A defining trait of Asperger's is an encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.
This is usually very evident in boys because their interests are incredibly unusual, such as: stamps, coins, trains, vacuum cleaners, you get the point... Girls tend to have typical female interests, but the difference is the intensity of the interest. Think of horses, dolls, makeup...
This is not to say that girls can't have unusual interests, I had my fare share of them. One of them was bugs; the grosser, the better. I don't know what it was about bugs but it fascinated me that they live such a short life yet instinctively learn all they need to know about being a bug within such a short time frame. My mom used to bring me to the dollar store and I'd bring home little containers that allowed them to breathe. I never brought the containers inside the house because I knew my mother wouldn't approve. There was one problem. Our neighbour maintained our lawn so well that there wasn't much diversity in the soil so I had to venture out a bit to find the best selections! I found a goldmine when I discovered that a neighbour three doors down had grubs under his stones. My trophy insect was the June bug. I was so proud of it.
When I was 5 years old, I decided on my own that I was going to bring one of my bug jars to school. I didn't tell anyone. I just put it in my school bag and on the school bus I went. I couldn't converse with the other children normally so the only way I knew how to bond with others was by sharing my special interest. I told the girl sitting next to me about the jar and she couldn't wait to check it out. I took it out of the school bag and told her to be careful with it. She wanted to take a closer look so she tried to open it but the lid was too tight. She struggled with it for a bit and then suddenly it rained bugs everywhere; they were on every seat. All the kids started screaming and the bus driver had to pull over. He didn't know what was going on but figured out very quickly there were unwelcome passengers in his vehicle. He walked to the back of the bus to find the culprit and of course he'd never suspect this was the doing of quiet little margo innocently looking out the window. The girl who opened the jar is actually on my Facebook today. I don't think she'd remember but it still cracks me up to this day.
I was also very curious about whether insects had hearing. We didn't have easily accessible google back then so when we had questions, we had to figure it out the hard way. I was taking a bath one day and a spider crawled up on the wall next to me. I must have been around 6 or 7. I figured that if I started screaming and it stopped moving, that it could hear me in some way. My theory worked because every time I would scream it would stop moving, and then keep crawling when I went silent. I just googled it now and it turns out that spiders detect human speech from the sensitive hairs on their legs.
I used to buy candy covered bugs. It boggles my mind that it used to excite me but now the idea of it repulses me. I guess I changed a bit over time. There are some jewellery makers who let butterflies roam free and let them die a natural death before using them for pieces. That's something I'd be interested in. When I went to Australia a few years ago, I must have visited at least five different museums in Sydney. The nature museum had so many exotic types of butterflies and insects. My five year old self would have been on cloud 9.
My less proud experiment with bugs happened in grade 3. I had heard somewhere that worms have 5 hearts and that if you cut them properly, it would result in 5 worms. I very carefully sliced a worm into 5 pieces near the schoolyard fence. I made sure to cover it so that my results wouldn't get tampered with. The next day, I was heartbroken when I saw that none of the pieces had survived. I felt like I murdered all five of them in COLD BLOOD. It turns out that worms do have 5 hearts segmented throughout their bodies but can only regenerate if you cut one behind the clitellum. I atoned for my sins about 7 years later when I walked into a gas station, bought a container of fishing worms, and set them free.