Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that arises before the age of three. It is characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior. The condition can affect different patients in different ways and with varying degrees of severity. While scientists have some understanding of social difficulties in autism, there is still an abundance of knowledge that has not yet been discovered.

Scientists are still challenging and questioning new areas. According to a recent article by Science Daily, scientists believe that the sense of touch may play a crucial role in social difficulties in autism.

The Theory Behind Social Difficulties in Autism

The research was conducted by Eliane Deschrijver, its findings show that social difficulties in autism may be due to challenges in processing tactile sensations that are the action of someone else. Many individuals with autism are over or under sensitive to sensory information. Some feel overwhelmed by environments that are highly populated, while others are less sensitive to pain, or dislike being touched.
Researchers believe that social difficulties in autism are strongly related to the extent to which they are sensitive to touch, more so than auditory or visual sensitivities. To determine if this were the case, the researchers investigated how the brain of individuals with and without autism uses own touch to understand touch sensations from others.
Dr. Marcel Brass states:

“We think that the human brain uses the own sense of touch to distinguish one’s self from others: When I perform an action that leads to a tactile sensation, for instance by making a grasping movement, I expect to feel a tactile sensation that corresponds to this. If my own touch tells me something else, the tactile sensation will probably belong to the other person, and not to me. The brain can thus effectively understand others by signaling tactile sensations that do not correspond to the own sense of touch.”

The Findings

The results of the study revealed that the brain activity of individuals with autism in regards to touch, differed from individuals without autism. It showed the brain of individuals with autism indicated very quickly when a tactile sensation didn’t correspond to their own sense of touch. Researchers believe that the use of touch could be a beneficial tool for working on social difficulties in autism. They believe that it could significantly improve their ability to build better relationships.
If you or your child are suffering from social difficulties in autism, there are programs available that can help.

Seven Stars Can Help

Seven Stars is an adventure therapy program for 13 to 18-year-old teens. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.
Call us today at (844) 601-1167 for more information on our adventure therapy program and how we can help.