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Thread: Disability and Being a "Little" or "Adult Baby"

  1. #1

    Default Disability and Being a "Little" or "Adult Baby"

    I have noticed that many "Little's" and "Adult Babies" have disabilities of one kind or another. I of course have Autism and Cerebral Palsy. For me it is natural as a disable person to feel "small and vulnerable", due to the nature of my disabilities which also affect control over my bodily functions. Even though I am a 56 year-old adult, in the back of my mind all the time, I feel so little, fragile, and vulnerable. My mind of course is not functioning fully, and I was cognitively tested as to my "social functioning age" to be cognitively that of an 8 to 10 year-old child. Yet, my measured IQ is 135. I seem to be both cognitively a child and an adult at the same time. I am happiest doing simple things such as sitting on the cellar floor here at home mutely playing with my Matchbox and Hot Wheels toy cars and trucks or with my little plastic army men.

    When out and around town, in social interactions, other adults when seeing me in my leg braces and using my forearm crutches, they many times talk to me, as if I were a child. It seems that the outside world sees us disabled adults as "children" who still do not know any better about anything.

  2. #2

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    I identify with this, at least to an extent. I was born with a muscle-wasting disease, similar to Muscular Dystrophy, but not quite so severe. Although my mobility has always been okay - in so far as I can walk and do some less strenuous forms of exercise - I have always been quite physically fragile, and combined with being quite small, I often felt when growing up, that I was naturally excluded from the rough and tumble pursuits of other boys. I think that ABDL has given me a way of experiencing that vulnerability in a way that I can enjoy. ABDL is never therapy, but it can be very theraputic.

    In terms of people talking to me "as a child", that depends. If it's someone I know relatively well, they'll probably know that I'm well-educated, and if we've spoken, they'll be aware that I'm certainly as eloquent as the average able-bodied person. However, when I meet someone new, I do sometimes seem to be talked down to. For me, that's not anything I enjoy or embrace as a form of littleness. It's just an annoying form of (often subconscious) intellectual prejudice, which is likely to disappear after spending any real amount of time in my company.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanch View Post
    I identify with this, at least to an extent. I was born with a muscle-wasting disease, similar to Muscular Dystrophy, but not quite so severe. Although my mobility has always been okay - in so far as I can walk and do some less strenuous forms of exercise - I have always been quite physically fragile, and combined with being quite small, I often felt when growing up, that I was naturally excluded from the rough and tumble pursuits of other boys. I think that ABDL has given me a way of experiencing that vulnerability in a way that I can enjoy. ABDL is never therapy, but it can be very theraputic.

    In terms of people talking to me "as a child", that depends. If it's someone I know relatively well, they'll probably know that I'm well-educated, and if we've spoken, they'll be aware that I'm certainly as eloquent as the average able-bodied person. However, when I meet someone new, I do sometimes seem to be talked down to. For me, that's not anything I enjoy or embrace as a form of littleness. It's just an annoying form of (often subconscious) intellectual prejudice, which is likely to disappear after spending any real amount of time in my company.
    I sooooooo understand what you're saying! I hate that sickeningly sweet tone nurses, and people I don't know, use. I've mastered talking to people with the authority to diagnose me as a human houseplant, using big words correctly. Having and successfully defending opinions on real issues also helps, as does having a, "would you like to be picking up youring teeth," look. The A #1 rule of dealing with disabled people is assume competence! nonverbal people get it worst, but, 2 words as to why we assume competence, Stephen Hawking. Also, before Carly Fleischmann started typing, people thought she was retarded, but guess what, severely Autistic, yes, severely retarded, no.

    Now, the one thing I do like about Parentese (baby talk) is, that it's soooo the opposite of angry, that I don't have to wonder or worry if Abale (once I find him, thought I had, but) is at me.
    Last edited by SpAzpieSweeTot; 31-Jan-2015 at 17:11.

  4. #4

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    I'm on disability for depression and bipolar. I'm also an AB. I find it when I am padded to be very soothing for my symptoms, and when I play with a big bro or daddy my symptoms practically go away. I am fully functional though and have a bit of incontinence anyways thanks to an overactive bladder. Anyways that's my 2 cents. I usually don't disclose my disability but since the thread was started I figured I would chip in.

