Talk:Savant syndrome

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

older entries[edit]

This is not a paper encyclopedia. Unlike them, you do not have to redirect (especially when the terms aren't identical).-- 01:54, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

"See also" seems to be the standard, according to Wikipedia:Manual_of_style#.22See_also.22_and_.22Related_topics.22_sections. Reverting from "See More At" back to "See also". LisaCarrol 03:39, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Recognized diagnosis[edit]

Aetoss, since you've deleted this text, can you please provide a source that explains the official diagnosis of Savant syndrome, for example, in ICD10 or DSM-IV ? Thanks, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:10, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[edit] is not a reliable source (anyone can write for them), and the source added here merely cites Treffert, so he should be cited directly. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:21, 4 April 2008 (UTC)


This article is based on one source. There are sections that have no sources. We have an nameless editor who keeps deleting these tags. I wish that s/he would explain why. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:32, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Sprotected until issue resolved. JFW | T@lk 19:01, 10 April 2008 (UTC)


Aetoss, a lot of the content you're adding is veering away from an encyclopedic tone and towards an {{essay}} and {{or}}, which is asking for more tags on the article. Please read through some of the links at WP:OR and the essay tag to understand better how to write an encyclopedic article, and avoid WP:SOAPBOX. This article is turning in to a soapbox, original research, essay. Regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:43, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually it appears that this is actually a fork of Autistic savant created on 28 March, 2008, by Aetoss reverting a very old (August, 2005) redirect to Autistic savant. I've reverted to a redirect for now. Perhaps Aetoss will explain why the fork is necessary. --Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival, The 23:06, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Aetoss appears to hold the view that not all savants are autistic savants. Since neither are recognized medical conditions, I'm indifferent. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:10, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

The reason I removed the link to autistic savant is because that article sucked and because not all savants are autistic (you would know that if you read the article). --Aetoss (talk) 22:19, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Neither condition is a recognized medical diagnosis, and you haven't provided sources; you will need to add and discuss sourcing of both articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:22, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
What on earth does the "diagnosis" have to do with it? I never said it was a diagnosis, its more of an occurance(if that makes sense). And as for the sources as you know there is an obvious problem there, BUT even without it the article is at least 10x better than that autistic savant article. And furthermore when people type in "savant syndrome" and see autistic savant pop up they will get false impressions and a severe lack of information. EVEN WITHOUT THE SOURCES it is way better and I would please ask people not to fight me on this. You can help me, and I appriciate the assistance so far, but to sever that article from the publics eye and replacing it with that bogus article is to shove garbage into their heads instead of valuable information. Its a safe bet out of all the people to edit, or write anything on savant syndrome on wikipedia no one knows more about it than me (boastful but true). So replacing an article written by knowledgable person in the subject for a article written by someone who has no clue what they are talking about is clearly illogical. --Aetoss (talk) 06:50, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
We need something besides one author to base the distinction on; you were building an uncited essay, but never brought forward additional sources. I don't necessarily disagree that two articles may be warranted, but I need to see more sources to form an educated opinion. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:55, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this is definitely a case of WP:V trumping WP:TRUTH. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:32, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Well one factor you have to realize is that in all honesty there are not too many savant specialists world wide and there are even fewer good ones. Dr Treffert is simply and undeniably the greatest savant researcher alive today, that guy is brilliant. He has done more for savant research than all the other specialists combined. The bulk of what we know about savants comes from him, and the other even worth mentioning one (Dr Alen Snyder) is already in the article. I will admit this; This article is having trouble concerning sourcing that is true. But what is better an article with preschool level information (some of which is not even true and will create misconceptions) that has citations, or an article with 100% correct information that is 10x better with less citations? I really do appologize for the citation trouble. But why do you people feel like you need to fight me on this? -- (talk) 04:44, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
The reason that this matters is because Wikipedia's verifiability policy is not optional. Ever.
Furthermore, just because two experts have an opinion about something, and you agree what that opinion, that does not make it the only, or common, use of a term. As SandyGeorgia pointed out above, there's no medical diagnosis here. That means that there's no recognized international body that agreed the boundaries of the condition. Instead, we have two experts that have expressed an opinion that you like, and many other people and groups that have expressed opinions that you don't like. Some of the people in the latter group consider themselves to be experts, too, BTW, but you don't, specifically because their opinion is different from your point of view. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:01, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Given the persistent removal of tags and inability of the editor in question to clarify his/her behaviour I have now {{sprotected}} the page for 2 weeks. As WhatamIdoing indicates, asking for sources is not automatically an indication of disagreement. JFW | T@lk 20:51, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I was wondering if there was a tag you can put on the top of the article saying that the entire article has a lack of references. Because all the "mini tags" make it look really crappy. And I think I found out who was removing the tags so that should stop now. I am all for the article having more credibility, but right now it just looks downright ugly. --Aetoss (talk) 01:48, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

