Each of us, as an individual, has our own unique set of burdens to bear and paths to follow. For many of us, this whole ‘diaper thing’ can seem like quite a burden at times, and it poses a definite roadblock for our social lives, especially if we wish to be accepted in an intimate relationship. For some of us though, we are already experiencing difficulties at fitting in and experiencing challenges that go outside of the norm. We are the disabled, the disorderly, or the neurologically impaired, if you will.
Many ABDL community members have been diagnosed with some sort of a disability, or could be diagnosed if we sought it out. We’ve been told we have Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Dyslexia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or any other of a long list of potential impairments and invisible disorders. We are also infantilists. There seems to be a lot of us who can claim to be both neurologically impaired and involved in this unique lifestyle.
The Big Question: Are They Related?
It has often been pondered whether or not there is a correlation between having a neurological disorder and being a member of the AB/TB/DL community. It has been debated not only throughout our social circle, but has even been brought up in certain places within the neurological disability community, as well.
So what’s the answer? Is there a direct correlation between having a neurological difference and being an infantilist? It is through experience, analysis, and anecdotal evidence that it becomes quite visible that there is a plausible correlation between the two. However, this isn’t exactly an 'X caused Y' or a 'Y caused X' relationship, but rather, a case of an increased likelihood toward infantilism for those of us who qualify as neurologically disabled.
How can being neurologically disabled lead to diaper loving?
There are many ways in which being disabled can lead to a desire and/or need to regress or wear diapers. When determining the likelihood of a disabled individual developing the fetish or becoming a part of the lifestyle, one must look at the type of disorder the individual has, as well as its severity.
In general, neurological impairments such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s Syndrome), Attention Deficit Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder each have a large variety of unique ways in which they can impact a person. No matter what the neurological disorder though, one can expect to find a general difficulty in fitting in with peers, a hard time meeting the day to day requirements the world has placed on people, and an increased likelihood of depression and difficulties coping with stress.
Infantilists are into the lifestyle for a variety of reasons, as well. Many of us are here because we have always liked feeling younger and having less responsibility from time to time, or appreciate or love wearing diapers. For many of us, this is a great way to relieve stress and temporarily remove ourselves from the harsh demands of the adult world. So, what does that mean for the neurologically impaired?
Attachment to babyish coping mechanisms
For those who are neurologically different from their peers, regressive patterns and coping mechanisms can be an attractive option for coping with stress and emotional hardship. Because many had many challenges while attempting to adapt to their social environment throughout the early ages of life, developmental milestones may have been reached late or missed entirely. Essentially, many neurologically disabled individuals have a relatively weak foundation in many of the areas that are required for a happy and well-rounded childhood.
To cope with these difficulties, many develop bonds with habits and items that can be found in their environment. This could be a plushy (stuffed animal), pacifier, bottle, blanket, or diapers, to name some of the most common babyhood coping mechanisms and comfort tools. Essentially, they develop bonds with these coping mechanisms that greatly exceed the bonds that their peers developed for the same items.
When it came time for most neurologically typical children to give up diapers, pacifiers, or their blankie, it was likely to be a minor challenge, but one that they ultimately took and moved on smoothly from, without needing to look back. For disabled kids, on the other hand, it was much harder. Because they lacked many of the same neurological capabilities of the other children, they didn’t feel as safe in their environment, and did not feel comfortable giving up their calming safety tools. This may be a common period in which such a child may begin to develop into an infantilist, refusing to give up on what they had always had before. Even if they do submit to the demands of society and try to move beyond such things, they will ultimately still have a strong emotional attachment.
Another common issue that is typical for people with neurological impairments is the likelihood of sensory problems. It has been stated before that as many as half of every person diagnosed with ADHD, as well as virtually every person diagnosed on the autism spectrum has some level of sensory difficulties. These difficulties have been discovered in children that have none of the aforementioned disabilities, and it has been given its own diagnostic label, Sensory Processing Disorder.
Ways autism and neurological sensory issues can lead to infantilism
One of the most common problems for people who have Autism Spectrum Disorders and Sensory Processing Disorder (making up approximately five percent of the world) is a difficulty with changes in the environment and transitions from one thing to another. Going from being able to wear diapers to having to use a toilet is a very big transition, and a definite change in a child’s environment.
Many people with these disabilities have a very hard time breaking from what they are doing, even for something as mundane as going to the bathroom, and hence, don’t want to do it. This inability to break away from a task to perform a vital bodily function, coupled with a hard time deciphering and experiencing the urge to use the bathroom (another common problem here), is what keeps many children with these disorders from potty training early.
One look at the websites dedicated to parents in the autism or SPD communities will reveal that potty training is a very difficult issue for a good number of children with these conditions. It is not very uncommon for a lot of these kids to be wearing diapers full time until, or even beyond, the age of 5. Many have issues with bedwetting that go on for years later, as well.
People who are hypersensitive to sensory input often have a hard time with a noisy and uncomfortable bathroom environment, and find the seams on most forms of underwear to be extremely agitating. They may prefer the feeling of a smooth porous diaper instead of underwear. Those who are under-sensitive to sensory input may not even feel the need to go until it is too late, causing chronic bedwetting accidents, and those who are sensory seekers may actually crave the sensory input diapers provide.
That’s right, many kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder, and ADHD may actually find the sensory stimuli that comes from diapers addictive, in a sense, and may fixate on them and need them to help maintain better focus and internal regulation. The scent of the powder, the feeling of the interior of the diaper, especially when wet or perhaps even messy, and the bonding pressure of the snug undergarments are all very attractive sensations to many people who are sensory seekers.
So what can be concluded?
It seems quite possible that a person with neurological impairments may be led to this lifestyle. While it is purely illogical to state that having these disorders causes infantilism, it is not too hard to imagine the appeal diapers, pacifiers, and other regression based tools for those who have an abnormal nervous system. Likewise, it is also completely unfounded to suggest that all infantilists have some form of neurological condition.
As for me, I have had Sensory Processing Disorder my whole life, and I never wanted to be potty trained. I intensely seek out the input that diapers can offer me, and have a difficult time with bathrooms, certain clothing textures, and breaking from my tasks to head to the restroom every hour or two. I feel that it is likely that this played a pivotal role in what has brought me to where I am today, as a discreetly open infantilist and diaper lover.
I have made a lot of friends in the SPD community, and most of them turned out to have some sort of regression-type habit, even if they weren’t involved in the ABDL community. I have also made quite a few friends in the ABDL community, and have never been very surprised to see a lot of them suffer from some sort of sensory processing difficulties or neurological differences.
For those of us who are neurologically impaired members of the ABDL community, we have a couple of definite hurdles to overcome when it comes to personal and social acceptance, as well as intimate relationships. If we are able to accept ourselves for both our challenges and our lifestyle, and find someone who is able to love both our unique quirkiness and our diapering interests, then it is something that is truly special, and a sign of true internal strength.
Between our diapers and our disorders, we are indeed very unique and interesting people.