Special Needs

What is it about trains?

My ASD kid is obsessed. He's five and in love with the LIRR. He wants to watch YouTube videos of it non stop. He gets upset if we don't stop to see the train after school.
I know this makes him so happy but I also don't want to feed to his OCD behavior.
What can I do? He has train toys but he likes the actual movement of the train and sounds. Could this be a stim for him?
I need some advice. How can I find a happy medium for him and us.

Re: What is it about trains?

  • Thank you so much auntie!
  • Heck if I know but my FIL is obsessed. I do not know how he made it through without an ASD dx, except his age and the time period. He volunteers at a historical society being the trains conductor, he has a whole basement for model railroading. They even moved closer to a train yard. He talks non stop trains. My MIL has even mentioned he talks about train during live making. TMI but she is also definitely undiagnosed Asperger's. I am shocked my DH, who has Asperger's, didn't get the train fever. His SI is classical music instead.
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  • -auntie- said:
    "He can also imitate the sounds various trains make, like the Septa regionals vs the sound the subway or El make. It's a little bit creepy."

    Mine does uncanny impressions of the red line trains and the green line trolleys on the MBTA, from the brakes to the doors opening. 
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  • It's the folding doors. I know they get me all worked up.
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  • Very interesting thread. No preoccupation with trains here, but DS likes large construction equipment.  His interest doesn't seem like special interest, but he has always liked watching construction videos and his dream job is to work in construction.  Trevor does not fit the typical ASD descriptions (I wouldn't say he falls into either description Auntie gave from the DSM), but at the same time isn't quite up to par with his peers. 
  • -auntie- said:
    I only posted two sections of the DSM-5 ASD criteria because I wanted to put the behaviors the OP was seeing into those two categories. The insistence around following the routine of stopping to see the trains fits into #2 and the trains themselves would be #3. They aren't always interwoven like that, routines could be around who sits where at dinner or always wanting to have the green one of whatever is offered.

    The way you've described Trevor, he sounds more like he fit the PDD-nos criteria really well. IME, special interests usually go with a more Asperger mindset.
    He is a quirky kid as an EI interventionist told me at age 2.   Doesn't quite fit a full ASD dx, but not quite typical either.  Sometimes this makes things more difficult as many see him as a typical kid who misbehaves. I am glad we pursued a medical dx as it has opened doors for us.   
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