The entire article is not unreferenced: it was a referenced article when you started working on it, and those sections are referenced. The way to solve the ugliness is to stop adding uncited text. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:25, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Two months is long enough to have waited for citations to be added: I deleted text cited untagged since March, tagged new uncited text, and removed the text which was only copied from other articles while adding links to those articles. Basically, there is no new cited text in this article except that which was copied from autistic savant; in fact, there is no reason for this article to exist, since savant syndrome is not a recognized condition and the article is all uncited or single-source speculation. Unless reliable sources are added soon, this should again be re-directed to the cited, autistic savant article. Wiki is not a webhost, and is not the appropriate place for uncited essays. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:44, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

A savant syndrome article is needed, look up savant syndrome and you will see that it is pretty popular. Also the articles on the savant themselves need to have a link to a page which describes savant syndrome itself. And that Autistic Savant article will not suffice because not all savants are autistic. Another reason is because of the severe lack of information the autistic savant article has, compare it to mine and you will see a big difference. There is absolutley no informaion in the article I wrote that can be called incorrect, it can be called uncited, but there is nothing that is incorrect. You said yourself SandyGeorgia that you are not educated in the topic so why are you even in this discussion? Why are any of you people fighting me? I have yet to see anyone but myself put in any new information. If anything we just need another person who is at least half as educated as myself in the topic to find references, I would have put references while I typed the article but I wrote the whole thing from memory. Feel free to add references everybody but there is no sense in deleting an article that needs to exist and has 100% correct information. You can tear apart my article and reword the whole thing but the article does need to exist. --Aetoss (talk) 13:40, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Why was the section about the different savant categories removed? I can see why the other stuff would need revision, but don't you think that knowing that there are different "degrees" of savant syndrome is important? Otherwise everyone will think they all have the same level of skill. Can someone please help me understand why? Thanks. --Aetoss (talk) 16:26, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Aetoss, you've been editing now for several months, yet it doesn't appear you have taken the time to read policies like WP:V and WP:OR, nor the links in the tags at the top of the article. The article is an uncited essay, based on one person's opinions and speculation, about an unrecognized condition. Wiki is not a webhost for one person's opinions. It's time to diversify the sources, find more than one reliable source that discusses this alleged syndrome, and cite the article. Uncited text can be removed; waiting two months is long enough. Also, the vandalism from the Utah Educational Network should stop. If all of this doesn't happen soon, this article should be (again) redirected to autistic savant. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:30, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

If that is what it comes to, so be it. I can't control you people. But I would ask you if it came to that to make sure that there is a seperate article from autistic savant called "savant syndrome" because to spread misconceptions like that is wrong, especially to those who are effected by it firsthand. I wrote the article because of how offended I was when I typed in savant syndrome and had autistic savant come up. It made me see that wikipedia was truly in the stone age concerning savant syndrome and so I tried to help. If you people think a bunch of citations are that important, and are not willing to put add any yourselves, go ahead, get rid of it. I quit. I applaud your efforts to further the stereotypes, misconceptions, and ignorance of savant syndrome. --Aetoss (talk) 22:12, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I have done some work to show you how to write the article in an encyclopedic tone and how to cite sources.[1] I can't solve the fact that this syndrome isn't a recognized condition, and this article is still based on one source. Please add citations to indiate where you found the text that is tagged as needing citation, and please try to add only cited text from here on. Uncited text may be deleted; Wiki is not a webhost for Treffert, so please try to diversify the sources and cite any new text. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:08, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Aetoss, I'm sorry that you're unhappy about this, but Sandy's right. Wikipedia publishes what is verifiable, not what is True™. If you can't, or won't, provide suitable references, then it will be deleted from Wikipedia. Deletion is not necessarily permanent; you could always come back some time in the future and re-write it with suitable references. In the meantime, "I wrote it from memory" is insufficient. I'm sure you wouldn't want me to write an article on this subject based on my memory (which, BTW, tells me that Treffert's book was a lot of unfounded speculation and cherry-picking the data to fit his preconceived notions).
I'd also like to add that Wikipedia is not the only possible place to publish your essay. You could get your own website and write whatever you want on it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:42, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I've now found and added enough independent sources to establish notability for the term and article, but the article is currently nonetheless basically parroting Treffert's opinions, in an essay. The challenge now is to represent the other sources and get away from over-reliance on Treffert's website. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:41, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Merge Autistic savant into Savant syndrome[edit]

The articles Autistic savant and Savant syndrome are on essentially the same subject. Formally, autistic savants are a subset but in practice the material on the latter is essentially the same as the material on the former. Let's merge the two articles. The more-general name Savant syndrome is the better one; Autistic savant can be a redirect to it. Eubulides (talk) 06:03, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes, keep it in one place, this place works. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:04, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Quick review[edit]

A quick review. The subject is real (albeit not well studied) but the article clearly needs a lot of work. Savant syndrome #Further reading gives some sources, but others should be used as well. The latest version of Treffert's work is the Wisconsin Medical Society article, as far as I know; I don't see any reason to cite earlier stuff. There is a real need to cite non-Treffert stuff. All of the "Treffert said"s in the text should be removed; this should be an article about savantism, not about Treffert. Eubulides (talk) 06:33, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

  • The problem is that the text is currently all Treffert's opinions, so needs attribution (I don't have access to any other sources, so I can't take this article to the next level). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:05, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Teffert is an expert in this area. Most academic articles that I found cite him. Does it help to include these? It feels slightly circular to me but if it helps readers understand why the article is heavily based on the Wisconsin Medical Society pages I will dig some of these up.

Although the "Treffert says" stuff is a little off, this page is a MAJOR improvement over the old "autistic savant" page which was so full of misinformation that it needed to be thrown out. It was clear that it had been written by people who had never known a savant and in many cases didn't even know what the term meant. In 2006 I suggested basing the article on the U of Wis pages as they are accurate and well written. I'm glad to see that someone tackled that project. I gave up arguing with the completely clueless.

I am not sure that Savant Syndrome is in the DSM. It's not a diagnosis per se but rather a phenomenon associated with a diagnosis. It was first identified in the 19th century but it hasn't had much study until recently. Margaretolson (talk) 03:48, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I edited one section - the etiology of savant syndrome is very poorly understood. The existing text overstated one of Treffort's theories for some occurrences of savant syndrome, and in any case contradicted itself in the next paragraph. The Geschwind-Galaburda Hypothesis is applied to all kinds of things (in some cases inappropriately) and although U of Wis says "elsewhere on the site" for details on Treffort's application of this theory I couldn't find the relevant section of the U Wisc pages. It seemed better to leave it out than to misstate it or reference a page that says "see elswhere" where the "elsewhere" doesn't exist. I'll keep digging maybe we can put it back later. It would be good to get a round up of the theories into this section.(Even though none of them quite explain it). Perhaps also with a note "and this one fails here..." Margaretolson (talk) 04:45, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

There needs to be a mention of the different savant categories[edit]

