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nichii

Are any of you savants?

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nichii

From Wikipedia:

Savant syndrome is a condition in which a person demonstrates profound and prodigious capacities or abilities far in excess of what would be considered normal.[1][2][3] People with savant syndrome may have neurodevelopmental disorders, notably autism spectrum disorders, or brain injuries. The most dramatic examples of savant syndrome occur in individuals who score very low on IQ tests, while demonstrating exceptional skills or brilliance in specific areas, such as rapid calculation, art, memory, or musical ability.[4][5][6][7] In spite of the name "syndrome", it is not recognized as a mental disorder nor as part of mental disorder in medical manuals such as the ICD-10[8] or the DSM-V.[9]

 

 I don't consider myself really good at anything, so I'm not one. I'm good with computers, but not to the point where I could get a job involving them. That's about it really. What about you guys? Are any of you savants? I think the percentage of people who have it is pretty low, but I wanted to ask anyway.

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brokenOne

I have a few things im pretty good at, but wouldnt consider myself a savant by any means. I do have three lesions on my brain though, and has this caused me quite a lot of neurological problems through out my life.

Edited by brokenOne

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vcq14

No; very intelligent, but not a savant. I was in middle school with a certifiable Aspie savant (incredible math abilities light years beyond our grade level). I always scored extremely high on IQ tests and was in Talented and Gifted for many years.

 

I am fluent in three languages and can read in several others; language (and tones) was something I have always excelled at (I routinely score in the high 98th percentile for any sort of language arts tests), but I strongly believe I suffer from dyscalculia as I have NEVER been able to visualize / process numbers (I still count on my fingers and can absolutely NOT do any sort of math in my head; even trying to do simple subtraction of double-digit numbers requires a significant amount of resources).

 

I am also very widely read on a wide range of technical subjects including medicine and aviation and can retain information I read, but my working short term memory is total garbage.

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Catman2018

I can remember dates.  

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No Longer Here

No. I have a high IQ but have never far excelled at any particular thing

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Simon Chai

No; very intelligent, but not a savant.

Same here.

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The Id

I have an interesting career because of my ability to come up with solutions to engineering problems that regular ppl can't. Not really a savant thing though. More like getting paid to indulge in a lifelong obsession.

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Peridot

quote-home.jpg

 

So there you go. I'm a genius. A savant is something else though.



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vcq14

I find it fascinating that in so many instances savantism co-occurs with significant mental retardation and/or physical handicap (according to Wikipedia, "The most dramatic examples of savant syndrome occur in individuals who score very low on IQ tests, while demonstrating exceptional skills or brilliance in specific areas, such as rapid calculation, art, memory, or musical ability."); this is true in almost all cases I am familiar with (Kim Peek, Leslie Lemke, Derek Paravicini,  ). Approximately half of savants are autistic; the other half often have some form of central nervous system injury or disease.

 

Daniel Tammet is the only functional savant I am familiar with who falls on the high functioning end of the spectrum and is actually able to articulate his thought processes (including synesthesia): I have read his "Born on a Blue Day" and found it fascinating.
 

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Nesf

No, I'm not a savant, but I'm good at learning languages and according to my diagnostic report, I have "high linguistic ability". I have a good visual memory and can look at verb tables or vocabulary lists once and remember them. At school I was good at recalling diagrams and illustrations, I could reproduce them accurately and I always got top grades for subjects like physics and biology. I excelled at geometry and trigonometry, but was hopeless at algebra or, really any thing abstact in nature for which I had no visual image. I wasn't any good at english literature, either, and really struggled to write essays (I since improved). I can't interpret poetry to save my life! I can relate to Daniel Tammet's linguistic (but not mathematical) ability, and Temple Grandin's thinking in pictures and ability to design engineering equipment in her head.

 

I love music, but sadly I have no particular talent in this department!

 

I have absolutely no idea what my intelligence or IQ is, I can only assume that it's above average.

 

Edit: I've heard it said very often that people who are good at learning languages are good verbal thinkers, but this is not necessarily the case - I know that I use my visual memory much more to learn the languages. If someone tells me a word, I won't remember it. I have to see it written down. Some people can learn from watching movies and listening alone, I can't do that. I must see the word first, then hear it.

Edited by Nesf
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Tylermc

I'm really good at art and painting and I can name any song on the radio by the artist I think I have some savant traits when I was 7yrsold I had a mid like a 11yrs old I really enjoyed this topic

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Sofi

I'm probably not a savant but I have a really good memory for dates and strings of numbers  and good memory in general. I could play chess before I could speak too.  I'm good at learning languages too but that's not as good as the memory thing which  is unusually good memory. 

