I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
"Does [Gus] even understand that most people are not entranced by escalators? That he doesn't see the world the way most others do? I've tried to approach the question a few times - 'Do you know you are autistic?' - and he always acts like he doesn't hear me. I want to understand what he's thinking. Is he thinking?'"
That last sentence, guys. Yes, your son is thinking. He may not be thinking about things that interest you, but he's thinking. You've even written about some of the thoughts he has related to you, like how he thinks escalators are beautiful.
Also, is it really that hard to relate to Gus's feeling that escalators are beautiful? I mean, the way everything moves and fits together is perfect. There is beauty in that. (Which maybe isn't what Gus finds beautiful, but I still find it a bit surprising that Newman can't seem to think of a single reason why her son would be so entranced by escalators.)
Edit: And it's supposed to be "broach the question," right?