The infantilization of disability has created a situation where people in society trust the words of caretakers over actual disabled adults. In an empirical essay titled ‘Infantilizing Autism’, the authors discuss how certain disabilities, such as Autism or Down Syndrome become perceived as a childhood disorder. The process of infantilization prioritizes disabled children over disabled adults and treats disabled adults as children, thus erasing us from society.
Over the course of the last five years, the phenomenon of infantilization has shifted into a marketing strategy where brands are increasingly entering the disability market through children. This evolved form of infantilization has created entirely new ways to marginalize and sideline the expertise and experiences of disabled adults, which holds us back from the value creators we wish to become.