Amygdala changes in individuals with autism linked to anxiety. A long-term study finds significant changes in brain development linked to anxiety in children with autism. The study, which included brain scans and interviews, also provides new evidence that supports forms of anxiety specific to autism. Source 6b.
Anxiety can be linked to hyper stimulation of the amygdala. When a person receives too many demands or signals from their environment, it may be difficult for them to process.
In order to deal with anxiety in an effective manner, a person needs to be able organize and sort the stimulus from the environment in an effective way. Moving to an area of less stimulus can be an effective way to decrease stimulus messages coming in to the brain so that the brain has a chance to organize itself and what is going on in it's environment.
In autism, high levels of anxiety translate into signs that, if not prevented or properly treated, trigger emotional distress and, in the worst case, nervous breakdowns. If we pay attention, we will realize that anxiety acts as a magnifying glass for prototypically autistic behaviors.