Savant syndrome: Autistic people with amazing talent
Someone may have amazing skills in a certain field, like music, language, or math, but even with these great talents, they have a hard time with emotional intelligence. This is one of the characteristics of someone with autism. The famous Savant syndrome is a disorder included in the autism spectrum that has the peculiar ability that gives those who suffer amazingly talented.
For example, there have been various books and movies written about Kim Peek, an autistic girl who had a series of talents. Aside from being a mathematical prodigy, she was able to memorize an entire book after reading it only one time. She learned almost 12,000 books throughout her lifetime
There are also other kinds of autism with more questionable talents. This case is only a hypothesis, but a neuropsychiatrist believed that some autistic patients could be capable of reading peoples’ minds. We’re not talking about about telepathy, strictly speaking, like in science fiction movies, but rather a way to say what the person is thinking by using intuition or analyzing their behavior.
Doctor Diane Hennacy Powell studied cases of serious autism cases, where their behavior was truly surprising. For example: a 9 year-old girl who, according to her family, was able to read minds. With the help of two other therapists, the doctor tested the little girl. For one of the experimenters wrote down a series of numbers or letters, and the girl had to write on her device, an instrument where she would write ideas and draw, as she had trouble communicating verbally. Surprisingly, the girl got almost 80% right. The sessions were recorded, and according to third partied, there was no tricks.
While some cases of Savant syndrome are more believable than others, there is no doubt that there are some autistic patients with genuine hidden talents. This doesn’t mean that everyone with this disorder is the same. There are many interpersonal variables, in some situations, and due to the difficulty to manage emotions, the autistic person was able to adapt to society, imitating the behavior of others and able to show their talent. In other cases, unfortunately, they are dependent and must depend on those around them, so they are never able to realize their full potential.
Molly is a writer specialized in health and psychology. She is passionate about neuroscience and how the brain works, and is constantly looking for new content from interesting sources. Molly is happy to give or take advice, and is always working to educate and inspire.
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