Dr. Grandin, thank you for taking the time to review these topics with us.
My question is in regards to what you might think the underlying cause of the sensory differences which manifest in young children which fall under the umbrella term autism could possibly be.
I have two boys who have been diagnosed on the spectrum, and each is very different. One is now 13 and falls under a more classic "Aspergers"/PDD/NOS classification. He seems to respond to light medications for managing his anxiety; he plays the violin and is branching into screenwriting and the computer animation necessary to realize his dreams. He is mainstreamed in school, with only one "special" elective. His younger brother is twelve, and is markedly different. Although he is rather close to nonverbal, he has a much easier time socially than his brother, because he doesn't manifest the social anxiety of his brother. He is physically active, sometimes to the extreme, climbing trees as high as they go, running track in middle school, and being generally boyishly adventurous. Yet he is barely literate, and undergoes physical discomfort when asked to read, even for a short time. He is in the "ILC" center for most of the school day.
Having watched these two very different brothers very close in age grow over the past 13 years has given me a great curiousity as to how their differences are expressed. With your attention here, I wondered if you might have any biological theories as to what the differences are in the various manifestations of Autism Spectrum Disorder.