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Do you have Savant-like Abilities?
No. 55%  55%  [ 62 ]
Yes, I'm an Aspie. 35%  35%  [ 39 ]
Yes, I'm an Autie. 11%  11%  [ 12 ]
Total votes : 113

Dee_
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18 Jul 2008, 12:42 pm

Without no prior training or know how,

I fixed my first television when I was 12. Picked one out of the trash and replaced a large pot transistor, soldered a resistor over a burned out one and replaced a fuse.

Bought a violin a few years back, after a few hours, I was able to play seveal songs on it. Never had or even played a violin before.

Absorb information like a sponge.

I was tearing bicycles apart and rebuilding them, swapping parts off of bikes like putting a 10 speed sprocket on a 19" bike frame and adding links to the chain, started doing this at 4, up until I was an early teen.

I am getting good at mimicing NT behaviors but only to a degree. Still paranoid about people walking behind me, need to be told 'exactly' what is expeced or else my mind goes off into the 'n'th degree of 'x'possibilities and can be overwhelming deciding what is expected and such.

Maybe these things are more along the lines of compulsive interest than savant skills.



Bradleigh
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18 Jul 2008, 12:48 pm

Wow it sounds like you cold be the next Bill Gates or something, to learn so quick sounds amasing.


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Dee_
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18 Jul 2008, 12:49 pm

I used to have a very good memory, short term until I was in a car accident and suffered amnesia. Loss of a fwe hours ofmemory which never came back. Since then my short term memory has not been as good as before. Also I had an excellent sense of direction but since after the accident, that was gone. For a time afterwards it was like being perpetually confused which waned over time.
Accident was in early 1990.



SIXLUCY
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18 Jul 2008, 12:54 pm

Im sorry to hear (read) that



Aspie_Chav
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18 Jul 2008, 12:57 pm

No, but I am gifted in different departments



2ukenkerl
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18 Jul 2008, 2:20 pm

Dee_ wrote:
Without no prior training or know how,

I fixed my first television when I was 12. Picked one out of the trash and replaced a large pot transistor, soldered a resistor over a burned out one and replaced a fuse.


WAIT A SECOND! Was it a pot, or a transistor? Do you mean "power transistor"? And if it is a transistor, WHY did you solder a resistor over one? A POTentiometer is a variable resistor, and soldering a resistor over IT would be silly for a permanent fix.

ALSO, the average person that tries that with NO study/practice ends up hurting parts(because of too much heat), and/or creates cold joints.

And HOW did you know about solder or irons anyway?

Dee_ wrote:
Bought a violin a few years back, after a few hours, I was able to play seveal songs on it. Never had or even played a violin before.

Absorb information like a sponge.

I was tearing bicycles apart and rebuilding them, swapping parts off of bikes like putting a 10 speed sprocket on a 19" bike frame and adding links to the chain, started doing this at 4, up until I was an early teen.


For what it is worth, I did the same thing with bikes, though I started around 5 or 6.

Dee_ wrote:
I am getting good at mimicing NT behaviors but only to a degree. Still paranoid about people walking behind me, need to be told 'exactly' what is expeced or else my mind goes off into the 'n'th degree of 'x'possibilities and can be overwhelming deciding what is expected and such.

Maybe these things are more along the lines of compulsive interest than savant skills.


If true, YEAH. I learned to solder QUICK, but I believe I DID see materials on it. ALSO, I have ALWAYS been careful around semiconductors and PC boards. Electronics was my first REAL interest. ALSO, I don't think PC boards REALLY hit the scene until some time later. Even in HIGHSCHOOL a jerk showed me how HE soldered, and it was LAUGHABLE! It didn't even LOOK good, but it was the biggest and coldest joint you have ever seen! And he was at least 10 years older than I was when I did it RIGHT!



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18 Jul 2008, 2:23 pm

To multiply large numbers instantly is a different skill than flash counting cause I tried and I can't. Though I can meke nice sounding moodful melodies on the piano with no training.


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anbuend
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18 Jul 2008, 4:00 pm

2ukenkerl wrote:
anbuend wrote:
When I was initially diagnosed I was described as having "idiot-savant features" (direct quote), but I don't have any savant skills that I know of.


The term for savantism used to often be idiot-savant. They often have deficits elsewhere. NOW, by the way, the term is autistic savant, because they are almost always autistic.


I thought the current neutral term was savant syndrome, because they're not always autistic, just often.

