The expression of tactile defensiveness (Tn) varies among individuals; however, it appears to affect a great number of people with autism. Nevertheless, little research has been conducted to evaluate TD in autism. Past literature regarding touch and typical social development suggests that a relationship between tactile stimulation, or in this case the aversion to this stimuli, and social behavior may exist. Utilizing survey data, it was found that Tn was significantly related to the severity of characteristics of autism as well as to social subscales. In addition, significant differences in cognitive functioning among social subgroups (aloof, passive, active but odd, and typical) were found.
Neal '97, Cari D., "Tactile Defensiveness and Patterns of Social Behavior in Autism" (1997). Honors Projects. Paper 66.