There are also interesting clinical implications relating to modifications of this system in some children. This opioid system has been found to be overactive in some cases of autism. Consequently, such children experience far less “pain” on separation than their peers, and as a result they bond less well with caregivers and other people. Consistent with this, drugs that block the operation of opiate channels produce more positive social interactions in some cases of autism. But, importantly, the drug only appears to work (to the extent that it can) if it is combined with renewed, facilitating encouragement from the social environment. It is as if the drug opens a window, but by itself it cannot change the nature of the child’s object relationships (Panksepp, 1998).
Mark Solms – The Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of the Subjective Experience p.132