In a non-therapeutic setting, touching one another is usually a much lighter touch. Social interactions can be very over-stimulating for an autistic person, which can create a negative response from them. Firmer touch is less stimulating and more calming for an autistic person and that makes it easier for them to tolerate being touched. Routine is also very important to keeping a calm state of mind for an autistic person, therefore having a set massage at the same time each week creates an even more healing setting for the client. There have been numerous studies done and the results showed that autistic children who were massaged regularly had a much larger ability to receive touch and had more regular sleep patterns than the control group. Parents who are taught this special form of massage and massaged their children every evening for 15 minutes saw an even greater progress made.
This insightful information was gathered from a lady named Tina Allen on her LiddleKidz website: