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Joined: 10 Jul 2007
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Location: North KIngstown, Rhode Island

07 Feb 2009, 12:16 am

Do you think there is a correlation between being on the Autism Spectrum and what is popularly called the "Peter Pan Syndrome"?

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Joined: 17 Mar 2008
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Location: Montreal, for now

07 Feb 2009, 12:20 am

Why would there be?

Actually, wouldn't it be the other way around? I've always seen Peter Pan types as people who don't have to grow up. I always figured we grew old when young (even though socially inexperienced), because of stress.

07 Feb 2009, 12:23 am

Another made up condition. :lmao:


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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
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Location: Bandon-by-the-Sea, OR 97411

07 Feb 2009, 12:48 am

A week before I self identified with AS I was skipping down the hall at work (I was in my middle 50's) and idly wondered to myself "I wonder why I never grew up. . ." Then I waved to a group of new trainees and called "Welcome to ___________" and smiled and walked on.

if Peter Pan syndrome means utterly clueless, then yes, perhaps it does.


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Joined: 19 Jan 2009
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Location: London (UK)

07 Feb 2009, 12:53 am

Spokane_Girl wrote:
Another made up condition. :lmao:

Have mercy with the authors: They need to sell their books, otherwise they would need to start work, so a new Syndrome and a new best seller is born for the self-diagnosis of a bit more well off house wife and new jobs for mental consultant, how otherwise would be totally worthless, are created.


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Joined: 1 Jul 2008
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Location: USA

07 Feb 2009, 12:58 am

Could be distantly related for some.
It depends on your definition of a "grown-up."
I am both unwilling and unable to conform.
Does that make me mature, immature, manure, or just an individual?


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Joined: 3 Feb 2009
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Location: Oregon

07 Feb 2009, 1:13 am

"I don't wanna grow up
I'm a toys-r-us kid
There's lots of toys at toys-r-us that I can play with!"

Yeah, we're immature for our age. So what? I love it.


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Joined: 4 Oct 2006
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07 Feb 2009, 3:44 am

there's a difference between being a peter pan (being immature and irresponsible) and keeping your ability to appreciate the simple joys that people often forget how to when they grow up. I think both aspies and nts can be peter pans. aspie vs nt is more about how we sense the world---and since we don't do it the same way, we're going to seem more child like in some areas---and more adult like in others. its all about maximizing your mature faculties, in both aspies and nts alike. clearly aspies have more challenges but these can lead to learning greater maturity (the opposite of peter pan) as well as lesser. forces you to choose how to grow.


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Joined: 2 Oct 2007
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07 Feb 2009, 3:47 am

peter pan syndrome? never heard of it.


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Joined: 17 Jul 2008
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07 Feb 2009, 4:00 am


Pwning the threads with my mad 1337 skillz.

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Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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Location: Norway

07 Feb 2009, 5:50 am

What the hell is Peter Pan syndrome?
Can anyone tell me? HELLO!! !!


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Joined: 21 Sep 2008
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Location: New Jersey

07 Feb 2009, 6:47 am

tweety_fan wrote:
peter pan syndrome? never heard of it.

Peter Pan (of the story) remained nine years old because he refused to grow up.



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Joined: 15 Sep 2006
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Location: Europe

07 Feb 2009, 7:08 am

I dug this up:

The Peter Pan Syndrome

“The little boy who does not want to grow up”

Dan Kiley

Dan Kiley authored the book, The Peter Pan Syndrome (1983). Based on research of the effects of male socialization on relationships, Kiley developed the clinical diagnosis of the Peter Pan Syndrome. Males diagnosed with having this syndrome exhibit the following psychological traits:

* Emotions become paralyzed and exaggerated
* Anger turns into rage
* Joy turns into hysteria
* Disappointment develops into depression or self-pity

