This kid was a genius.
This is me, Autistic clearly, at age 4 or so with my brother. I am sucking my fingers, and I am also rubbing saliva on my outer ear and making it cold.
Why would I do this? Well… I know now I think.
First lets talk about the sucking the fingers.
There’s evidence that sucking a pacifier generates Oxytocin. Here I was sucking my fingers – it would have had skin contact (you generate more with a mother’s nipple).
This lessens stress.
So the other ways mentioned there that Oxytocin can be generated – sex (everyone knows this one), and hugs.
When this behaviour was stopped for me by threat of having sheep shit put on my fingers. I became hypersexualised – a terrible result – for obvious reasons.
This destroyed a lot of my childhood. 😭
The second thing is a bit weird. Why would you put saliva on your ear and make it cold?
Because you are stimulating your vagus nerve – also instrumental in regulating depression/anxiety and inflammation in the body in trials.
This needs two things to explain it – there is a logic leap here. You can stimulate the outer ear with electricity to stimulate the vagus nerve as described here.
Cold water seems to regulate it – sticking your face in ice cold water – here they test it (and the neck region is identified).
Ok but why both at the same time?
Well… The Vagus nerve is responsible for helping oxytocin absorption.
Apparently also my over eating might have been a compensatory technique for this – I am addicted to gummi candy. I like sucking on it. It’s very much like a pacifier, or a nipple.
Turns out – I always knew what to do to regulate my nervous system – but I was being "childish".
Seriously so mad sometimes about how we make people stop doing stuff we don't understand.
Not long after I stopped too I developed Asthma. In rat trials they have found a link between AVP (the stress chemical that takes up the same channel as Oxytocin) and Asthma. Oxytocin mediates the asthmatic effect.
Oh yeah… I got a lot more ODD after this… I was far more aggressive. Guess what Oxytocin seems to do?
I fucking knew what to do and I had it crushed out of me.
Wonder why people tend to have passionate sex after massive fights?
My hypothesis – regulating their nervous system.
We are built with a lot of the tools and innate knowledge about how to regulate our nervous systems it seems. We just don't be human in this society. We be whatever the fuck manners are.
One of the ways to generate oxytocin is skin contact… I think without understanding the sensory system of Autistic people you create conditions for things to get worse. I needed deep pressure hugs – my parents both do this. Light ones make me flinch.
It seems a lot of the issues around ADHD and Autism are not innate but generated by not understanding the central role of nervous system regulation for those who tend to have hypersensitivity.
This also explains why massage I think is vital not only for releasing lymphatic fluids in the calf muscles (which causes toe stepping) but to actually generate oxytocin.
Give me a research grant I am begging you.