But we ALL have interests. What makes yours so special?
Perhaps it’s the glimmer in my eyes when my interests spring to mind.
The ability to discuss my passion for hours upon hours with no boredom— Only gratitude.
The joy gained from sharing my source of happiness with others.
My special interest is special to me. But it’s accompanied with an additional bonus— I like to make it special for others, too!
“Special interests are one of the most common characteristics of people with autism. Many people consider these interests to be an important strength and a way to relieve stress.”
So, let’s talk goats.
My admiration (some may obsession; I agree!) of goats began in 2015. While working as an Animal Technician, the resident goats (Poppy and Penny) stole my heart.
Fast forward to 2020— What’s bound to be an unforgettable year due to the withstanding COVID-19 pandemic. The year toilet roll became a luxury and our bags filled with face masks.
Albeit, not for pampering purposes!
Because I became a goat owner.
Meet my Babies: Bambi and Apollo. My gorgeous golden guernseys (and best friends).
The same goats that domesticated 10,000+ years ago, known for their mischievous, ability-to-escape-and-eat everything behaviour. And are depicted as the biggest source of mischief through head butting and jumping around.
Those goats? They make me insanely happy. (Though contrary to popular belief, they cannot eat everything…)
Goats are awesome.
Not to be compared with dogs, but recognised for their own uniqueness. But not only that— They prefer to interact with happy faces. (Scientifically proven!)
And any animal that encourages happiness offers another reason to adore them.
Being an individual on the Autism Spectrum is pretty damn cool. We become engrossed in our interests and use them as a place of escape.
The World can be challenging for us, with crowded places, loud noises and a (personal) inability for detect sarcasm. The reoccurring meltdowns and developed mannerisms we use to sail through our day-to-day lives can be tiresome.
We typically feel misunderstood and alienated in neurotypical environments.
Therefore, it’s vital that we succumb to our place of calmness whenever we deem necessary. To encourage us to unwind and to prevent a burnout.
An escape is different for everybody. Some find a place of solitude through films or through nature.
My happy place lies with goats. Bambi and Apollo are my whole world.
Growing up, I never quite understood why I became fixated on certain things. And why I would come home to research concepts in depth when my peers opted to meet up until the early hours.
It’s with appreciation to my autism that I’ve been encouraged to accept myself. The freedom in establishing that I’m at my happiest while wearing dungarees, when surrounded with goats.
I realised that although I am different, differences are wonderful. I’ve connected with my “herd” and I’ve never felt more at home or as understood.
It’s evident that whenever something takes my liking, I’ll latch onto it and find out all there is to know (and more!).
I’ll devote time, energy, love and money to anything or anyone that makes me happy.
As individuals on the spectrum, we want to be encouraged to discuss our interests further. We aim to be your source of education to answer any questions with regards to our interests.
Ask me about goats, what they eat, where they originated from and why they cannot eat kale.
But ask me to express my thoughts or to engage in small talk? You’ll have a battle on your hands!