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Incredible savants whose unique talents are a treasure

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Savants are people born with some prodigious talent which makes them exceptional geniuses. Though they are far and few, there are some incredible savants that one must know about.

The mathematical geniuses

Orlando Serrel

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Formal education is not a hindrance for some born geniuses and Jedediah Braxton of England is the prime example for this. His power for calculations were so strong they say that he created his own units as no names existed for the minute units he could calculate.

For him, a “tribe” was the cube of a million and a “tramp” was a thousand tribe of tribes! For some, an accident helps acquire ingenious skills, as in the case of Orlando Serrel, who became a math prodigy after being hit on the head by a baseball.

Savant for Art

Zhou Zhou from China

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Zhou Zhou from China had the mental disability of Down syndrome with IQ of just 30% of a normal person. The man is a genius with musical instruments in a symphony, yet his own age is a mystery to him.

He is the only conductor in the world who does not read music and memorizes melodies of all sections of a piece just as he hears it. Until the age of 51 years, Tommy McHugh was a criminal, con artist, and drug addict.

He nearly died of brain haemorrhage when after a critical operation he developed a rare addiction – writing poetry. He churned out poetry and rhymes day and night till it all stopped one day and he spent every waking moment painting.

The Rainman – again and again

Rainman

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The movie Rainman’s chief protagonist Dustin Hoffman won many hearts with his vulnerability and genius. Kim Peeke is the real inspiration behind the movie character. He was born with severe brain damage due to which he had developmental disabilities.

His doctor had asked his father to put him in a mental institution and forget about him, but his father ignored the advice and took his boy home. While Kim cannot perform the most rudimentary tasks and as per normal IQ tests he is well below average, he has read over 12,000 books and remembers everything he has read.

It takes him 3 seconds to finish a single page and reads two pages at a time. The only savant twins in the world are sisters Flo and Kay Lyman who are autistic. They have extraordinary abilities to calculate dates and remember every single thing they have touched, tasted, heard or seen with acute details.

These are people with severe disabilities that make it difficult for them to function normally in the world, but nature has gifted them with special talents to help them survive.

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