This is important because without it, everyone will think that all savants have the same level of skill. The categories are: Splinter, Talented, and Prodigious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, I don't know about that. Those categories strike me to have more to do with "interestingness" of the savant than anything else. How does including them illuminate the syndrome? Calendar calculations can be phenomenal but they are treated as "parlor tricks", whereas the art and drawing skills the rest of the world finds very valuable and interesting. It's not at all clear that these categories don't say more about us normals than it does about savant syndrome. Margaretolson (talk) 04:46, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

It is important because it will help raise public understanding. The amount of information in the article is VERY basic to the point it is not worthy of respect, the categories are considered essential information. This may be because the people who wrote it (or at least most of them) obviously lack proper education in the subject. I just think it is important. For example; I am classified as a talented savant (not kidding), when people hear this they misunderstand what it means. Having this information in the article could reduce the number of times I have to explain it to people, and could help other people in my situation. Well do what you want, I decided to quit wikipedia a long time ago so I will only recommend information rather than enter it myself. (talk) 15:46, 27 May 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

You should have seen the page a year ago - it was WAY WAY worse. But, my problem with "splinter", "talented", "prodigious" is that they are (as far as I can tell) the categories of a single researcher (Treffert). Treffert is the leading researcher in this field but I am uncomfortable with categories and statements that only appear in his work and in references to his work. (talk) 17:08, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Sorry I forgot to log in above, it was me at Margaretolson (talk) 17:09, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Also, Michael Phelps does not have autism, as suggested by him being listed under autistic savants. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Kim Peek and use in popular culture?[edit]

Who is Kim Peek?

Could this article benefit from a 'Uses in popular culture' section? There are a few savants in movies and books, for example, in Cube (film), Kazan is a savant —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:26, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Treffert has the savant syndrome[edit]

Treffert says the condition can be genetic, but can also be acquired, and coexists with other developmental disabilities "such as mental retardation or brain injury or disease that occurs before (pre-natal) during (peri-natal) or after birth (post-natal), or even later in childhood or adult life." That just means savant syndrome can happen to everyone and any time ! else there is no meaning. --Eurobas (talk) 10:11, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

ive heard on a documentary on them, a person became a savant when he got hit on the head with a baseball and remembered everything that happened on a certain date afterward.(not reccomending anyone to try that to increase their skills) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:35, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

"Acquired savant syndrome" (and even "savant syndrome") are not recognized psychological conditions. Much of the evidence comes from very unreliable, anecdotal stories which are then warped further by the media. Let99 (talk) 20:00, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
A syndrome is not a disorder. It is a specific group of symptoms. It is not a diagnosable condition. The term is used in the research literature. Savants are real, and there is quite a bit of biomedical research on them. The question is no longer whether they're a real phenomenon; it's figuring out how they do what they do. They're a tough group to study because there are so few of them. But yeah, the media does like to sell boxes of cereal and male enhancement products by sensationalizing them. But sometimes nutwads like Treffert decide to endorse the fringe stuff. MD's are not inherently scientists (not in the US anyway), and Treffert's comments on paranormal savants demonstrates that. Dcs002 (talk) 10:28, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Possibly something worth adding[edit]

I watched a show today on a set of twins with this disorder called Flo & Kay: Twin Savants. I can't find any "official" article about it and I don't know enough about wikipedia to know if I can use a video as a reference. Sean118 (talk) 06:54, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree about Flo & Kay[edit]

I added them to the list of prodigious savants with a link to an article outlining the documentary TLC produced about them. Maybe someone can find a better secondary source? The documentary could be cited, I'm just having a hard time finding information on the documentary. User:NotRegistered —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:44, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

David Fowler[edit]

I am removing him until sourced. Rich Farmbrough, 09:28, 8 June 2009 (UTC).

Asperger Vs. Savant[edit]

Is there any difference between Asperger syndrome and Savant syndrome? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, definitely. See the link Asperger syndrome . 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 18:29, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Prodigious savants[edit]

The article lists the characteristics of prodigious savants as having no irregular qualities other than their exceptional memories/brilliance in certain subjects, but then lists a whole bunch of people with clear and often severe disabilities. These people don't fit with the description of prodigious savants and are just savants. As such, they should be removed from the list. Keepssouth (talk) 23:02, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

IQ's above 40?[edit]

It says that "almost all" savants have IQ's above 40. While technically true, this does seem like a bit of an understatement. Don't most savants actually have IQ's in the 140 range, if not higher? Stonemason89 (talk) 23:07, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

No. (talk) 06:39, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

No, savant syndrome occurs from degenerative brain development or damage to CNS. Some people may seem wholly normal besides their savant skills, but as it is mentioned in the article, it is a trade off. You think savants with mental retardation will mostly have an IQ above 140? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

IQ tests aren't exactly very representative in the first place and shouldn't be used as a decisive factor of anything. They're generally testing your memory and that your way of thinking is similar to the author's. Gendalv (talk) 13:00, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

Intelligence Citations Bibliography for Articles Related to IQ Testing[edit]

You may find it helpful while reading or editing articles to look at a bibliography of Intelligence Citations, posted for the use of all Wikipedians who have occasion to edit articles on human intelligence and related issues. I happen to have circulating access to a huge academic research library at a university with an active research program in those issues (and to another library that is one of the ten largest public library systems in the United States) and have been researching these issues since 1989. You are welcome to use these citations for your own research. You can help other Wikipedians by suggesting new sources through comments on that page. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 03:02, 9 July 2010 (UTC)


What is a megasavant? I think this needs better citation. As far as I know this is not any sort of legitimate terminology. What is it? I have kept tabs on this article and as of 3 weeks ago according to this article, Kim Peek was not a megasavant.

3dec3 (talk) 17:52, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I think the word "megasavant" is not logic. It's a bad habit to use "mega" as a prefix for everything that is superb. Same with "kilo" and "giga". Wouldn't kilosavant, gigasavant or terrasavant sound stupid? Supersavant is a much more logic word. This is Wikipedia, use proper terms. Urbanus Secundus (talk) 17:16, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Regardless of your feelings on the word, megasavant is the word used in the sources, so it is the one used in the article. Beach drifter (talk) 17:57, 31 January 2011 (UTC)


"This, however, varies between individuals, and an ASD savant who at a young age were to identify attributing peoples faces to their name as a very important skill to possess would[dubious – discuss] have exceptional[weasel words] skills in this area exceeding that of the ‘normal’ population."

There wouldn't happen to be any evidence for this would there...? Or is this article meant to be more an exercise in creative writing? Make it up as you go along? Anonywiki (talk) 15:51, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

The following quote from the article seems like an exaggeration and it lacks any supporting references.

Prodigious Savants all share the same characteristics:[edit]

  • Lack of short term memory.
  • The presence of organic brain disease, brain trauma, or inherited genetic abnormalities.
  • Extraordinary, 100% recall of anything they have ever seen, heard, smelled, felt or touched in extreme detail.
  • The ability to reproduce anything they have ever heard, especially music with lyrics.
  • A near total inability to learn symbolic language. For instance, another language, higher math or science. They don't lack interest, but the capacity for rote memorization and already know the answers to the bigger questions in science intuitively.
  • The ability to identify, and, in most cases, fix, virtually any problem they encounter.
  • Unusual empathy. Since savants see the world from a different perspective, they have extreme empathy towards all living things.

The above section was written by Nathan Solo (Solomianski), prodigious savant. --Studio 126 (talk) 06:44, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Smacks of personal anecdotal evidence to me, no offense. Do you have any attributable sources saying those are indeed universal attributes of prodigious savants, whatever the term means? Also, I'd like to add that in a wider context, i.e. in savantism as a whole, these characteristics are often not the case. Again, this hinges on the precise definition of prodigious savantism. Do you happen to have some source that might help define the term more concretely? (talk) 06:47, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Scratch that, I just realized you said you were not the author. I apologize, but my questions still stand with regards to the author of said statement. Seeing as you're not him, I'll probably try finding him myself or something. Sorry again. (talk) 06:52, 9 December 2010 (UTC)


Can we have that whole section completely removed? It sounds completely ludicrous. (talk) 17:24, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

