Trigger Warning: Infantilization, discussion and descriptions of
Yes, my "Infantilization or not?" post was a while back. I wanted people to have time to think and answer, which they have. And here is what I have to say.
- Said about Autistic people: "Some of these kids have gone to college and have jobs."
It might not be infantilization per se, but it is treating Autistic people as children when they are not. It depends on if you think treating a person as automatically a child is sufficient to count as infantilization or if you think it has to be treating the person specifically like an infant. From an anonymous commenter: "Yes because they refered to adults as kids." That's what the problem is here.
- An Autistic 10 year old watches Blues Clues and reads Science News.
- (Just the fact that she does so.)
This is not infantilization. This is a kid having interests. Also, that was me.
- Her parents encourage both interests equally.
This is not infantilization. This is parents recognizing that their kid can choose her own interests. (Pretty much what happened.)
- One teacher confiscates Science News but is totally OK with Blues Clues.
This is at least in the general area. It's assuming that this kid can't choose their own interests, and it's only allowing the "younger" ones. (10 is younger than most readers of Science News, but that doesn't mean a 10 year old can't understand it. Also, this did not happen to me.)
- A babysitter prevents her from watching Blues Clues, but lets her read Science News.
Might be paternalistic with some presumptions of incompetence, might just be not wanting to watch Blues Clues. However, as Anonymus Maximus says, it's like the previous one, except "infantilisation here is that you-can't-be-grown-up-if-you-like-childish-things."
- About a fifteen year old: "He has the cognitive ability of a three year old."
That's almost the definition of infantilization. From Quentin "They aren't a 3 year old, they have very different needs and experience than a 3 year old."
- A parent only ever puts Blues Clues and Dora the Explorer on for their twelve year old autistic child.
This is infantilization. It's assuming the child can only understand/would only be interested in these :younger" things. (If the others have been offered and refused, it's OK, but that's not usually how these things go.)
- The parent offers both of these shows, among many others including age appropriate ones, and lets the kid choose.
Depending on the age and motor skills this kid has, teaching them to turn the TV on and change channels themselves might be better, but choice is the big thing. If the kid is choosing what they want to watch, you're probably good.
- A person who has a uterus wants a hysterectomy because they know that they never ever want kids ever. People tell them that they will change their mind later, and refuse to let them make their own decision.
This one is more about sexist paternalism (which is like infantilization in ways, but not the same thing.) Neurodivergent K said something really good, so you're going to see that too. "It's infantilizing, ish, but it's not JUST ableist infantilization. Not like that makes it better. Though often in my experience they just can't WAIT to get our defective uterii out of us if they can tell we're disabled =/"
- An adult is told to act like an adult after expressing interest in something that is considered typical of children.
It's not exactly infantilization, but it's sort of using infantilization as a threat. If you don't act like their idea of an adult, they won't treat you like one would be the implication, so you're going to get infantilized if you don't listen. Something like that, anyways. Even if that threat isn't made good on, it's still paternalistic. Adults can choose their own interests, disabled or not.
- I walk to the store.
That's not infantilization at all. It's a dummy "I need something totally random that's not anything icky at all." It doesn't even imply that I can't drive or whatever- maybe the store is so close that it's actually quicker to walk than to find my keys or something. (OK, I actually can't drive. But there is a store that close, and I have a bike.)
- There is an event that is specified as being "for kids" even though anyone can choose to sign up.
- The local developmental disabilities group decides to bring all the developmentally disabled adults in their care to this event, where they are spoken to like children.
This is infantilization. They are making choices for the adults as if they were incapable of making decisions, and then they are spoken to like children, which is more infantilization.
- Some of the adults from the developmental disabilities group choose to go, and they are spoken to like children.
This is infantilization. Being treated like a much younger child is basically the definition of infantilization, so this is a textbook example of being infantilized once they get to the event.
- Some of the adults from the developmental disabilities group choose to go, and they are spoken to as adults who can make their own choices, and who simply have some interests that are thought to be typical of children.
This is not infantilization. This is totally fine, actually. To be perfectly honest, depending on the event, I might choose to go, and as long as I got spoken to like the adult that I am, it would be totally cool.
- The local developmental disabilities group decides to bring all the developmentally disabled adults in their care to this event, and they are spoken to as adults who can make their own choices, and who simply have some interests that are thought to be typical of children.
The group is doing something that's at least similar to infantilization, since they're taking away the choice. (Even being able to choose "stay at home and don't participate in a group activity that day" would make this one OK.) The people at the event are being fine, though.