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Aeolienne

Sorry, but I find Derek Paravicini's playing style too mechanical.

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Dr-David-Banner

Yes, Savants are deceptive. I think Bundini Brown was one. He joined Muhammad Ali's team before the first Liston fight. He was illiterate but had a way of saying really deep things in riddles that other people struggled to grasp.

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Ezra

My ability to communicate so well in forums, compared to me being so withdrawn and nonverbal irl, is considered a savant ability by my occ therapist

 

.

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Gin

I wish, however, my brother can recount a movie he has seen years ago from start to finish, describing everything from the music to the visuals and the exact conversation.



I'm probably not a savant but I have a really good memory for dates and strings of numbers  and good memory in general. I could play chess before I could speak too.  I'm good at learning languages too but that's not as good as the memory thing which  is unusually good memory. 

 

I noticed that with myself, I always remember people's birthdays or other significant dates in their lives, such as the dates their relatives passed away. It tends to get them creeped out

 

Now that you mention it, I do speak 5 languages (English, Russian, French, Norwegian and German) and understand 2 more (Swedish and Dutch) without ever having studied them. However, I find Dutch to be pretty much an exact mix of Norwegian and German, and Swedish is really close to Norwegian anyway. So yeah, those don't really count. I would have never concluded it to be a savant ability because those languages didn't always come easy, but I guess I remembered them better than most of my classmates did in the long run.

Edited by Gin
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Prism

No; very intelligent, but not a savant. I was in middle school with a certifiable Aspie savant (incredible math abilities light years beyond our grade level). I always scored extremely high on IQ tests and was in Talented and Gifted for many years.

 

I am fluent in three languages and can read in several others; language (and tones) was something I have always excelled at (I routinely score in the high 98th percentile for any sort of language arts tests), but I strongly believe I suffer from dyscalculia as I have NEVER been able to visualize / process numbers (I still count on my fingers and can absolutely NOT do any sort of math in my head; even trying to do simple subtraction of double-digit numbers requires a significant amount of resources).

 

I am also very widely read on a wide range of technical subjects including medicine and aviation and can retain information I read, but my working short term memory is total garbage.

 

Same here, I just consider myself as an intelligent person with an above average IQ. I have a particular ability with languages, music, and art, but I have dyscalculia. I have a list of interests and talents, not just one. That means I'm not a savant. 

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Gin

  I must see the word first, then hear it.

 

Same for me. That also applies to math in my case. I need to write it down to understand.

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RiRi

I can relate to some of the posts here. About dyscalculia, not being able to solve a problem in my head, but having no problem doing so on paper, that's me. I don't have a high IQ, but I don't think I'm dumb. I'm okay at art without ever really having anyone teach me, or taking art classes. I'm not sure if that'd be considered my savant skill, maybe in the future after I have years of practice. 

Though I know at least two languages, I don't think languages per se is my strength. I feel like people have focuses/things that they're really good at, but sometimes I feel like I don't. Maybe just stuff that I'm higher than okay at.

Sort of off topic, but I feel like I've always tried to be part of everything/fit in, sort of setting aside things I could have exploited and become better at. I've tried knowing about everything to sort of relate to people some way or another. As a result, I've never really focused on anything. At least, not until now that I'm practicing art. I think I sort of regret that I have been this way as sometimes I feel like I don't have a focus whatsoever or that I could be better at what I'm now better than okay at. I'm not sure.

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PandaPrincess

I don't have a savant skill. I am good at art, but there are lots of NTs that are just as good at it as I am.

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CCninja86

I actually am as far as I'm aware. I have Asperger's Syndrome and a Photographic Memory (Eidetic Memory). I still remember lots of small details of a reception room I sat in for 5 minutes months ago, like how many parcels were sitting on the floor behind the counter, which position the light switches were in inside the room on the left, the colour and first two letters of the car parked on the opposite side of the street, and more. I also remember some details from some pictures of paintings I saw at about the same time, and a license plate number I saw at least a month or two ago. I can sort of just visualise these details, they kind of just 'flash' in my mind when I try to recall them.

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Dr-David-Banner

There is basically a trade-off with nature. If, like me, you have very bad myopia you find your hearing will develop to buffer the defect. I think if mental illness leaves you on the brink of sanity, you become open to unusual ability or senses. One of mine is an enhanced connection to animals and ability to understand what they require. It arises through being disconnected from people and so the dogs, for example, sense it. I've had dogs that won't now take food from anyone else, unless I'm there and I've no idea why this is. Also being so close to dogs I found they have amazing senses. In my case I have very limited connection to other people to the point efforts to hold down most jobs are stressful or I get dismissed usually. However, I got some things back in return like memory and concentration. Also the mind can disconnect from the collective waveband leaving you free to explore different avenues. N.Ts are way too influenced by teachers and status figures to the point they exhibit impressive technical ability but reluctance to stray from the accepted path. I find most NTs to be like a needle following the groove of a vinyl record so progress from "A" to "B" is rigid, constrained, tracked and fixed. With mentally ill people the needle just shoots off the disk to the point of disfuntion. With Savants the record can't be played in the same fixed pattern.

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Sanctuary

I'm not a savant but I can do calendrical calculation which some savants can do. This means I can tell instantly what day of the week a date occurred going back over 250 years and to the end of this century, e.g 7 March 1917 was a Wednesday while 7 March 1817 was a Friday. I don't need to check a reference source or use a mathematical formula. Savants who can do this can do it though over a much larger time span and do other remarkable mathematical feats such as complex calculations in their heads. Calendrical calculation is a pretty useless "skill". People can be quite impressed when I tell them what day of the week they were born on and think it's some sort of "magic" but there is a system. Whenever I see a date I can't help but instantly work out the day of the week it was on. I like being able to do this but it's not something of much practical value.

The skills of mathematical savants are extraordinary but ultimately they're not at the cutting edge of maths or skills with great practical use these days. Being able to do complex calculations is remarkable but in the era of the calculator there's no real need for such an ability. Knowing Pi to thousands of places is similarly impressive but a computer can also supply the answer instantly to many more places. I think it's also often the case that mathematical savants tend to only have this ability in arithmetic and may not have exceptional skills in geometry, algebra or other areas of maths. They may also not be exceptional in solving mathematical problems which require lots of analysis - they are essentially "human calculators". This is not to downplay their skills, just to say they are not ultimately of the greatest complexity or use.

Artistic and musical savants have different but equally exceptional skills, e.g. to produce an impeccably accurate sketch of something they have only seen briefly or to play note-perfect a tune they have only heard once. These skills may have more utility but again may not be the ones which make someone a genuinely great artist or musician. Their skill may be more in reproducing than in creating. For example their work may not show much creative flair or innovation and therefore they would be unlikely to reach the top of those professions.

People who are exceptional mathematicians in the broadest sense will generally not be able to do the things the savants can. For example they won't be able to do complex calculations in their heads or recall Pi to hundreds or thousands of places but they would say they don't need to. Instead they will have the higher level skills across the whole subject to figure out the most perplexing problems. Our best artists and musicians will also not be able to do perfect reproductions but they would argue that is not what art and music are about - they are about innovation. Some of these very talented mathematicians, artists and musicians may also have autistic traits but they take them in a different direction to the savants. Ultimately savant skills are rare and probably most of interest to psychologists and neurologists than to wider society.  

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Dr-David-Banner

My closest savant ability will be music as I find it easy in as much as it's fun and not work. I can now come pretty close to working out the chords to most songs purely by ear. I will find the chord easily note by note but don't know the names of the chords, except G, G Minor and C. More unusually if an artist has based a melody on another song, I can hear the original song by the chord pattern. I've been known to then google the possible connection and confirm the artist had heard that original melody.
Electronics which I now do didn't come easily and I had my share of mental blocks. With that I had to actually work harder than most people to improve. I figured it was worth the effort to persist.
Oddly I'm good at languages but maybe the way I learn is unorthodox as I tend to create a system of bookish, formal communication - not the way people speak. I have a very odd Savant ability to be able to read a person's language structure at the individual level - like a blueprint. Only if it's a second language. It doesn't work in English for me. For example, we all use adverbs in a certain way or certain preferred words. Or conjunctions.
When I joined a Russian electronics forum I was curious if anyone would notice anything odd about my language. I mean, you don't usually get foreigners on these Russified sites. I tend to use a search engine as a grammar check especially as Russian has case endings. I try to get it spot on before posting. I'm sure they must have noticed something but nobody said, "Hey, are you Georgian or from Belarus?" The first time I posted the answers I got contained vocabulary I'd never heard, maybe more street language.

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.......

I have a 'Savant ability' in water. Almost like I can make it do what I want.. Although, if anyone spends enough time around water, they'll get the same ability..

 

I also have an multi dimensional picture of the universe in my head - it can be VERY frustrating when nobody else seems to get the model. It can be used to do anything in your hearts desire - a connection to 'All the knowledge in the Universe'..... 

 

 

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