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Featured Is childlike behavior common in people with aspergers?

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by Samuel, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Samuel

    Samuel Well-Known Member

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    I'm a male teenager with aspergers, and while I have almost all of the symptoms and behaviors of anyone with ASD another odd thing I've noticed about myself is that I behave a lot like a child. I'm very mature physically like most guys my age, but mentally I feel like a little kid between the ages of 5 and 8.

    I also still really enjoy doing kid like things such as playing with toys, watching little kids shows like Bear in the Big Blue House and Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, and I'm also obsessed with Disney, but a lot of people without aspergers love Disney too so I'm really not ashamed of that at all. I've also been thinking lately that I have Peter Pan syndrome because I match a few of the symptoms, which is funny because I remember being obsessed with Peter Pan as a little kid to the point where I wanted to be him lol.

    Anyway, I'm not sure if I act like a child in a teenager's body just because I don't want to grow up or if it's common behavior in people on the autism spectrum. To anyone who also has aspergers, what do you think?
     
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  2. puzzledbutlearning

    puzzledbutlearning Active Member

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    This is interesting. I'm glad you posted this. My ex-boyfriend is likely AS and he's childlike as well. He's 31 but very boyish. I do wonder what others think about this because I've read elsewhere that people have described those with AS as sometimes exhibiting childlike behavior and having childlike interests. Glad you posted about this and look forward to reading other responses as well.
     
  3. Mattymatt

    Mattymatt Imperfectly Perfect

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    I see child-like behaviors in NT adults as well.
     
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  4. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'd say yes, it is common. But its not all the same kind or for same reasons.
     
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  5. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    When I was 16, I would go into my bedroom and close the door and play with my dollies. I obviously sensed that at 16, I ought to have "grown out" of playing with my toys, but I did not feel that age and so, it was a bit confusing to me.

    I believe I got tired with toys when I hit 18 or even a bit longer, but that probably was because suddenly I felt a very adult emotion and did not realise it, until I was 19, that I had fallen deeply in love with my boyfriend, who I had started to date when I was half way through 18.

    Now at a nasty age of 48, although I have no desire to play with toys; my behaviour with how I react to things that bring me pleasure, I detect is very childlike. I squeal in delight and jump up and down and from what I gather, chaps find this endearing, but females find it repulsive, but hey, I do not get on with females anyway.
     
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  6. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm more child-like now than I was as a child which is rather ironic. Although, it feels more like letting myself be a child from time to time or subconsciously trying to catch up on a childhood I should've had.

    So, overall, are we just being immature? Or child-like? In what sense? And where does the distinction lie?
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I prefer to view such things like much any other individual traits and behaviors. Though in this case not necessarily confined to Neurodiversity either.

    That one might have various juvenile behaviors, and at varying amplitudes. Where some may be quite obvious while others may not. Or few- even none at all.

    Going back to that saying so many of us have posted here at one time or another:

    "If you've met one Aspie, then you've met one Aspie".

    Just don't take away my "Futurama" though, or there WILL be trouble!

    Bite my shiny metal....well, you get the picture. :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  8. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I do engage in quite a few behaviors that some may view as childish. I love to walk on crunchy leaves in the autumn and stomp in fresh rain puddles.

    I don't view it as being childish - I view it as having a child-like enjoyment of life. I don't see it as necessarily tied to autism. I do have a personality, too.
     
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  9. pjcnet

    pjcnet Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The following thread is also relevant and shows that many autistic adults like things that might be considered childish:

    'Childish' hobbies

    This however doesn't show how many NT adults are similar or whether this is more common with autistic adults. I suspect it is more common for autistic adults, especially when we include autistic adults who are on the lower functioning end of the autistic spectrum, but I still suspect there's loads of NTs that enjoy things that are considered childish too. In my opinion as long as it's not harming anyone it really doesn't matter and the social rules against it are illogical, also being free to play and enjoy yourself how you wish can be excellent for your mental well being. I also believe that loads of adults including both autistic and NTs want to do childish things, but hold back because they fear what others might think of them and because they're taught that they shouldn't, more NTs probably worry about this than autistic people.

