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Thread: Autism, Being an "Adult Baby", and Intense Attachment to "Comforter Objects/Toys".

  1. #1

    Default Autism, Being an "Adult Baby", and Intense Attachment to "Comforter Objects/Toys".

    A major part of my life now as an older adult with the lifelong developmental disabilities of Autism and Cerebral Palsy since permanently retiring on disability, is that my profoundly intense "attachment" to "comforter objects and toys" that I had in childhood returned even stronger in adulthood after age 30. The tactile feel of my soft plush cuddle friends when I touch and hug them very tightly really calms me down, especially if I have had a toddler-like autistic temper-tantrum "meltdown", related to "cognitive/emotional overload". As an Autistic, I am intensely hypersensitive fixated upon sounds and movements in my environment, as if I am a herbivore prey animal. When I am in full infantile "regression", I fixate upon only my immediate environment as I lie in my bed between my side-safety rails. I do have many infant teethers/rattles, which have bright colors and patterns, which have intensely fascinating sounds, and also "movement".

    With respect to my Baby Toys and Plush Cuddle Friends, I simply can not ever "get rid of them", because my having them "keeps me grounded" cognitively/emotionally, and are totally integrated in how as an Autistic I am able to "interface/interact" with the world around me. Wherever I go, even away from home, I always carry a little plush Beanie Baby, "Rainbow Dash" from "My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic" in one of my pockets to touch to help me "feel safe", even in "familiar places", like at church and going to the Market Basket Supermarket, and to the Doctor's Office to see my Primary Care Physician and to my Mental Health Care Provider's Office. I truly need my little "Rainbow Dash" Beanie Baby "friend" with me or I can not "feel safe" anywhere outside of home.

    When it comes to "Comforter Objects and Toys", the older I have gotten as an Autistic developmentally disabled person, the need for having and playing with plush cuddle friends, baby rattles/teethers, and other toys "simply never went away". Instead, as I have aged, and aspects of my cognitive/emotional functioning has declined to being at a "lower level", my "need for the simplicity of childhood play", and having comforter objects and toys has "fused" into who I am as a disabled person.

    If others in the outside world have a problem with seeing me, an Autistic adult with Cerebral Palsy mutely standing in a store or wherever clutching my little "Rainbow Dash" plush comforter object, it is "their problem, not mine". If they ask, I simply pull out my "Autistic Person Interaction Explanation Card" I carry in my wallet at all times, which is a "legitimate" means of explaining about me and how to interact with me as a person with Autism who is living in the community.

  2. #2

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    I can't wait to try a dream catcher weighted blanket as a comfort object. Objects don't judge different. People do. I totally get it.

  3. #3

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    I get it also. We all have things in life that make us feel comfortable. Just continue to do what feels right as long as it's not hurting you or anyone else, which carrying around a plush is certainly not harmful.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by caitianx View Post
    A major part of my life now as an older adult with the lifelong developmental disabilities of Autism and Cerebral Palsy since permanently retiring on disability, is that my profoundly intense "attachment" to "comforter objects and toys" that I had in childhood returned even stronger in adulthood after age 30. The tactile feel of my soft plush cuddle friends when I touch and hug them very tightly really calms me down, especially if I have had a toddler-like autistic temper-tantrum "meltdown", related to "cognitive/emotional overload". As an Autistic, I am intensely hypersensitive fixated upon sounds and movements in my environment, as if I am a herbivore prey animal. When I am in full infantile "regression", I fixate upon only my immediate environment as I lie in my bed between my side-safety rails. I do have many infant teethers/rattles, which have bright colors and patterns, which have intensely fascinating sounds, and also "movement".

    With respect to my Baby Toys and Plush Cuddle Friends, I simply can not ever "get rid of them", because my having them "keeps me grounded" cognitively/emotionally, and are totally integrated in how as an Autistic I am able to "interface/interact" with the world around me. Wherever I go, even away from home, I always carry a little plush Beanie Baby, "Rainbow Dash" from "My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic" in one of my pockets to touch to help me "feel safe", even in "familiar places", like at church and going to the Market Basket Supermarket, and to the Doctor's Office to see my Primary Care Physician and to my Mental Health Care Provider's Office. I truly need my little "Rainbow Dash" Beanie Baby "friend" with me or I can not "feel safe" anywhere outside of home.

    When it comes to "Comforter Objects and Toys", the older I have gotten as an Autistic developmentally disabled person, the need for having and playing with plush cuddle friends, baby rattles/teethers, and other toys "simply never went away". Instead, as I have aged, and aspects of my cognitive/emotional functioning has declined to being at a "lower level", my "need for the simplicity of childhood play", and having comforter objects and toys has "fused" into who I am as a disabled person.

    If others in the outside world have a problem with seeing me, an Autistic adult with Cerebral Palsy mutely standing in a store or wherever clutching my little "Rainbow Dash" plush comforter object, it is "their problem, not mine". If they ask, I simply pull out my "Autistic Person Interaction Explanation Card" I carry in my wallet at all times, which is a "legitimate" means of explaining about me and how to interact with me as a person with Autism who is living in the community.
    One of the aspects of Autism as I have understood is there is nearly always an attachment to some detail or senory input(s) that calm or settle the individual down, including one of my best friends who is severely Autistic (though still socially functioning, gladly) who has taken to love one of my old plush animals. First time he was over at my place (they lived next door would ya know!) he went to it like a magnet. There is also, of course, an opposite factor that triggers withdrawal or discomfort, such as a young boys' toys being arranged improperly after he fixed them specifically.


