To get a sampling of how my husband's mind works ('cause I know you want to know), and how I try to translate, here's a bit of our conversation one morning as we walked home from Starbucks.
We needed a walk but had to beat the heat–well the worst of the heat anyway–so we got Geddy in the stroller and made our way to a very stuffy Starbucks (poor baristas–their ac broke and it was only 9 AM but outside was cooler than inside!) Fortunately a nice breeze and shade trees along most of our route kept us from wilting. On the way home I sprinkled water on Geddy to help cool him. Then, just for fun, I put an ice cube down Luke's shirt. I thought he would be amused. I know I was. But he didn't say much.
It was quiet until we arrived at the park behind our house. Then Luke said, "Hmmm."
"What?" I asked, then waited the usual minute-that-feels-like-an-hour for him to say any more. See, his brain just keeps processing, organizing, rummaging, analyzing, synthesizing and most of the time I think he doesn't even hear me when I ask or tell him something during his deep-brain work. Well, he often hears me, but he doesn't listen to what I say. It's really that he can't. When his wheels are turning all brain power and attention is on those wheels.
Finally: "Oh, I was just thinking."
Another minutehour went by. Would he share his thoughts? Could he share them in language that I would understand? Well, he tried. I can't even begin to repeat it here, but let's just summarize if we can. He mentioned continuous lines vs. segments, threw in some mathematical lingo, and then explained why this was relevant. He's actually really great at breaking it down for me, most of the time. See, our walk to and from Starbucks alerted him to the fact that we couldn't touch every part of the line or path there and back because our steps didn't step on every part. However, the stroller wheels could and did; they never left the ground.
And yes, there was more, but alas, perhaps in this case I was the one not listening.
"Hmmm," I said. "That's very interesting."
Then I translated it into my way of thinking: "So it's like if I pour this cup of ice cubes down your shirt most of the cubes will bounce along your body and fall to the ground, not making continuous contact, but one or two cubes might stick to you and then sort of slide down you not losing touch the whole way down. So, it's kinda like that, right?"
I didn't try my experiment.