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Why are so many people that are on the Autism Spectrum, transportation hobbyist?


canuck600
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I’m not autistic but I grew up with ADHD, and I always found an interest in transportation because I do have a thing for patterns and orderly systems.

Now here’s my rant. What annoys me is how many people tend to look down on people with autism/ADHD/etc, seeing it as a bad thing, believing they won’t accomplish anything, etc. I am including this because I had to deal with parents, teachers etc having this attitude throughout my childhood.

For reference, I am now an airline pilot at age 21, not because of who I am, or my psychological conditions, or lack thereof, but only because I put in the hustle to get myself to where I am. 

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I can’t speak for anyone, but as a person who has mild autism (PDD), I find riding the buses and metro relaxing and calms me down when I’m stressed or having anxiety... When I was in high school in Ottawa, I would travel from Western Ottawa and Eastern Ottawa (in my last year of high school) by taking OC Transpo and I would go out of my way to take specific buses that I learned runs specific routes, which a lot of people who don’t have autism would do 

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While I havent "officially" been diagnosed with anything, I do suffer from frequent anxiety attacks and anger in regards to school.  Back in middle school (5ish years ago now), I always found it relaxing to ride the school bus (and later transit bus in high school), and listen to that nice sounding diesel engine on the way home.  Didnt really expect it to evolve the way it did today, with me spending several hours out of the week and probably spent close to $1000 on camera gear just to photograph transit and school buses.  Being to get that beautiful shot that I can be proud of, really takes my mind off all of the annoyances and stress going on in my life.

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I have Aspergers which is a form of Autism, and I have always had an interest in stuff that the average person isn't interested into such as Vaccum cleaners, doors, and more recently buses (Started in 2011-2012 with School Buses, and more recently in August of 2018 when I started riding Transit to College every day).  I say if you like something, nothing wrong with that everyone is different.   I use to not talk to anyone I didn't know (Because as a part of Aspergers you have a hard time communitication) but I will say Transit has opened the door for my communication after talking to our drivers I have started to open up.   I think what attracts me to transit buses and buses, and vehicles in general is that I like stuff with an engine, and I think buses are cool because they have LED signs, annunciators, and are just unique vehicles. 

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I, like a lot of people here, also have autism (Asperger's actually - but I prefer not to use that term as Hans Asperger was involved in the Nazi regime during WW2) and I also have ADHD.

I got diagnosed around 4 years old and found out from my parents at age 8.

I have been fascinated by transit for the last 5 or so years and have developed many good contacts in the industry, which led me to start my own business at age 15 producing GTFS data (Data used by apps like Transit and Google Maps for transit trip planning) for Transcollines and a few private sector clients. 

 

I have to say that for me, Autism is an advantage and is just what makes me myself.

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry for the thread bump but I am also a transit enthusiast, I was in the hobby but never really took pictures and videos heavily until 2016-2017 and I am on the autism spectrum (PDD-NOS, which is mid-range). Basically we just get attracted to things and that's an advantage for me as it helps me get out of the house more.

Getting into the transit community has helped me as an individual learn to be less dependent on cars and choose more environmentally friendly options, as well as get to enjoy my commute or wherever I travel

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