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Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  57 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
For the first time in Extraordinary People, the psychiatrist who was a consultant to the movie Rain Man, collects the most fascinating cases of Savant Syndrome both in history and modern times. Dr. Treffert documents the spectacular abilities?the islands of genius?in these remarkable persons, and describes as well the love, determination and dedication of their equally rem ...more
Paperback, 412 pages
Published February 14th 2006 by (first published January 1989)
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Feb 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people wanting to learn more about autism
I bought this book because of my interest in the movie Rain Man. It really only has about one chapter on the movie, but the rest of the book is also interesting. The author explains the nature of savant syndrome and gives portraits of other individuals, some artistically inclined and some musically. It's a bit technical to read, versus a novel style, but I would recommend it for college psychology classes or independent studies.
This is vair vair outdated- a cool topic, but sort of fluffy coverage. He has a newer one that I would read, and to my untrained self he seems to be the preeminent expert in the field, so its a shame that this book didn't live up to his credentials.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read this many years ago. Fascinating and fun read.
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An in-depth look at the fascinating condition of savant syndrome.
Stephen Palmer
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I came across Darold Treffert’s book 'Extraordinary People' in a second-hand bookshop decades ago. It was a lucky find, and has been an inspirational book for me all the time since (including for my own SF novels).

Treffert is an American psychiatrist with an interest in Savant Syndrome, sometimes called Autistic Savant Syndrome or similar terms. Over many years he has come to an understanding of why otherwise severely disabled people can show such extraordinary “islands of genius,” which in even
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