    I'm for instance 48 years old and I love playing RPGs, especially JRPGs that are mostly designed for teenagers based on most of the character's ages, but I have absolutely no intention of changing what-so-ever and sod what others think because it hurts no-one. Sometimes people do accuse me of being childish however even when going about normal life which is probably more common with autistic adults and when I was a teenager I was often accused of acting like a young child, but again it harms no-one and why should I try to change? In other ways however I can be very grown up and even both my brothers who are on the lower functioning end of the autistic spectrum with what is considered a very low mental age can often be nothing like a child, even though many of the things they do would be considered childish.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  10. xudo

    xudo something

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    There are things that I enjoy that could be viewed as childish. I enjoy certain video games that are geared towards children, and I love stuffed toys. Having said that, I can be an adult (for the most part) and do most of the things expected of me as an adult. I do chores and pay bills and can (again, mostly) act like an adult, but sometimes I can be childish too.

    I know NT's who are far more childish though.
     
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  11. Ezra

    Ezra Comfortably Numb

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    It's common. I still play with legos. There's a big difference between childlike and childish. Childlike is a good quality.
     
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  12. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Adults of all ages enjoy many activities that they enjoyed as children, I would say that it was fairly normal. I would also say that the reverse was true, that there are many ASD children who enjoy adult hobbies. To be honest, I'm not even sure what a child's activity and what an adult's activity might be, activities are all just activities.
     
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  13. ASD_Geek

    ASD_Geek Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi Samuel and welcome!

    I'm on the spectrum and feel the same way. I have always since I can remember (around 10 y/o) felt like I was younger. When most guys my age couldn't wait to get older, I wanted to stay young. When I was 12, I wanted to be 10. When I was 16, I wanted to be 14. I don't why that was the case, but I've always been that way. I still had stuffed animals on my bed until I was 12. I still watched Mr. Rogers (an old children's TV show) in Middle School.

    I'm older now, but feel and have been told that my behavior is a child-like at times. I look at it like this is who I am and I like it. Life is too short to be cynical and not have fun. I remember reading somewhere that people on the spectrum are mentally younger than Neuro Typicals, so that gave me some solace in accepting it.

    As Willy Wonka (and others in real life) have said, "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."
     
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  14. Observant

    Observant Active Member

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    I used to play with Legos, Erector sets computer games, and took apart cheap toys in my youth. I fell out of love with computer games, and my Lego and Erector set interests transitioned into more adult activities such as IoT projects and coding.

    I suppose you could say that I approach my adult interests with the same level of obsession as I did my child-like interests.

    Behavior-wise I had a short childhood and grew up rather quickly. I would find myself having more in common with adults than my own peers by the time I was in the 4th grade. I'm wondering if the reason why you might have child-like behavior was because you were in an environment where it was safe to express it, and if so I think that you have a very strong foundation for a wonderful life as an adult.
     
  15. Propianotuner

    Propianotuner Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If you were really so much like a person from 5 to 8 years old, you wouldn't be this self aware, Samuel. Attitudes, behaviors, and kinds of experiences that start in childhood may wane over time as the nuances of the world take shape, and what was stimulating before doesn't strike that nerve as good any more, but ice cream is always ice cream, so to speak.

    Actually it takes a certain measure of confidence in your level of development to engage in those activities without worrying so much whether or not you're childish.

    And taking things a step further, isn't it another milestone in personal development to become more comfortable with the idea that a mature person can be childlike too? Isn't part of maturity having the capacity to soberly perceive the world around you and by that token isn't it true that a person can't be "fully developed"? Given that understanding it can be more mature to not waste too much mental resources on some end goal that doesn't exist, the development will happen when it does and you can't force it.

