The ability of many autistics and ADHDers alike, to be able to hyperfocus is my favourite skill of all. When we tap into hyperfocus, everything else falls away. It is here that we do our best work, and BOY can we do amazing work!

When we are in hyperfocus mode, or in our flow, we are so utterly engaged in what we’re doing, that we are locked in, in a beautiful way. A way that taps into what we are best at – our special interests. Without hyperfocus, there would be no special interests, and by special interests I include employment that we find fulfilling. We have the capacity, as neurodivergent people, to tap in to something that means we can drill down, and down, and then down some more. The joy is in the detail, the connections, the analysis. This is hard to explain but you know it when you’re in it.

Being dragged out of hyperfocus is hard. It’s like being dragged out of a really intense and enjoyable dream. Being dragged back out is irritating, discombobulating. Often, we just don’t hear anything. My husband has to make the sound of an American trucker’s horn – complete with honking action – as his way of telling me that he has something to say that just can’t wait. It’s not foolproof, but it’s the only hope he has of making contact with me when I’m hyperfocussed!

There are so many challenging, stressful aspects to being autistic. THIS is not one of them. This is where we find our peace. And I make no apologies for it and nor should you. Without it life is very hard. Being hyperfocussed is not selfishness, it’s self-preservation. I just wish I’d known that half a century ago.

I’ve added a relevant link elsewhere in the glossary – under monotropism – a must read if hyperfocus feels familiar to you. It’s important enough to be shared again – click here.