Friday, October 14, 2011

Autistic Savant - Amazing Stories of Super Gifted People Living With Autism Disorder

Autistic savant? Yes, there are many amazing heart-warming stories that baffle even the most talented people in the world. According to a savant is "a person of profound or extensive learning; learned scholar". It is a remarkable thing to think that someone with the debilitating symptoms that often accompany autism may also have the amazing mental powers of being a savant. Interestingly studies have shown that about ten percent of all those with autism are savants. Researchers also think that one percent of all non-autistics have some savant abilities. One theory is that these abilities come out because of some type of head trauma. In some autistic savants the feeling is the trauma may be a caused by a seizure or a fall.

Lets use the example of a twenty six year old autistic savant in the United States. This young man is unable to drive a car. He cannot tell right from left, but he is able to recollect pi to the 22,514th decimal place. He says he can see the numbers in front of him. This young man, who has difficulty with social skills and cannot make eye contact, has mastered six languages as well as English. He is even working on a language of his own. He will not take a walk on the beach because to him it would pose an unanswerable mathematical problem. How many pebbles would there be? There would be way too many to count and this would be very disturbing to him. A grocery shopping can be sensory overload, with all the shapes, colors and sizes to choose from, but a math problem, which he can solve faster than most calculators, is comforting.

There is a blind autistic savant, also an American, who could play a Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto after hearing it only one time and this without so much as a piano lesson. Or what about the British savant that was able, after only one helicopter ride over London, to draw an incredibly concise map of the London skyline. This was done solely from memory; he had taken no notes and no photographs.

The movie Rain Man, where Dustin Hoffman played an autistic savant was in fact based on a man, who though a savant, was not autistic. He has brain damage and though he is unable to button his shirt he can read two pages of a book at the same time, and claims to have read over 7500 books. He has fantastic abilities when it comes to memory and can recollect for you the story in any of the books he has read no matter how long ago.

Don't ask an autistic savant how they do whatever it is that they do, they have no idea. So many of them have difficulty with language, likely have a severely limited vocabulary, yet their skills in math and memorizing are unbelievable.

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