Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

2013 Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Interests, Circumscribed/All Absorbing

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_1734


Circumscribed interests (also labeled special or particular interests) are included in the diagnosis of autism within the general area of restricted interests and repetitive behaviors (RIRBs). For example, sign 3a in the DSM-IV describes “encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.” Unusually focused, intense, and persistent interests in autism may feature the amassing of large quantities of information and resistance to any diversion from their pursuit (Boyd, Conroy, Richmond-Mancil, Nakao, & Alter, 2007). Importantly, circumscribed interests in autism are associated with positive emotions and the potential for great satisfaction, thus contrasting with obsessions and compulsions, which are dreaded and troubling (Klin, Danovitch, Merz, & Volkmar, 2007).

Pinpointing the concept of circumscribed interests and distinguishing it from related signs included in the general RIRB area is...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center of Excellence in Pervasive Developmental Disorders of University of MontrealQCCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Riviere-des-Prairies HospitalUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Centre d’excellence en troubles envahissants du développement de l’université de MontréalHôpital Rivière-des-PrairiesMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada