There’s no other way to say it, but when your child is given a diagnosis of autism, it’s heartbreaking. It changes everything: how you raise him, teach him, and nurture him. But while some fall into the glass-half-empty, bummer-ness of the situation, others are lucky enough to have or find aspects of autism to celebrate. Some of these children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) may just have been given the gift of an amazing, awesome talent and sensational skills that are completely unparalleled. They have what is referred to as “savant syndrome.”
When a child has a very fine-tuned ability for music, math, or the arts, these gifts are also known as “splinter skills.” According to researchers, kids who display “a high level of ability that is in contrast to their disability” are referred to as “Talented Savants.” Then there are “Prodigious Savants,” a far rarer classification, “where the ability or brilliance is not only spectacular in contrast to the disability, but would be spectacular even if viewed in a non-disabled person.”
The New Scientist notes that the connection between autism and savantism remains mysterious. And while they may have challenges, these children and adults have inspiring talents that give hope to any parent of an autistic child. Yes, these savants are rare, but it can be reassuring to just know they exist and have such truly special gifts.
Here we celebrate nine amazing autistics who have done awesome feats. Check them out!