I looked at the source paper, it was self published at a website for the center for the mind. Looking into that site, it affiliates itself with the University of Sydney, which in turn acknowledges the site is legit. It sounds bogus, and hasn't been peer reviewed, I would suggest to change the language to a more speculative tone. 19:49, 7 March 2011 (UTC) (talk)

Epidemiology Study[edit]

I have changed the description of the Goode&Hutton study to this:

"A 2009 British study of 137 parents with autistic children found that 28% believed their offspring met the criteria for a savant skill, that is, a skill or power "at a level that would be unusual even for normal people"..[12]"

My first edit was reverted for being original research; it is not. This is literally what the study is investigating, the previous description was misleading. To quote the abstract[1] of the study.

"Most investigations of savant skills in autism are based on individual case reports. The present study investigated rates and types of savant skills in 137 individuals with autism (mean age 24 years). Intellectual ability ranged from severe intellectual impairment to superior functioning. Savant skills were judged from parental reports and specified as ‘an outstanding skill/knowledge clearly above participant's general level of ability and above the population norm’."

GordonRoss (talk) 04:16, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

GordonRoss, I believe this edit has some errors.
It wasn't a "study of 137 parents with autistic children", The study stated, "The present study investigated rates and types of savant skills in 137 individuals with autism (mean age 24 years)."[2]
The study doesn't say, a "study of 137 parents with autistic children found that 28% believed their offspring met the criteria for a savant skill," The study states, "Savant skills were judged from parental reports and specified as ‘an outstanding skill/knowledge clearly above participant's general level of ability and above the population norm’. A comparable definition of exceptional cognitive skills was applied to Wechsler test scores—requiring a subtest score at least 1 standard deviation above general population norms and 2 standard deviations above the participant's own mean subtest score. Thirty-nine participants (28.5%) met criteria for either a savant skill or an exceptional cognitive skill: 15 for an outstanding cognitive skill (most commonly block design); 16 for a savant skill based on parental report (mostly mathematical/calculating abilities); 8 met criteria for both a cognitive and parental rated savant skill."
The study authors concluded 23 individuals had savant skills from testing, and 16 from parental reports, with 8 individuals meeting both criteria.
The study discussion section also states, "Moreover, for reasons already noted, this estimate of 28.5 per cent for savant skills is likely to be an underestimate. It may be concluded that unusual talents are found in at least a third of individuals with autism."
As I have verified the information in the version that was changed[3] and demonstrated the errors in the version that you changed to, please revert your edit. Thanks. Ward20 (talk) 06:14, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Buckethead a savant?[edit]

There's no argument from me that he is regarded as an expert in his field, but there seems to be no indication of 'savantism' per se. This was added by an IP contributor on November 23rd. Should anyone with further experience in the field remove this, all the more power to you, but I don't want to overstep my bounds by potentially provoking an edit war, considering this article's tumultuous past. Thanks, (talk) 07:06, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead and remove the line. Without any citations or obvious indications of savantism, it just looks like an addition by a fan of his music. (talk) 16:39, 30 May 2011 (UTC)


"According to Treffert, about half of all Hi Segun does ur chain hang low people with savant syndrome have autistic disorder"

Sorry, don't know how to fix it, just thought I'd let someone know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:17, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Lead text has serious problems[edit]

The text of the lead section strongly implies that all "developmental disorders" are due to "brain dysfunction", which is an unsupported physical/chemical explanation of all brain dysfunction, discounting all environmental factors. It also says that "some savants have no apparent abnormalities" yet asserts that "This does not mean that these abilities weren't triggered by a brain dysfunction of some sort", which would be an apparent abnormality by definition.

