By Adam Greenan
2nd Year in Media Production, Coláiste Dhúlaigh
I think it is important for autistic people to have a special interest. This can be anything, like Lego, transport, superheroes, or football. I think special interests can lift their spirits whenever they feel down, help them gain knowledge in a specific area, and they are very useful for having conversations with others. My special interest is music. I always feel happy whenever I listen to music I love, whether it is pop, dance or rock. I have gained lots of music knowledge by looking through the charts over the past fifty years and creating spreadsheets of which songs were popular. This also helped me decide which songs I like most.
Of course, I have also used this special interest when it came to attending college. I have to take two buses into my college building, which is a forty-minute journey, which includes waiting for the second bus. I always tend to listen to the music I have stored on my phone on shuffle when I am on my way to college and coming home from college too. I have also spoken with my college friends about how interested I am in music. I sometimes tend to play a game with people I know, where they have to give me a date from any year (usually from the 1970s until now), and I will say what song was #1 on that date. I did the same with my college friends, and they were really impressed with my knowledge. For example, if you say my birth date, the 4th of December 1999, the #1 song is “The Millennium Prayer” by Cliff Richard, and “Every Day I Love You” by Boyzone in the UK and Ireland respectively.