  5. #5

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    I am autistic and I communicate using my IPad, people often talk to me like a baby but some don't, often I don't even notice it unless it is really obvious then I get annoyed

  6. #6

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    Im a paraplegic (car crash when I was 11) and while i'm now 23, my body never really grew too much post injury and I look more like i'm about 14/15... I can't tell you how many times i've had bouncers try and take my ID when my boyfriend (now husband) have gone out for dinner or drinks or when I travel and am constantly asked where my parents are?! So while physically, I am little and this works to my advantage when I want to "be little" when it comes to living day to day, it does have its serious drawbacks. Now as far as my disability and lack of continence goes, that just comes with the chair, but it's still frustrating when people automatically assume you can't take care of yourself or you need someone to answer for you...Um excuse me, i'm here, i'm a person, my name is james and you can feel free to address your questions about me, directly to me please!

    LOL, ok rant over... that felt good!

  7. #7

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    Very well heard! I'm going to train my own 4-legged, "No, I don't need your help," sign! It can't be said enough, I hate when people speak for me, or or don't ask me questions about my disabilities, when they have them. I know people who now carry laminated cards explaining things like, "My body didn't grow post-SCI; that doesn't make me a kid. Though constantly answering questions is annoying, I'd rather you ask me than not, if they arise." Works for other disabilities, too.

  8. #8

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    No one talks to me like a child or down to me. I do look normal. My anxiety tends to make me act childish and I am also childlike in other ways and I don't know if t's due to personality or my Asperger's but it's a bonus for my AB/DL. There are plenty of people out there who act childish and have no mental illness or a neurological disorder so how do you distinguish?

  9. #9

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    I'm not in the business of trying to justify one with the other, or saying one causes the other, but as you know, I do wonder.

    If we just made items items, instead of baby items or adult items, that would help. 5 cases come to mind, a bio-6-year old, with severe cerebral palsy I saw on tv, who was bottle fed by his mom to prevent him breathing his drink into his lungs, a severely Autistic 5-ish year-old who's only word was. His mom refuses to take from him the only thing he can ask her for. I say, " Go, her!" I've also seen another severe Autie, in his mid 20s, who finally learned to self-sooth. He sucks his thumb. His mom is ecstatic, because she doesn't need to be there soothing him every time he needs to be. She could give 2 shits what everyone else says. Self-soothing is a skill; he learned it, yay! Then there's accepted. Why should it matter what his comfort items look like. I wonder if those who down him for wanting his and clothes in public are aware of the diagnostic criteria for ASD, (strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects is used in the DSM 5 as an example) or if they've noticed from his profile he has one, in addition to his SPD. CPDude is another case.

    My point is, disabled or not, we all deserve the same respect, and if items weren't associated with age groups, but need, physical or otherwise, that would save a ton of drama & b.s.

    I mean special cups to prevent aspiration do exist, but cost way more than a baby bottle. Baby bottles are seen as bad because they are cutesy. We want to treat folks with dignity. Well, thanks, but cuteness isn't undignified, and baby bottles are cheaper, so I see that mom's POV. If he outgrows baby printed bottles, solid colors & clear bottles exist, if he himself finds the bottle uncomfortably babyish, that's the time to spend money on a special cup. I'm glad there's a niche market that could be used to provide needed items in the cases I mentioned above. Were the caregivers aware of adult pacis I'm sure a few of them would buy them. And society's problem is. . .?
    Last edited by SpAzpieSweeTot; 04-Feb-2015 at 19:00.

  10. #10

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    I am autistic myself and also a Little. I guess just because people don't really look at me and assume I'm autistic. So I know my experience isn't the same as others. I have trouble a lot in public, but on the rare occasion someone sort of guesses. I admit I kinda personally find it a bit soothing if they talk to me in a sweet manner. I like knowing someone is going to be understanding with me. I guess just my family was always so frustrated and impatient with me. So maybe that's why. I still think people shouldn't treat people as if they are intellectually inferior or them or something, but I wish everyone was patient, loving, and sweet with each other. Not condescending obviously, but sometimes I think people see condescending when it's not there.

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