Fire Alarms, Maps, Telephone Poles, You and Me: The Beauty of Special Interests

The Beauty of Special Interests

Special interests are one of the “features” of ASD’s. When listed in the DSM, or other diagnostic tools, it seems to be noted with a negative connotation, but I am still not sure what is so negative about it. As a matter of fact, I am sure it is just the opposite!

Right now, Dash’s special interest is fire alarms.

Last year it was maps.

And before that, telephone poles!

There have actually been many other special interests such as puzzles (he was doing 100 piece puzzles by himself at the age of 2 3/4), K’nex, electricity, alternative energy…the list goes on!

It is especially fun to share a common special interest with a brother:


Who knows what the future will hold … Look at where Temple Grandin ended up with her special interest in cows!  Special Interests are an avenue for our children to show us how their minds work… it is a beautiful thing.

It’s is also truly amazing how much passion Dash (and Sketch, too) works up for these interests.  Dash would spend hours on his favorite topics, mastering them in a variety of ways.  For example, with maps, he not only memorized the local street map but the state, country and world maps.  He then branched off to google maps and would “drive” around through the states!  He even found his grandparents house!  Then he went on to states & capitals from there, and capitals of different countries… There is really no end to the discovery, the pursuit of a special interest.

You know, God has a special interest too: you and me!

He goes to extremes to know us. His passion for us has no end.  He even wrote an entire book on his pursuit of us… the Bible.

Happy Valentines Day!


  1. Alienhippy said,

    February 11, 2011 at 6:45 AM

    Beautiful post Merri,
    Our Heavenly Father truly knows each of us, I can’t agree more.
    About special interests…I have encouraged both of my children with their special interests, I have used each interest to help with their understanding of most things. I wrote a post not long ago about this, I think it is probably easier to just give you the link.
    I think it’s funny now that my special interest of fishes is one of the main things I paint. I just can’t help putting a few little fishes in every painting I do. My sister says, the first thing she does with my new paintings is look for the fishes and the smiley faces. I’m just that predictable.
    The way I see it is, my *AJ and *CAL will work SO VERY hard at researching what they enjoy, so why not use that to teach everything else. This world will always have its opinions, obsessive…I call it passion, my kids have got plenty of passion and they pursue it to its full.
    Love, hugs blessings and peace to you my friend.
    Lisa. xx 🙂

  2. Merri Lewis said,

    February 11, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    I totally agree Lisa! When I was homeschooling the twins, that is exactly what I did! It made schoolwork so much more fun 🙂 I”ll check out your post!

  3. fiona2107 said,

    February 12, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Loved it as usual Merri 🙂

    And I’m thrilled at the thought off being one of God’s special interests!

    Right now….we are going through a Ben 10 and Bey blades obsession,

    • Merri Lewis said,

      February 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

      I think that one of the benefits of being a parent of kids on the spectrum, is that we may capture a bit more of the intensity of Love that the Father has for us!! I haven’t heard of Ben 10 and Bey blades!! One of Sketches current obsession is Elmo, Grover & Cookie Monster… not too bad except for Elmo’s voice!!! Sketch does an amazing imitation 🙂

  4. jared(jibbiefirealarm on youtube) said,

    June 16, 2011 at 6:51 AM

    Hi. I have ocd, asburgers syndrom, ADD, and ADHD. i happen to also have an interest in fire alarms. I currently have collected 15 fire alarms. All of which i got from Ebay. I think that it is cool that more and more kids are becoming more interested in fire alarms. Sometime you should check out my videos on youtube. My youtube is jibbiefirealarm. They are all of tornado sirens and fire alarms(my other interests are tornado sirens, gekos, designing houses, and lego houses.

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