Autism and Tactile Experiences (10-12-20)

People on the autism spectrum seem to have tactile experiences that are different from those of individuals not on the autism spectrum.  This has implications for the design of spaces that are likely to be used by these individuals.  A study published in Neurology reports that “‘More than 70% of people with autism have differences in their sensory perception,’ said study author Sung-Tsang Hsieh. . . .   53% of the people with autism had reduced nerve fiber density. . . . People who had reduced nerve fiber density also were more likely to report feeling pain from the heat stimulus at a higher temperature than the control group. . . . response to touch in people with autism differed according to whether or not they had nerve fiber damage. People who had normal nerves were more likely to say they disliked being touched and were uncomfortable with some textures, while people with nerve fiber damage were more likely to say they preferred going barefoot and could be unaware that they had gotten scratched or bruised.”  

“Nerves That Sense Touch May Play Role in Autism.”  2020. Press release, American Academy of Neurology, https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/3827