It is odd that you bring this up. Why?
When I was young, I was going through some difficulties, both emotionally and financially. I had two little kids and things were crashing down upon me and I had not done well against it all. My daughter and son were at risk of being underfed so my wife and I asked CPS to help by taking care of them until I could get a job and get stabilized.
To keep the story short, She was suddenly sent to the hospital (after months in foster care) due to "lacking to thrive", whatever that was. The doctor was a great physician and explained the sensory issues that you, Baldur, just wrote about.
Every day, my wife and I went to the hospital and used a soft bristle hairbrush to lightly scrape Her skin. This, in addition to nutrition, brought an psychological responsiveness back to Her. Basically, the doctor reported to us, that She was being touch-neglected. The hairbrush was to bring Her back. From then on, She was a very quiet girl.
It took me 6 months of court dates, paper filing, complaints, and the like to finally overrule the presiding judge, getting a new one, and demonstrating to that new judge that my kids should be returned to me. The trick I used was the Writ of Habeas Corpus which I had found in the city library. We had asked for a couple weeks reprieve while I got a new job; instead, it was a 12 month course in how hell operates. My opinion of "Benevolent Authority" grew from distaste and contempt to outright bitter hatred. I still feel this way. It surprises the hell out of me to find a kind official... a well meaning cop, an effective government employee, an understanding social worker, or even a prison guard. But, the good news is, they are out there. Rare, but wonderful when you meet one.
Anyway, I know from experience, what lack of cuddling can do.