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Idiot savant

Being an idiot savant is a rare phenomenon which occurs in some people with autism and/or certian developmental disorders. Savants can express extraordinary mental abilities, often in the fields of mathematics, art, or music.

This condition can afflict people from birth, later in childhood, or even adulthood. Some people have acquired savant-like abilities after suffering from head injuries.

Most savants have very extensive mental abilities, called splinter skills. They can memorize facts, numbers, license plates, maps, and extensive lists of sports and weather statistics. Some savants can mentally note and then recall back perfectly a very long series of music, numbers, or speech.

Some other savant skills include:

  • instantly computing prime numbers composed of several digits
  • precisely estimate distances by sight
  • calculating the day of the week for any given date over the span of tens of thousands of years
  • perfect perception of passing time without a clock

The character played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rain Man is an idiot savant.

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