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The savant syndrome is a rare condition in which people with neurodevelopmental disorders, notably autism spectrum disorders, and/or brain injuries, demonstrate profound and prodigious capacities and/or abilities far in excess of what would be considered normal. In spite of the name syndrome, it is not recognized as a mental disorder, or as a part of mental disorder. In simple terms these are very gifted individuals with fewer than 50 alive today.
These individuals in some cases may not be able to tie their shoes, however they may memorize an entire book in days.
The following are well-known people with savant syndrome, noted for their talent in their identified fields:
- Wesley Willis, American musician, savant levels of visual recall.
- Kim Peek, mnemonist, speed reader and calculator, although not autistic
- Mark Boerebach, Australian internet Disk jockey, subject of the documentary Rainman goes to Rockwiz
- Alonzo Clemons, American clay sculptor
- Tony DeBlois, blind American musician
- Leslie Lemke, blind American musician
- Jonathan Lerman, American artist
- Thristan Mendoza, Filipino marimba prodigy
- Gottfried Mind, Swiss artist known as the "Raphael of Cats"
- Derek Paravicini, blind British musician
- Anthony Torrone, American Christian writer
- Gilles Tréhin, artist, author
- James Henry Pullen, gifted British carpenter
- Matt Savage, American autistic jazz prodigy
- Henriett Seth F., Hungarian autistic savant, poet, writer, and artist
- Stephen Wiltshire, British architectural artist
- Richard Wawro, British artist
- George and Charles Finn, calendar calculator twins
- Florence 'Flo' and Katherine 'Kay' Lyman, calendar calculator twins. Featured in a documentary produced by TV network TLC entitled Twin Savants: Flo & Kay
- Jason D. Padgett, American mathematical artist
- Daniel Tammet, British author.
- Rex Lewis-Clack, blind American pianist.
- Blind Tom Wiggins, blind African American pianist.
- Orlando Serrell, sudden savant, calendrical calculation, mnemonist, featured on English version of Expedition ins Gehirn.
- Weber B (26 December 2009). "Kim Peek, inspiration for 'Rain Man,' dies at 58". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Treffert, Darold. "Alonzo Clemons – Genius Among Us". Wisconsin Medical Society. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/alonzo_clemons. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Treffert, Darold. "Tony DeBlois – A Prodigious Musical Savant". Wisconsin Medical Society. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/tony_deblois. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Treffert, Darold A. and Gregory L. Wallace (2003). "Islands of Genius" (PDF). Scientific American, Inc. http://www.gordonresearch.com/articles_autism/SciAm-Islands_of_Genius.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- Jonathan Lerman:
- Treffert, Darold. "Jonathan Lerman – An Extraordinary Artist". Wisconsin Medical Society. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/jonathan_lerman. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Blumenthal, Ralph (2002-01-16). "Success at 14, Despite Autism; His Drawings Go for Up to $1,200 and Win High Praise". The New York Times. https://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9907E7DA1238F935A25752C0A9649C8B63. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- Treffert, Darold. "Thristan "Tum-Tum" Mendoza – A Child Prodigy Marimbist With Autism from the Philippines". Wisconsin Medical Society. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/thristan_mendoza. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Derek Paravicini:
- Treffert, Darold. "Derek Paravicini – A Talent and Love for Music". Wisconsin Medical Society. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/derek_paravicini. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- "Meet Musical Savant Rex: Lesley Stahl Checks In On A Boy With An Extraordinary Musical Talent". CBS, 60 Minutes. 2005-10-23. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/20/60minutes/main957718_page3.shtml. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- The Grand Rapids Press. "'Anthony's Prayers': A simple book by Grand Rapids' Anthony Torrone, a grateful survivor". Mlive.com. http://www.mlive.com/living/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/11/anthonys_prayers_a_simple_book.html. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
- Island, Staten (7 January 2012). "'My Lord Savior God helped me survive'". https://www.silive.com/worship/2012/01/my_lord_savior_god_helped_me_s.html.
- Moore, Charlotte (15 April 2006). Autistic couple bound to each other - and their art. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2006/apr/15/art.fashion.
- James Henry Pullen:
- Ward, O. Conor. "The Childhood and the Life of James Henry Pullen, the Victorian Idiot Savant (1832–1916)", Abstract of article cited at adc.bmjjournals.com Retrieved on 14 June 2006.
- Treffert, Darold. "James Henry Pullen – Genius of Earlswood Asylum". Wisconsin Medical Society. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/james_pullen. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- "Matt Savage: The Prodigy", People magazine June 17, 2002
- Treffert, Darold. "Matt Savage – A 14-Year-Old Marvelous Musician". Wisconsin Medical Society. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/matt_savage. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Treffert, Darold. "Henriett Seth F. – Rain Girl". Wisconsin Medical Society. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/henriett_seth. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Unlocking the brain's potential. BBC News. 2001-03-10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1211299.stm. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- Horwitz, et al., 1965
- Sacks, Oliver, 1985
- Tracey Eagan (2009-05-06). "Twin Savants Fixated on Dick Clark". Jezebel. http://jezebel.com/5243027/twin-savants-fixated-on-dick-clark. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- Federal Way Man Has Amazing Mathematical Drawing Ability, Following Brain Injury: – KCPQ. Q13fox.com (2010-08-26). Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
- "The Man Who Draws Pi.pdf". https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0GEjtSycjTKNDU4ZmVhNjktNDk2OC00MjBhLTk5ZmQtYzBhYTRkM2ZlNmU4/view?usp=embed_facebook.
- Lyall, Sarah (February 15, 2007). Brainman, at Rest in His Oasis. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/15/garden/15savant.html?_r=2&.
- The Wisconsin Medical Society lists 29 savant profiles.