Savantism and autism

Here is an interesting piece on the “connections” between savantism and autism. It is found on the Spectrum News website and is titled “Extraordinary minds: The link between savantism and autism.”

Savantism is “an exceptional talent for music, math, art or language.” The numbers are fuzzy but one commonly used figure is that one in ten patients on the autism spectrum are savants. The article cites recent studies that suggest that the number could be much higher, perhaps four in ten.

This is one of those gray areas. The author notes that the few studies that have been done have involved relatively small numbers of patients. A few of these patients were found, on followup, to no longer meet the criteria for being on the autism spectrum.

The article does not make any differentiation between ASD and Aspergers. The range of patients are all considered ASD, despite widely varying intelligence measurements and other testing.

It is an interesting read. Here are two other articles on the topic: