How autism can look very different, even in identical twins : Short Wave Sam and John Fetters, 19, are identical twins on different ends of the autism spectrum. Sam is a sophomore at Amherst College and runs marathons in his free time. John attends a school for people with special needs and loves to watch Sesame Street in his free time. Identical twins like Sam and John pose an important question for scientists: How can a disorder that is known to be highly genetic look so different in siblings who share the same genome?

Check out more of NPR's series on the Science of Siblings.

More science questions? Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

How autism can look very different, even in identical twins

How autism can look very different, even in identical twins

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When the boys spent a year in the same school, Sam did fine, but John struggled and had some noisy meltdowns. Jodi Hilton for NPR hide caption

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Jodi Hilton for NPR

When the boys spent a year in the same school, Sam did fine, but John struggled and had some noisy meltdowns.

Jodi Hilton for NPR

Sam and John Fetters, 19, are identical twins in very different places on the autism spectrum. Sam is a sophomore at Amherst College and runs marathons in his free time. John attends a school for people with special needs and loves to watch Sesame Street in his free time.

Identical twins like Sam and John pose an important question for scientists: How can a disorder that is known to be highly genetic look so different in siblings who share the same genome?

Check out more of NPR's series on the Science of Siblings.

Listen to Short Wave on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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Today's episode was produced by Rachel Carlson. It was edited by Rebecca Ramirez. Jon Hamilton checked the facts. Phil Elfors and Gilly Moon were the audio engineers.