I would suggest that the obvious fixes are replacing the phrase "developmental disorders" with "brain dysfunctions (often resulting in developmental disorders)" in the first paragraph, and changing "apparent abnormalities" with "apparent dysfunctions" and "brain dysfunction" with "brain abnormality" in the second. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 04:12, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

  • I also had a question about the following sentence in the introduction: "In some very rare and extreme cases, some people with savant actually had an average to even a higher IQ while demonstrating exceptional skills or brilliance in specific areas, such as rapid calculation, art, memory, or musical ability." By higher IQ, is higher than average meant? Also, this sentence has several grammatical errors, such as inappropriate past tense usage. MSederberg21 (talk) 04:25, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Who is Treffert?[edit]

This page never mentions anything about who "Treffert" is or why we should take him as an expert. It just says "According to Treffert" several times. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:27, 5 February 2012 (UTC).

Dr. Darold A. Treffert, MD, of the Wisconsin Medical Society, an expert on Autism Spectrum Disorders.--Studio 126 (talk) 04:23, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
This is an important question. His ideas have entered popular culture, but it's easy to see where some of his claims are clearly wrong. I've added an example quote to the Characteristics section as is, without comment. Let99 (talk) 20:20, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Savant Syndrome, Characteristics: "In his book, Extraordinary People, Treffert also mentions that as many as 10% of autistic savants may have extrasensory perception, and reincarnation is mentioned as a possible explanation for savantism in at least one case." The Characteristics section compromises the article's authority by (A) foregrounding the claims of a single researcher, particularly when (B) the claims include hypothetical and anecdotal information, which are, in turn, (C) outside mainstream scientific assumptions; specifically, reincarnation. Faustrol (talk) 17:23, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

I added that section back. The whole article is based on Treffert's claims, so all of his claims about what savantism is should be included. Edit: It's listed under controversies. If the world's two leading savant researchers make these claims about savantism, a term which they have defined, then we should include all of their opinions on the subject. Let99 (talk) 20:06, 9 August 2014 (UTC)


The new definition of Savant syndrom says: "Savant syndrome is a condition in which a person with mental retardation exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field."
Now this is sourced, so I won't do anything with it right now, but I wonder if all savants really suffer from mental retardation. Does anybody have any other sources that either confirm or deny the mental retardation part? Lova Falk talk 09:08, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

I now changed the definition. Treffert is a real expert source, whereas the previous source that was used for the definition, "Psychology in Action" is not. When I was looking around for this savant syndrome - mental retardation connection, as I understand it, previously savant syndrome was called idiot savant, but since then there have been reports of individuals with autism who are considered savants despite average, or above average, intellectual functioning, for instance in Young, R., & Nettelbeck, T. (1995). The abilities of a musical savant and his family. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 25, 229–245 and in Heavey, L., Pring, L., & Hermelin, B. (1999). A date to remember: The nature of memory in savant calendrical calculators. Psychological Medicine, 29, 145–160. So now the "mental retardation" part is out and "serious mental disabilities, including autistic disorder" is in. Lova Falk talk 09:43, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Mental retardation shouldn't be removed from the definition. Individuals with autism can have savant skills and not be mentally retarded. But someone with savant syndrome always has mental retardation. Including people with savant skills but aren't mentally retarded destroys the integrity of this article. Why should they be given the special title of having savant syndrome when they aren't? They can be described as gifted instead. Why are we following the media's misconceptions towards people with savant syndrome? In Rain Man, there was no confirmation that the character had mental retardation. It isn't fair to those who truly have savant syndrome. Mellywelly15 (talk) 18:57, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not following media, I have no opinion on Rain man, I am following Treffert's article: "The savant syndrome: an extraordinary condition. A synopsis: past, present, future." On this site: you can see the first line in this article: "persons with serious mental disabilities, including autistic disorder." If you have access to this article, you can read a section about people with savant syndrome previously diagnosed (by Down) with ‘developmental retardation’, but Treffert writes: "Today, that condition is known as autistic disorder". So, some people with savant syndrome suffer of autistic disorder, not mental retardation. Lova Falk talk 19:17, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
People with mental retardation can have autism. I'm not denying that. The definition that Treffert provided includes people with autism that may not necessarily have mental retardation and that's simply wrong. Mellywelly15 (talk) 19:24, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying that Treffert is wrong and you are right? Lova Falk talk 20:05, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
It's not what I think. It's about the source "Psychology in Action" that includes mental retardation. Mellywelly15 (talk) 21:14, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
The Treffert source is much better than this general book in psychology. Lova Falk talk 07:19, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Only people with mental retardation can exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field. To say that people with "serious mental disabilities" or autistic disorder exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field is wrong since the source "Psychology in Action" doesn't say that. Clearly the two sources are talking about different things. We can't use both of them if both say different things. I have removed people with autism who aren't mentally retarded from the list of notable savants. The source, Psychology in Action has to be used since it describes an accurate definition of savant syndrome. If we used the Treffert source, we would have to include people who are gifted with autism spectrum disorders as savant syndrome. Couldn't we just talk about these people in the autism spectrum article? Why does it have to be cluttered with this article? Mellywelly15 (talk) 15:42, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Part of this may be a communication issue. I can think of many people without mental retardation who exhibit brilliance in a limited field; surely you don't mean to disagree with that, Mellywelly15. It might help to clarify that savant syndrome and savant skills are difficult terms and that there might be some disagreement. On a pretty regular basis, WP articles contain different sources that say completely different things. That helps us to present a complete picture of the topic at hand. The article could still use some expansion. If multiple peer-reviewed sources say that savant syndrome is applied to people with a variety of developmental issues, then it would be appropriate to add that to the article. It's just not appropriate to leave out key information over concerns about clutter. EricEnfermero Howdy! 14:37, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Expansion of the subset on: Society and Culture[edit]

