Irishcoda's Reviews > Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet
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's review
Oct 20, 2007

really liked it
Read in October, 2007

Wow! I read this book because I wanted to understand more about autistic spectrum disorders since T (my grandson) was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified. When Born On A Blue Day first came out, I wanted it right away. What better way to learn about autism than by reading a book by a person who has it?

Daniel Tammet has another form of autism, Asperger's Syndrome. Asperger's is considered a higher functioning form of autism because the kids diagnosed with it usually don't have language delays. All ASDs involve problems with socialization and with connecting to people. One of the issues the author discusses is his lack of feeling toward other classmates. He didn't care that they teased him or tried to embarrass him. He barely noticed them. Another example is when his father became very ill. Tammet writes that he wasn't sure how to react as his father collapsed. He knew that he should stay with his father until his mother arrived. At the end of the book, he does write that he realizes how much his family loves him and as much as he is able, he loves them back.

Parts of the book just totally blew my mind away. Tammet describes how he thinks--in shapes, numbers and colors. He explains his thought processes as he solves a puzzle. There is no way I can repeat any of it here because it was beyond my ability to understand or conceptualize. We don't think that way, most of us, and that's not to say it's wrong but it is most definitely different. Reading this book helped me to understand better why our T has trouble processing language and repeating sounds.

Daniel Tammet also has savant syndrome. He is able to do the most amazing feats with numbers. He raised money for the epilepsy foundation by memorizing a record breaking number of decimal place numerals for pi--over 20,000. It took him over five hours to recite all those numbers by memory!

One of his proudest moments was meeting Kim Peek, the autistic savant upon whom Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man was based. Tammet has participated in a lot of research projects to help us understand more about how people with autism think and process. He is self-employed and works from home although he did recount troubles he's had with job interviews. He is in a long lasting relationship with his partner overcoming issues of becoming emotionally close with another person. He and his partner own their own home.

It's an amazing, inspiring story. Daniel Trammet is awesome. Read his book and see for yourselves!
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