Researchers found that oxytocin, the hormone heavily involved in social connectivity and feelings of warmth towards others, is not lacking in people with autism spectrum disorder.
Instead, the study found that oxytocin levels affected social functioning in both kids with autism and typical kids. “As your oxytocin levels got higher, your social functioning was more enhanced,” Parker says.
Gregory says it’s not surprising that children with autism have widely varying levels of oxytocin. “Autism isn’t a disease, it’s a spectrum” that can’t be linked to any one cause, he told Shots.