I don't intend to turn this into an autism or ADHD blog, I promise. However, considering how much of my life tracks back to this pairing, I can't exactly talk about my experience with writing without bringing them up from time to time.
Both "disorders" have the strengths and frustrations, and there is a fair bit of overlap between the two. Yet, when both are experienced by the same person, this combination creates some unique presentations that can complicate the diagnosis of both.
This is one contributing factor to the majority of us autistic ADHDers being found "late" on average. One in particular is behind the largest of my current frustrations and why I missed a couple of weeks last month.
It is not unusual for an autistic to have more than one special interest in their lives. Most do tend to be rather enduring, a passionate interest in a specific topic lasting for years if not decades. Those with ADHD in addition to autism also have special interests, but we often "cycle" through them at an accelerated rate when compared to autistics who do not have ADHD. Every now and again, we might even have a couple going at the same time.
On the whole, I have three or four that I tend to cycle through, though they do kind of overlap a bit if I get into the nitty gritty of why I like them. Stories, particularly myths and legends; sciences, archaeology, psychology, neurology, biology, chemistry, astronomy, and basic physics; and languages/linguistics make up the usual suspects. I tend to have less trouble with focus and concentration when I am focused on one particular special interest, and I have little to no trouble when a swap happens, if it happens quickly.
From what I can tell, I am in the midst of a special interest shift now, and it is taking weeks this go around. That'd be find, except I tend to be much more scatterbrained when this happens because my attention gets pulled from one to the other and back again. I almost always have a bit of this going on when my regular work holds little interest, but it is usually just pulling in one direction, not two.
Add in to this a miscommunication resulting in my being assigned a glut of articles on power tools for my day job, and things just got worse as my brain screamed for something, anything, else to focus on throughout the workday. By the end of wrangling my attention back onto the topic at hand, I was exhausted to the point where maintaining focus on any one thing was next to impossible. Rinse and repeat.
Hopefully this transition will finish up in the next couple of weeks, and I can regain my usual level of focus as I leave behind the series that's consumed me the last year and a half and return to studying a pair of languages.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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