There appear to be two basic types of thinking in intellectually gifted people who have Asperger's or high functioning autism...The two types are totally visual thinkers like me; and the music, math and memory thinkers which are described in Thomas Sowell's book, Late Talking Children. I have interviewed several of these people, and their thoughts work in patterns in which there are no pictures. Sowell reports that in the family histories of late talking, music math and memory children, 74 percent of the families will have an engineer or a relative in a highly technical field such as physics, accounting, or mathematics. Most of these children also had a relative that played a musical instrument.
As I've blogged about here, Sowell asserts that the subjects of his book, including Albert Einstein, are not autistic. While Grandin disagrees with this point, she appears to acknowledge that there is a fundamental difference in the way a Sowell late talker thinks versus the way she thinks. Which begs the question: is "music, math and memory" thinking a third category of thought process, or is it really just neurotypical thought? Or maybe late talkers are just A Little Bit Autistic, thus the distinction in thinking process?