What is Savant Autism?
- Savant Autism Syndrome is a rare condition in which people with autism have astonishing abilities, brilliance or talent.
- Savant abilities stand separate from the limitations caused from autism.
- The condition can be congenital (genetic or inborn) or can be acquired later in childhood
How common is Savant Autism?
- Approximately one in ten (10%) of persons with autistic disorder have some savant skills.
- In other forms of development disability, mental retardation, or brain injury, savant skills occur in less than 1%.
What is the Range in Savant Autism Skill?
- Splinter Skills
- Most Common
- Behaviors such as obsessive preoccupation with, and memorization of, music and sports trivia, license plate numbers, maps, historical facts, or obscure items such as vacuum cleaner motor sounds
- Talented Savants
- Musical, artistic, mathematical, or other special skills are prominent
- Single expertise in an area which is extremely noticeable in comparison to the overall handicap
- Prodigious Savant
- Special skill or ability is so outstanding that it would be spectacular even if it were to occur in a non-handicapped person
- Fewer than 50 prodigious savants live worldwide at the present time who would meet this high threshold of special skill
What are the typical savant skills?
- Most common savant skill
- Playing piano by ear and almost always with perfect pitch
- Percussion instruments such as marimba or drums can be mastered as well
- Painting and drawing is seen next most frequently
- Calendar Calculating
- Name the day of the week that a date will occur on in any particular year
- Being able to name the next 100 years in which Easter will fall on March 23
- Rare cases remember the weather for every day of their adult life
- Other Skills
- Multilingual language skills
- Perfect knowledge regarding passing time without access to a clock face
- Outstanding knowledge in specific fields such as neurophysiology, statistics, history or navigation
- Prodigious memory always accompanies the specific skill that people with savant autism have
Why is savant syndrome seen more frequently in males than females?
- Occurs four to six times more frequently in males than females
- In males the left hemisphere of the brain always completes its development later than the right hemisphere
- Left hemisphere of the brain is exposed for a longer period of time than the right to brain insult or injury of any kind
Created by Nathan Jones (2006)