When Savant is mentioned, most people will recall the movie Rain man, and accurately so. Rain man is based on a real life Savant Kim Peek, who had some extraordinary talents! Kim was born with brain damage and his parents where told to institutionalize him! Well they did not listen and cared for their son. It was difficult for Kim to walk and learn, yet he could read two pages in a book in roughly three seconds. Even more amazingly, he could remember everything he ever read! Sadly, he passed away in 2009 at the age of 58. While Kim was one of the most well known ,Savants there are many others.
First, to define Savant. Savant is defined as A condition to which a person demonstrates abilities or capacities that are greatly in excess to those which would be considered normal. Well, that doesn’t sound much like a disability to me! Prior to my research, I thought to be a Savant you would actually have to be born that way. Not So. You can actually acquire savant syndrome through severe brain Trauma. I was amazed at some of the abilities of the Savants that I came across in my research. Here are some of the amazing people I came across and their abilities:
- Steven Wiltshire– Steven was diagnosed at 9 with autism. He was a Mute since he was young and didn’t learn to speak until the age of 9. Steven draws in amazing detail. He Drew Tokyo after just 20 minutes of flying over the city. Not only did he draw the city in detail from memory, it was approximately 33 feet long!
- Daniel Tammet– Battled Autism and seizures at 4 – Has a unique talent of Seeing numbers everywhere. He can Visualize and calculate numbers in his head on a massive scale. He once recited pi from memory to 22,514 digits! As if that wasn’t enough, he can also learn languages at an unprecedented rate. He learned Islandic in just seven days. Daniels type of autism is uncommon as he can articulate his thoughts fluently.
- Orlando Sorrel– Orlando was not born with Savant Syndrome, he acquired it when he was hit with a baseball on the left side of his head. Orlando developed the ability to (calendar calculate), which is the ability to tell the day of the week any day fell on. Not just that, he can tell you what the weather was like!
- Jason Padgett– Jason also is an example of having acquired his Savant Syndrome. Unfortunately through sever brain Trauma. Jason was severely beaten during a mugging. Jason now sees the world in mathematical formulas- He actually see’s numbers as . What they found is that his brain activated rarely used areas to compensate for the damaged areas. Giving him his amazing abilities.
Studying the Brains and Behaviors of Savants in relation to their unique abilities is giving Scientists valuable insights to how our brains work. Many of the Savants have very low IQ’s . I found that very interesting . My thought is a test is only accurate to the degree of that in which it is in measure of. Although most Savant’s have limitations and so called dis-abilities measured on a scale of what is ordinary. They seem to be pretty Extra-ordinary to me! There were too many amazing people to list in this article. If you are as intrigued as I about Savant’s and their amazing abilities, see the source videos below and Enjoy!