I updated “I’m Autistic. Here’s what I’d like you to know.” with selections from “Autism, intense interests and support in school: from wasted efforts to shared understandings”.
…enabling autistic children to engage with their strong interests has been found to be predominantly advantageous, rather than deleterious, in school environments.
Furthermore, longer-term benefits have been associated with the pursuit of intense interests, with relatively few negative effects overall, which in themselves might only occur if autistic people are pressured to reduce or adapt their interests.
Having intense or “special” interests and a tendency to focus in depth to the exclusion of other inputs, is associated with autistic cognition, sometimes framed as “monotropism”. Despite some drawbacks and negative associations with unwanted repetition, this disposition is linked to a range of educational and longer-term benefits for autistic children.