Most parents with children on the spectrum have exhausting experiences with their children’s latest ‘special interest’ aka ‘the obsession’.
I have lately come across the term hyperfocus on some of the more ‘young adult’ forums and was surprised that, contrary to the neutral definition (wiki) it’s described as a kind of controllable ‘tool’ for example when studying or in research. Say what?
The prefix “hyper-“, is normally used to describe something that is over the top, excessive… and not in a good way (that would be ‘super-‘).
So I think studying, or last-minute-tasks require simple ‘focus’ or concentration, maybe ‘flow’ if you like, but the confusion of the term inspired me to these :
WHAT IS HYPERFOCUS ?
1. A handy studying tool ?
2. The incapacity stop doing what you’re doing when you should really be doing something else ?
And while your ASD child’s hyperfocus might one day lead to the brilliant discovery of a formula worth the Nobel price, most times, it would pretty much be in the way of sensible social interactions and look more like this :
3. Hyperfocus in our lives…
(Yes, our Mariomania is still ON. And while some NT parents would think it’s a rather common obsession for a 7 yo boy, he is indeed taking this to a totally new levels..)