talk more about it, and it fed into my career too as a story artist when I got older.
(When I was like an even tinier child, my whole world was the Aristocats and Spice Girls. I also have a special interest in tennis I got when I was a teenager!)
So to differenciate from @caringmom’s issue:
The thing with OCD obsessions is that they cause severe anxiety and distress, or they’re used as a comfort cruch to mitigate the anxiety. If I have/do X then Bad Feeling stops.
The difference in a special interest for Autism (or ADHD), is that it brings us great joy, and only distresses us when have to get pulled away from the thing we so wholly enjoy, because we’re enjoying it and want to be engrossed in it, and it’s our whole world.
(of course, as with anything, things can overlap).
As for Hyperfocus, like the article says, that’s a state of ‘focus‘ not an intense interest. Hyperfocus is part of executive dysfunction, as it’s the ‘inability to switch tasks’ (inertia) facet, and so we get stuck doing the task for several hours (whether that’s a game, or tidying bedroom, or searching for something).
It’s not a special interest, but it’s really easy to hyperfocus ON your special interest when you start researching it and suddenly five hours have ‘magically’ passed and you really need to use the bathroom. 😭
August 28, 2019 at 11:26 am #126657RedParticipant
As an ADD adult, I can say that I have had obsessive interests my whole life. They will change based on whatever is happening in my life at the time and they can evolve as I learn more/obsessively research whatever topic I’m into at the time. The downfall of my ADD brain is that I’m only able to hold on to all info for a little while and as my interest fades so does my knowledge. I will also completely ignore everything else around me while I’m engrossed in my project or research. No dinner, no laundry, late to pick kids up at school… oy vey.
My ADD son has had one true obsession in his life, starting before he could walk or talk, and that is CARS. Anything and everything cars. He’s now 14 and knows so much about cars that it’s difficult to drive down the street with him without getting an earful of facts. His other obsessions have included sharks, Star Wars and certain video games, but he’s a dedicated car guy and that’s how I got him to start reading. Since he’s also dyslexic, he never cared to pick up a book so I would get him fact books with pictures and tidbits of info on each page. It worked for him, as it was not too much reading, which would have turned him off.
If your child has obsessive interests, they should be supported. They are our passions in life.
October 2, 2019 at 9:21 pm #129783JensterlhParticipant
Yeah, but what if your son’s obsession happens to be about Halloween – scary stuff – such as wanting to go to haunted houses, watch scary movies, always wanting to talk about scary stuff, watch scary youtube videos about haunted houses, and wanting to create his own haunted house because he enjoys scaring others? The whole thing excites him and he loves Halloween so much, but it’s becoming an obsession/passion and quite frankly it kind of scares me. I feel like it’s getting out of hand. Is something like this unhealthy? Or am I being an overly worried parent? BTW, He’s 11 years old. He doesn’t do this all year round – just during the Halloween season (Sept.& Oct.).
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Jensterlh.
October 6, 2019 at 7:40 pm #130388deb91Participant
Jensterl. Just my opinion, but as described it’s totally normal at that age to love scary Halloween. My son really got into it at that age, wanting to have the scariest decorations on the block, watching the ghost stories found on YouTube and so on. Now that he’s 16, he could care less about Halloween. As long as it’s not a year around thing, it’s probably nothing to worry about.
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