Children with Asperger syndrome often have an intense and obsessive level of focus on things of interest. Some have suggested that these “obsessions” are essentially arbitrary and lacking in any real meaning or context; however, researchers note that these “obsessions” typically focus on the mechanical (how things work) as opposed to the psychological (how people work). Sometimes these interests are lifelong; in other cases, they change at unpredictable intervals. In either case, there are normally only one or two interests at any given time. The interests are often linked in some way that is logical only to the AS individual. In pursuit of these interests, people with AS often manifest extremely sophisticated reasoning, an almost obsessive focus, and a remarkably good memory for trivial facts. (source)
Kaitlyn fits the bill, almost too well, and for the past 100 days (since Christmas), not a day has gone by where Kaitlyn has not educated Amber and I, or whoever is at our house, about one thing in particular. Our upcoming Disney cruise. She has even been so kind as to educate all of the kids in her class about the cruise, too. I am sure they love hearing about it every day.
It is rare anymore for Amber and I to see Kaitlyn without her handy cruise guide in her hand. Kaitlyn has already read it cover-to-cover at least twice. I know this because she has read it to us at least twice. And that does not count her daily lessons about different, more specific parts of the book. She can tell us all about the port adventures in Nassau, and everything there is to do on Castaway Cay. She knows the design and theme of every restaurant on the ship we are sailing on, the Dream, as well as those on the other ships in the Disney fleet.
Kaitlyn has already, based off what she has read in her book, determined where our next cruise destination is. Apparently, we are taking a 12 night Mediterranean cruise. She has already familiarized herself with each port on that cruise as well. It is her goal to sail on each of the four Disney ships. Money is no object to her, either.
She takes her guide book with her almost everywhere she goes (we draw the line at her taking it to school). She takes it in the car with her and reads to us. She even took it to the Old Capitol when we went for the Light It Up Blue event, although I ended up having to carry it most of the evening.
When Kaitlyn gets focused on something the way that she is on our cruise, it almost consumes her life, but she somehow manages to do other things, too. Amber and I have already said we cannot wait to get on the ship and for one of the cast members to say something that is incorrect and for Kaitlyn to provide the correct information.
Amber and I are just going to roll with this current obsession, knowing that it is coming from a place of pure excitement and joy. We have learned to not worry about Kaitlyn’s obsessions, provided they do not interfere with her school work, and this one has not.