His inability to work and increasing mental deficiency, in a neighborhood where I was the youngest out and about, opened me to a lot of ridicule from other kids.
I am unsure of the use of 'out and about'. Does it mean 'almost'?
Dear Dr. Appalayya:
The expression 'out and about' usually means 'in public.' Ordinarily, it would be used something like this: 'In the morning we walked to a favorite restaurant for breakfast. Later, the children and I strolled through the park. In the afternoon, the whole family gathered to go to a concert. It was a lovely day to be out and about.
However, in the passage you quote, 'out and about' seems to refer to a child who is forced by circumstance to be independent at a younger age than was the norm.
Without more context it is hard to be certain, though.
I hope this is helpful,