Mother's Body Odor Helps Children with Autism Communicate
A mother is special in a child's life for many reasons, one of which includes the positive effects her distinct smell has on an autistic child's ability to imitate his or her surroundings and communicate more effectively in a social setting. Children with autism often have their automatic imitation social skills impaired, a deficit which seems to be rather easily rectified.
A mother has many an effect on her children, from the time she carries them in her womb to her interaction with them as they grow older. These include:
- The sound of her voice calming a child, no matter how old he or she gets
- The lack of warmth displayed creating a bully out of her child
- Smoking during pregnancy causing aggression later in children
- Chocolate consumption during pregnancy increasing risk of alcoholism in children
Where does body odor come in?
Research has discovered that a mother's body odor, the scent that defines her as distinctly the mother of an autistic child in question, allows for the conquering of the social deficiencies and covertly imitate the actions of others. This mimicking ability is seen as extremely important in the development of any child, helping create the perfect platform from whence to launch other social skills that develop per milestone a typical child passes.
To come to this conclusion, the study published in the Biological Psychiatry issue looked into the theory that "body odors are known to initiate and mediate many different social behaviors, smelling the body odor of a family member might constitute a sensory-based action promoting social contact." In essence, researchers observed how 20 autistic and 20 typically developing children reacted to different stimuli when they were coupled with the mother's body odors and without.
How else can you help autistic children communicate?
- The oxytocin hormone has been found to unscramble certain pathways in the brain and allow for better communication
- Social interaction seems to see improvement when autistic children are given yoga lessons on a regular basis
- Motor skills and their development have a major impact on how social an autistic child will be
- iPads and other tablets with their tailored applications help children learn how to communicate properly and efficiently
All in all, autistic children who are normally not quite social and extremely awkward in a setting where they are required to communicate, a mother's body scent helps them feel comfortable enough to imitate the behavior displayed in their surroundings and communicate their needs more efficiently.