    Of course another big question here is why celebrate the development? Should the end goal be to find yourself on the other end of a pendulum, resting in a place where you are disinterested, apathetic, and cynical? Clearly not. If it really were then those of us here who have had much more life experiences than me wouldn't be as known for their tendency to want to capture a little bit of youth.

    I want to live the kind of life where often enough I get to feel something. To be in a world where things can still be intense. So what if I were Peter Pan? Who wouldn't secretly be jealous?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  16. Adora

    Adora Well-Known Member

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    I have childish hobbies,I like to collect dolls and been doing it for years but I actually do feel like I am emotionally immature for my age,I am 35 years old yet I sometimes feel like my maturity is that of a 12 year old,I do remember when I was growing up there were signs of my immaturity back then like still wanting to play with dolls at age 12 while other kids my age grew out of it way before then,while no one knew I was on the spectrum that time I think my dad did notice that I was immature so he one day gave me long talk about not telling anyone that I still like dolls because people will think Im a baby but I’m 35 now and even though I don’t play with them anymore I still like them and like having them on my shelves and while it may be childish it is a childish hobby that brings me joy.
     
  17. pjcnet

    pjcnet Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Many adults collect dolls and dolls houses + furniture and it's often classed as a very serious hobby for both men and women. I had a friend named Steve who was really into it and actually ran an indoor market store selling dolls, houses and furniture for quite a few years, on a Sunday he also sometimes travelled around the UK to specialist fairs where he would rent a table and sell, on a few occasions he even ran his own event which I helped with. He often used to build dolls houses himself and he even occasionally made his own furniture, I wasn't into it myself, but I could still appreciate the amount of detail and work that went into it. Sadly he started making a loss and couldn't sustain his business after a few years, then he ended up working in security, he became a senior manager and then a partner in the business, but unfortunately that business went under too when they lost a major contract and I haven't seen him for a few years since. I believe he will always remain into dolls and accessories however because he was so passionate about it

    For many examples of the kind of things he was really into, please see dollshouse dot com although you obviously won't see the custom things he made himself. I purposely didn't create a direct link because it's a commercial site, even though I have absolutely no association with it I don't want to risk breaking any rules. His business actually got into the local newspaper once, although unfortunately it was too long ago for me to find the article online.

    Anyway, even if you are collecting what would be considered by some people as "children's" dolls, you are not doing anyone any harm and if it brings you joy, continue doing it and don't let anyone stop you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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  18. Lady Lucifer

    Lady Lucifer Rejected Disney Princess

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    I think it depends on the severity for NT. The Star Wars nerd is genrally accepted. But the Star Wars nerds that plays with his toys intensively, has storylines and will get frustrated over interupted play isn't NT behavior.

    Its normal for AS. I'm AS and my child like tendencies are frequent, but I'm able to jump from child to adult pretty quickly. Though my child tendancies are a mix between AS and PTSD.
     
  19. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am 62 years old, and had a first time colonoscopy procedure yesterday at the hospital (stressfull, to say the least). I brought my pink foam kitty squishy toy with me and held it until they gave me the anethestic. The nurse then placed my kitty squishy toy under my pillow, and it was there for me to squish upon waking up an hour later. I am NOT ashamed whatsoever. I will be bringing it with me to court, and any other stress inducing activity from now on. I bought a bunch of different ones so that I will have them at work, in the car for traffic jams, on my desk, and in my purse. I am a fully normal functioning adult.

    You could call that “childish,” or call it “self care.” I prefer the latter label. Foam squishies are my new “therapy.”
     
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  20. Lady Lucifer

    Lady Lucifer Rejected Disney Princess

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    Same. I had dental surgery earlier this year. I brought my Pooh with me and the dentist treated Pooh very nicely when I went under. He was given snacks and had a nice conversation with the doctor. Then Pooh was waiting for me in the recovery room.
     
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