Children Under Four, Children With Autism Don’t Yawn Contagiously
But you do. If your wife yawns, if your kid yawns, if someone on television yawns, if your dog yawns – you yawn. It’s f-ing crazy. Or maybe it’s the only thing that all humans have in common (except love, or some fruity crap like that). What few scientific yawning studies out there are showing is that we actually yawn out of empathy – a kind of primitive way of letting another human know that you’re a human.
Well, I think we can all agree that children under 4 years old have zero empathy. Proven now by researchers at the University of Connecticut, who also found that 16 year old children with autism are also less likely to contagiously yawn. This links the idea that children and young adults with autism are possibly lacking the subtle emotional links that people develop as early as 4 years old in normal, healthy lives.
Now if they can just figure out why I sneeze whenever my kid punches me in the crotch.