The extraordinary talents of some people with autism are well-documented, yet little is understood about the nature of their gifts. Drawing on 20 years of research, Beate Hermelin describes not just what autistic savants do, but how they do it. During her studies she and her collaborators examined savants alongside neurotypical individuals talented in the same domain, as well as people with the same level of intelligence as the savants but with no special abilities. In her fascinating and highly informative book she describes her investigations into the nature of the talents of savants who are gifted at poetry, foreign language acquisition, the visual arts, music, and calendar and numerical calculations. The work of a scholar but immensely readable, Bright Splinters of the Mind is not only a thorough exploration of autistic gifts, it is also a book which reaches radical conclusions on the very nature of talent and its relationship to intelligence.
Bright Splinters of the Mind: A Personal Story of Research with Autistic Savants
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