How the Peter Pan Syndrome Affects Men’s Lives

Males diagnosed with this syndrome

* Have difficulty expressing love
* Refuse to share their feelings
* Lose touch with their emotions and have no idea what they feel
* Procrastinate
* Feel guilt and have difficulty in relaxing
* Have no real connection with friends. Believes friends can only be bought
* Easily panic and feel desperately alone in their attempts to belong

The idea of apologizing for inappropriate behavior is not an option. Blame is placed on other’s shortcomings so they do not have to focus on their own limitations and vulnerabilities. Alcohol or drug abuse is used to get high in order to drown out the existence of daily life challenges.
Relationships with Parents

Men suffering from the Peter Pan Syndrome have a

* Hang up with their mother
* The anger and guilt they feel are interwoven, masking their conflicted feelings for the mother
* The relationship with the father is estranged
* They believe that the father’s love and approval are unobtainable
* Have problems with authority figures
* Tend to be emotionally immature
* Exhibit silly behavior
* Have a macho attitude that hides their deep inner insecurities in attempts to hide the fear of rejection

Relationships with Women

When the male forms attachment with a woman they

* Become extremely jealous and exhibit violent outbursts
* Become easily provoked to fits of rage when a woman asserts any independence

More men than women affected

Peter Pan Syndrome can affect both sexes, but it appears more often among men. Some characteristics of the disorder are the inability of individuals to take on responsibilities, to commit themselves or to keep promises, excessive care about the way they look and personal well-being and their lack of self-confidence, even though they don’t seem to show it and actually come across as exactly the opposite.

The UGR professor declares that these people are usually scared of loneliness, which is why they try to surround themselves with people who can meet their needs. “They become anxious when they are evaluated by their work colleagues or their superiors, given they are completely intolerant towards any criticism. Sometimes they can have serious adaptation problems at work or in personal relationships.”

Another characteristic of people suffering from the ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ is that they are constantly changing partners and looking for younger ones. “Whenever the relationship starts to ask for a high level of commitment and responsibility, they become afraid and break it up. Relationships with younger women have the advantage of being able to live by the day without any worries, and they also involve less future plans, therefore less responsibilities.”

So it basically describes mainly men who're irresponsible and need to be catered for and who're manipulative, act narcissistic and feel above common standards because they have issues with themselves.

I don't see how it's related to autism.

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Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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07 Feb 2009, 7:56 am

Thanks for that reference, Sora.

My mother frequently used to say that my oldest brother had "Peter Pan Syndrome".
He was always an angry loner, depressive, resentful of the world, friendless, immature, etc... Most of the traits listed in that quote.

My mom was a naive and gullible person, and she had a tendency to immediately buy into the pseudo-psychology of the day. She pretty much ignored the actual issues affecting my brother (depression, eating disorders, OCD) and wrote him off as a slacker. She often warned me against "ending up" like him.

I think that "Peter Pan Syndrome" is a glamorized conglomeration of a number of different issues, and has essentially no merit. Modern day quackery. In the case of my brother, it directed attention away from the real problems he was dealing with, and delayed his proper diagnosis for some years... which allowed him a lot more time to self-destruct and suffer.

So my answer to the original post is: No. I don't think it has anything to do with autism.
Interesting idea, though.



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Joined: 24 Jan 2009
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Location: Somewhere else entirely

07 Feb 2009, 9:40 am

I certainly have a bit of Peter Pan in me, but haven't always. Throughout my entire childhood and teen years, I was labelled 'too old' for my age. Now, people ask me on a daily basis when the hell I ever plan to grow up. Call this Peter Pan syndrome, call it a freakin' midlife crisis, call it what you will....I call it making up for lost time!

Additionally- I've ALWAYS had problems with the concept of age-appropriate behaviour. I am as confused these days with what's considered 'acceptable' behaviour for grown-ups as I was with the adult/child double standard when I was a kid. Beyond the obvious need to take responsibility for oneself when necessary (bill paying, holding a job, etc), I don't see why there need to be set rules for how an adult should behave, or which activities are no longer acceptable at a certain age, or for people of a certain profession.