Why do people on the spectrum look young for their age?

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SkipNip
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27 Jan 2012, 4:23 pm

I'm 26 but look about 18. I know one other person who is diagnosed with high functioning autism and he also looks much younger than he is. From reading threads on this forum, I see that this is a common theme among people with high functioning autism. Any theories as to why people with HFA look younger than they are?



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27 Jan 2012, 4:36 pm

Because we are sexxy and awesome.

Before someone starts to flame me I'm joking.


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psychegots
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27 Jan 2012, 4:41 pm

Maybe a focus on comfortable clothing and not very fashion-oriented looks give a childish impression in many cases? - At least for girls...!

We may also give off a child like impression due to under developed social skills maybe? - That is probably most relevant for teenagers/adolescents.

I doubt there is any real physical difference.



Last edited by psychegots on 27 Jan 2012, 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nirrti_rachelle
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27 Jan 2012, 4:41 pm

Ganondox wrote:
Because we are sexxy and awesome.

Before someone starts to flame me I'm joking.


Ah, but it is true, joking or no. :wink:

I guess it's because we have an "innocent" vibe about us? We don't have that brash, worldly persona that NTs tend to carry on effortlessly. We're still like curious, playful, excited about everything little kids who never lose their sense of wonder about the world.

Incidentally, me, my mother, my grandmother, and great-grandmother all look years younger than our ages. Although since we're African-American, this could also be a simple case of "black don't crack".


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cmeaspie
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27 Jan 2012, 5:09 pm

Ganondox wrote:
Because we are sexxy and awesome.


I agree.

I'm in my 30's and still get mistaken for a teenager. And once this lady asked my how I do it? I was like, do what? She said, "Look so young." I shrugged my shoulders and told her, maybe it's because I don't smile, so I don't have the laugh lines or wrinkles in my face. Who knows, I like to think it's unique to us.



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27 Jan 2012, 5:11 pm

I've been told that I seem younger than I am though given that I'm only in my early twenties, this probably has more to do with my self-presentation than with actual aging. I typically don't wear much makeup and I often appear naive or clueless about much that is common knowledge to my peers. As a teenager I was once told that I seemed like I had been home-schooled even though I had gone to the same public school all my life. While not all home-schooled children would be the same, I am guessing that this person meant that I had a demeanor that gave the impression of having led a sheltered life, which she associated with home-schooling.

In many ways I feel like I identify more with people much older than myself and with people much younger but not with those my own age. I still like stuffed animals and I get very excited over simple things, oftentimes making little non-verbal noises. Yet I am also bothered by the socialness and noise of many young people my own age and find older adults easier to relate to.



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27 Jan 2012, 5:21 pm

I agree completely but don't have an answer as to why. Those in our family with the diagnosis do appear much younger than their actual ages (but then again, so does my NT wife). Often when we are seen with our 20 & 21 year old kids, people can't believe they are ours! 8O



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27 Jan 2012, 5:52 pm

psychegots wrote:
Maybe a focus on comfortable clothing and not very fashion-oriented looks give a childish impression in many cases? - At least for girls...!

We may also give off a child like impression due to under developed social skills maybe? - That is probably most relevant for teenagers/adolescents.

I doubt there is any real physical difference.


; ) and also possibly hair style (or more accurately a lack there of in many cases), and perhaps wearing no or hardly any make-up?


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27 Jan 2012, 5:56 pm

I don't know, but I think it's pretty odd. I look at myself in the mirror, and I see someone who could be a teenager. I look at other people in their late twenties, and they look older than me. The only reason I don't get mistaken for a teen is that I'm fat enough not to have that slender, just-barely-woman look that sixteen to nineteen year old girls often have.

My mom has the same tendencies. She is in her fifties and her hair is starting to go gray, but she could pass for early forties, easily. Interestingly, it's very likely she could be diagnosed with autism herself, if it weren't that she stays far away from doctors of all sorts, because she doesn't trust them.


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theaspiemusician
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27 Jan 2012, 6:04 pm

I actually look older. I'm sometimes mistaken as a really short 19 year old.


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Hmmm...interesting. Shows what you know about Aspies, doesn't it rofl?

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27 Jan 2012, 6:12 pm

Usually because Aspies don't burden themselves with the stress of trying to control things outside of their control.



Simmian7
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27 Jan 2012, 9:04 pm

people think i'm at least 16... i'm 31... :wink:


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northbrbrain
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27 Jan 2012, 9:12 pm

I look much younger than I am (presumably), because I don't have any friends and thus get very little sunlight, hence, less wrinkles. Just a theory



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27 Jan 2012, 9:19 pm

I'm 22, but apparently I can pass for 16.


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justalouise
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27 Jan 2012, 9:30 pm

My first guess is that since we tend to be less expressive, facially, the skin on our faces shows less everyday wear than people who use theirs on a more regular basis.

Just an idea!