Maybe someone could discuss certain contributions that are attributed to savants. Meaning, what impacts have savants had on society? Has there ever been ground breaking discoveries due to a savant's skill? References to well known savant's are mentioned, but I think if readers could see the impacts of this gift on this page with specific examples, they would be intrigued to learn more. Lmaas5 (talk) 03:11, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Can somebody add new full articles regarding both of the calendar calculator twins, the other calendar calculators and Jason Padgett?[edit]

I hope someone will add the full articles into research into the calendar calculating twins and married couple, and Jason Padgett?Iamnofool6 (talk) 04:01, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

First, provide scientific evidence that Padgett is a savant. Let99 (talk) 20:16, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

What about all of those articles and documentaries from across the Internet?--Iamnofool6 (talk) 07:35, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Such as from Jason Padgett's book: Struck By Genius?--Iamnofool6 (talk) 20:16, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Jacob Barnett[edit]

Would anyone object to the addition of Jacob Barnett to the list of notable cases? (see his talk page.) Viewfinder (talk) 23:51, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Arbitrary lists are NEVER a good idea[edit]


I removed the lists as it was becoming a magnet for original research. When can have lists of concrete things (like "Cities in the Republic of Ireland", "Fellows of the National Academy of Sciences", "chemical elements". Open-ended lists, especially those having a strong element of subjectivity, such as "the most important Fellows of the National Academy of Sciences", "cities with the best pubs in Ireland", "my favourite chemical elements" or "most prominent autistic savants" are never a good idea. So it's been removed.

Thanks for your understanding. Barney the barney barney (talk) 21:29, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

ESP and mysticism[edit]

Darold Treffert's claims that "10% of autistic savants may have ESP" among other obtuse statements should be removed from the "Characteristics" section. They essentially introduce the likelihood of psychic powers developing within each savant early in the article, and are not an appropriate subject while establishing the meaning of the term to readers and expanding upon its connotations. I would suggest moving these claims to a "Mysticism" or similar section, if not just deleting them, as they degrade the legitimacy of the article as a whole.ImpliedFibre (talk) 11:16, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Jason Padgett Article possible full life up to and after the incident. Worth adding?[edit]

I wonder are any of the admins going to add the Jason Padgett article about his life and abilities, including documentaries about his life 
and abilities? Just wondering when that will be?--Iamnofool6 (talk) 03:16, 10 February 2015 (UTC)


I think that this article would benefit from one or two examples of people with savant syndrome. -KaJunl (talk) 19:24, 11 October 2015 (UTC)