Social anxiety disorders and autism are linked to one another, according to a new study.
The research suggests that people with autism spectrum disorders may have more difficulty forming social connections and communicating, and that autism can have a significant impact on the way people feel.
In particular, autism spectrum individuals may be less able to identify others as their friends, the study found.
It is unknown whether the link is causal or just a result of the autism spectrum itself.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 3,000 participants in the Autism Research Network (ART) Study.
Researchers found that autism spectrum participants who had autism were significantly more likely to have social anxiety disorder, an anxiety disorder that causes social anxiety.
Social anxiety is a chronic feeling of anxiety, dread, or avoidance that often occurs in social situations.
A lack of social connections can be a cause of anxiety disorders.
“It may be that there is a genetic component to autism spectrum conditions that contributes to this finding,” study author and researcher Annette S. Toth, PhD, told CBS News.
“We think that it’s possible that there are genetic variations in these conditions, but that’s still speculative.”
Researchers say this finding is in line with previous research that showed that autism is more common in individuals with a genetic predisposition to social anxiety, as opposed to those with a disorder that is more general.
“There is a clear link between autism spectrum and autism, and this is consistent with previous studies showing that this is more prevalent in people with the autism,” Toth said.
Autism spectrum disorders include Asperger’s syndrome, autism, multiple developmental disorders, and Aspergers syndrome.
Aspergics and people who suffer from social anxiety disorders may be more likely than people without autism to have problems forming social relationships and communicating.
Toths study was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
“The study was very interesting, because it found a relationship between autism and social anxiety and it showed that the social anxiety in people on the autism was related to the social impairment, which is why we found this link,” Toths said.
“What we found is that the autism is associated with the more severe social impairment in people, but we also found that the severity of social impairment was correlated with the severity that autistic people had.”
Autism affects one in every two children in the United States.
It’s estimated that roughly 2.4 million people in the country have the autism disorder.
Researchers say that the disorder can be treated with therapy, which includes the use of stimulants or drugs.
People with autism may also have trouble connecting with others, as the social interactions they have may be difficult for them to maintain.
Researchers said the new study is a first step in understanding autism spectrum diagnosis and treatments, and they plan to continue the research in the future.