Remember the loving feeling you had when you gazed upon your newborn? Or the warm, squishy feeling inside when your loving spouse comes through the door?
Thank the hormone oxytocin, also called the bonding or love hormone.
Well, there has been a small autism study that uses an oxytocin nasal spray on adults with high-functioning autism (Asperger's syndrome), and it shows some promise.
One of the common symptoms of Asperger's is their poor social functioning - they rarely remember faces, their eye contact is often poor. They don't LOOK at people - things are much easier to figure out than people are. Because they aren't looking at people, or the interactions that occur between people, they miss many of the social cues that we all use to get along with folks.
After a dose of oxytocin nasal spray, the study participants were able to discern the tone of sentences (whether the speaker was happy, angry, sad, etc.) for up to two weeks later.
They also were able to interact with others in a more positive way, socially speaking. And it seemed to calm some of the self-stimulating behaviors that autistics use to settle themselves down.
Larger study populations are needed before the researchers would consider taking this to the FDA for approval as a treatment.
If this works out, maybe The Boy will one day be able to increase his ability to determine the appropriateness of his ongoing commentary.
I, for one, can't wait for that day to come.
You can read more about the study here or here.