autistic autodidact as well
yes I am! An autodidact is a person who is self taught. I wanted to talk about the relationship between being an autodidact and being autistic.
Many of the traits used to diagnose autism are ones that are found in many autodidacts. We use hyper focus and passion for study of things that interest us intensely. We can be rigid in seeking information, discarding opportunities to interact with other topics, perform activities not related to the things that keep us studying and learning about our favorite subject/ subjects. Many to most autistic folks with “special interests” ( I hate that term) or intense consuming interests in any topics, want to learn as much as possible about those interests.
Some of us specialize in collecting items related to our interests, some of us specialize in learning skill sets surrounding our passions, others seek information surrounding and related to our intense focus subjects. When we do these things without professional teaching or guidance, we have become autodidacts, or self taught and many, many of us become experts in our field of interest.
Do you know anybody who is intensely interested in any subject and whose passion it is to seek to learn all about that subject, collect items having to do with that subject, or to gain skills surrounding that interest?
I have been trying to find studies regarding this topic, and the closest I can find is when people’s interests become defined as “savant syndrome”. (but of course interest in only certain topics where one has gained such insights, accomplishment, and success will qualify for such a label.) More study is needed!
I do suspect than many autistic individuals could be identified by their level of interest and their acquired, self taught expertise in any subject. Are you a self taught individual with a great deal of information to share on one or more subjects? It might be yet another clue that autism is present!