Speech Therapy

Savant Syndrome And Autism

Most of you must have seen the movie “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In the movie, Dustin Hoffman is known to be suffering from a certain nervous disorder. The disorder he possessed in that movie was Savant Syndrome. If you can recollect, in the movie Dustin Hoffman possesses high talents at card counting.

Autism can be a development caused by Savant Syndrome.

Savant Syndrome and Autism: Savant syndrome can be caused due to genetic reasons or it can be the result of a damage to the central nervous system or the brain. The occurrence of Savant syndrome is almost 10 times more in men than in women.

  • Savants are known to suffer from certain developmental delays. But, their developmental delay is often compensated by their high intellectual in a certain field like music, arts or science.
  • Studies suggest that half the people who suffer from Savant syndrome are known to suffer from autism while the rest might suffer brain injuries and diseases. The presence of a weakness like autism in savants can be the reason for their sheer genius.
  • Normally, an autistic sufferer would have low intellectual levels. But if the sufferer is a savant the intellectual levels can be anywhere above 100.
  • An interesting thing to note here is, not all savants would suffer from autism and all the autism sufferers need not be savants. The reason for autism accompanying Savant syndrome is still not known and it is this inability to reason that this syndrome is studied by many physicians with such curiosity.

The reason for the mystery behind savant syndrome and autism is evident. To date there has not been a clear understanding to the cause of autism and hence understanding the link between autism and savant behaviour is very tough. No matter what, savants who suffer from autism are uniquely talented and gifted despite the delayed mental growth in them.

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