    There is nothing wrong with doing things to stay within your comfort zone; especially if they're completely harmless things like your R-Dash beanie. You live as comfortably as you can, and you're not harming anyone by being yourself.


    And sadly, not many people understand Autism, the spectrum, or what Autism entails. Some may believe every Autistic individual is completely mentally deficient or whatever stereotypes or misconceptions one may have; and that is absolutely not the case.

    Everyone needs to have something to cushion them, Be it diapers, plush toys, cigarettes (ew ), cuddling.

    You keep toting that Dashie Beanie around. :P

  5. #5

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    I love my plushies though they stay home on our bed. My wife and I went out to Red Lobster on Friday, and I told her I wanted to take Moose. I say these things to tease her, but it was fun. My plushies are a part of who I am, and they help me sleep with a sense of peace.

  6. #6

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    I'll never leave my Mickey Mouse plushie. If I get into a relationship(unlikley) It's going to have to be a condition that I can sleep with Mickey. I have a smaller one and a medium one I wish I could take with me but It is not possible =/
    I have Aspergers myself, and unfortunately no one can really notice it, so I can't be holding a plushie in public, would be hard to explain.

  7. #7

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    One of the interaction cards that was mentioned by Caitainx might help you. I would bring it, and wear an " ask me about my autism" shirt, if you are having a bad day with it, and everything is too loud, bright, and you can't stand being touched, then bring it. Some people make their own explanation cards that are specific to their autism. You're autistic, I don't care who can't tell. That's their issue. Not yours. it's okay, I let the Autie lead me when it comes to affection, so if you don't want one, it's cool.

  8. #8

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    The special wallet card I carry is also important to show to "first responders", such as police, fire, and EMT personnel as well. I obtained this card at a mini conference on Autism/Asperger's out in Keene, NH at Antioch College several years ago.

    All persons on the Autism Spectrum should carry this type of written information on them, to avoid/defuse misunderstandings.

  9. #9

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    I understand about attachments, there were times when I was working I would keep my whale Dee Dee in my backpack if I was sick, tired or if I felt weird that day. It made me feel better knowing she was there in my backpack and not far from me. I still am attached to her, she has free reign of my apartment and during the day naps on my couch atop my Cleveland Browns blankie- another item I am attached to.

    I have a pod of stuffed killer whales that shares my four-poster bed with me and I also still sleep with my blankie that my mom made for me a few years back cause my original one was falling apart. I have emotional attachments too as a result of having Asperger's Syndrome. I was diagnosed with Asperger's professionally in 2004. I have always slept with a stuffed animal and blankie which has always had been the source of ridicule from some people because some did not understand it as they had no way of knowing when I was growing up why I was so different- keep in mind I grew up in the 80s.

    I was able to overcome a lot of the social issues growing up because of my parents worked with me on social skills wherein the schools refused to work with me and shoved me around from special ed department to special ed department. I still have social awkwardness sometimes and I have to watch certain quirks when I am around people so I too know that feeling. I admit living in a grownup world takes a lot out of me but I don't regress to childish shows or movies as I cannot stand half of the tripe that is out there now. I am an intellectual plus I also prefer more adult entertainment and things that stimulate my mind.

    I don't carry my whale with me everywhere as you carry your Dash; but she is the wallpaper on my cellphone so in a way she is with me in spirit when I go places. If I feel stressed out, I open my cell and look at her pic and I immediately feel better. She means the world to me since I got her in '09. So in a way; I DO carry her with me but in spirit.

    Keep doin' what you're doin' if it makes yo8u feel good!!!!

    WildThing121675

    Keep carrying your Dash if you feel better having it with you!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildThing121675 View Post
    I understand about attachments, there were times when I was working I would keep my whale Dee Dee in my backpack if I was sick, tired or if I felt weird that day. It made me feel better knowing she was there in my backpack and not far from me. I still am attached to her, she has free reign of my apartment and during the day naps on my couch atop my Cleveland Browns blankie- another item I am attached to.

    I have a pod of stuffed killer whales that shares my four-poster bed with me and I also still sleep with my blankie that my mom made for me a few years back cause my original one was falling apart. I have emotional attachments too as a result of having Asperger's Syndrome. I was diagnosed with Asperger's professionally in 2004. I have always slept with a stuffed animal and blankie which has always had been the source of ridicule from some people because some did not understand it as they had no way of knowing when I was growing up why I was so different- keep in mind I grew up in the 80s.

    I was able to overcome a lot of the social issues growing up because of my parents worked with me on social skills wherein the schools refused to work with me and shoved me around from special ed department to special ed department. I still have social awkwardness sometimes and I have to watch certain quirks when I am around people so I too know that feeling. I admit living in a grownup world takes a lot out of me but I don't regress to childish shows or movies as I cannot stand half of the tripe that is out there now. I am an intellectual plus I also prefer more adult entertainment and things that stimulate my mind.

    I don't carry my whale with me everywhere as you carry your Dash; but she is the wallpaper on my cellphone so in a way she is with me in spirit when I go places. If I feel stressed out, I open my cell and look at her pic and I immediately feel better. She means the world to me since I got her in '09. So in a way; I DO carry her with me but in spirit.

    Keep doin' what you're doin' if it makes yo8u feel good!!!!

    WildThing121675

    Keep carrying your Dash if you feel better having it with you!
    Of course, besides the Autism comfort/attachment issues, I am a survivor of extreme physical and emotional childhood abuse, which manifests itself as "excessive fearfulness", even when I am trying my best to live in the community and when away from home. Other people's facial expressions are "masks", which I can not read, and I am fearful of being harmed in any way. I may be on medication for my depression/anxiety, but medicine only goes so far in aiding me in being "functional".

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