And, yes, my guess is that when he said idiot-savant he meant the juxtaposition of my skills with my deficits, which is apparently pretty striking if you're used to a non-autistic skill pattern. (And even among autistic people I seem to go further in both directions than many I know.) My mother says that idiot-savant was the first word he said to her after she gave him a developmental history. I don't know if it was the hyperlexia, the perfect pitch, the sense of direction, the musical-prodigy crap from when I was younger, the test he did on me of "the wisdom of the body" as he called it (I'm guessing he meant my intuitive/automatic/triggered abilities, which are very much higher than my conscious/voluntary/deliberate/self-started abilities), or what. I've sometimes been jokingly called a "writing savant", but I don't think you can measure that well enough to really call it a savant skill, the person was just making the point that I have all these massive deficits in various functional areas (scoring something like 47 on a test of adaptive skills, which only went down to 40 as the floor of the test -- and I think by now I'd score even lower) and at this point in my life appear very different from usual, but am good at writing.

But really I think when people call me a savant, they are really just saying that I have a very autistic pattern of abilities and difficulties. And if you take "normal" as your baseline, then autistic people will always have these weird patterns of very high ability versus very low ability. I do have some abilities that function like savant skills do and have probably been learned in the same manner, but are not sufficiently extreme or uncommon as to be considered savant skills. (Perfect pitch, for example, is not considered a savant skill, because it's too common -- even 1 in 10,000 is too common I guess -- but my guess is it's a less extreme version of a similar phenomenon, and is often learned through the same mechanisms as savant skills are.) But, again, it's just a matter of what's common and what isn't.


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18 Jul 2008, 4:17 pm

I thought by going by definitions posted earlier, you would be considered a savant, right? That your skills are so vastly different that it's considered savant. Maybe I misunderstood the definitions posted earlier.

I find a lot of this stuff intriguing. I wish I had perfect pitch, but I don't.. I know when things are off pitch, and in what direction.. But I just can't hear myself well enough to adjust my pitch. My brother on the other hand (who I believe is HFA) can play the piano from ear. That's still not that uncommon, but I think it's cool.


--

Oh and I feel it's warranted to say. Earlier someone said that cooking wouldn't be considered because it's a passion. I actually prefer not to cook. I dislike doing it.. But I know I can do it well when it's called upon. And I usually can come up with recipes.. Though, it might be that I don't like cooking any more because I was forced to cook for so long because of the way I cook. My mom says I put ingredients in that she has never even thought of, and that she can't find any recipe that calls for it. I don't know.. I guess it will never be truly a savant skill because I don't want to cultivate it to be anything better.



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18 Jul 2008, 4:37 pm

Savant skills are more extreme than mine, I think. Mine are just the normal level of unevenness (compared to normal) in autistic people.


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18 Jul 2008, 6:58 pm

Sublyme wrote:
Rainstorm5 wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Sublyme wrote:
Another ability I have is to always know what time it is, almost to the minute. It's like I have a clock inside my head...this freaks people out. I don't know where that comes from.


I was going to bring that up. When I wake up in the 'morning' I know what time it is, despite not having visible clocks(and my window is blocked off from light


Actually, most people have this ability - even NTs. Humans have an internal clock and when asked, can usually guess what time it is to within a half hour. This 'sense of time' can be disturbed, though, by locking one's self in a room where there is no sunlight for several days at a stretch, or it can be messed up after taking a long flight (jet lag). When our internal clocks are 'off kilter' we often feel sick (headache/nauseous/sleepy) or just 'out of sorts' until we rest and expose ourselves to outdoor light for a day or two. It's an instinctual thing.



I know it's normal to have an internal clocks of sorts, humans are supposed to have one. It's pretty normal to guess the time within a half hour or so....it's when you wake up in the morning and know it's 5:37am, or when you are on your hour long lunch break at a restaurant and you know the time is 1:21pm and you have to leave to get back to work on time.= that it becomes somewhat of an odd skill. It being almost to the exact minute is what freaks people out.....this may not be a savant skill at all, but still people can get freaked out my the accuracy of my sense of time....

Actually I'm very sensitive to my internal clock being disrupted. Daylight savings time really messes me up. It's not the lost or gained hour....it's that the clocks are lying.

That being said, although I always know what time it is, that doesn't mean I am never late. I often get so fixated on what I'm doing, I can't leave on time, even though I know I'm going to be late.


Sounds like your abilities may be more psychic than savant. Interesting that you're able to do this. I periodically have flashes of insight, like when I'm suddenly thinking about someone I haven't heard from in a while and within an hour or so that person either calls or emails me. I always wake up one minute before the alarm clock goes off (and I hate it because I'm just laying there, minding my own business and suddenly the squawking sound erupts from the clock and scares the bejeezus out of me). I'm habitually late to work, too. My employer usually doesn't care, though, mainly because I put in a lot of overtime. What really messes up my internal clock in Daylight Savings Time, when the clocks roll forward one hour. It takes me almost a month to get used to it. I lived in Arizona for many years, which was nice because they didn't observe Daylight Savings Tme in that state.


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Angnix
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19 Jul 2008, 4:24 pm

Eekkk my flash counting was failing a bit today, I'm gonna try to do it in front of my counselor on Tuesday, but now I'm nervous, does this often happen with these skills? And yesterdsy I increased my record to 131 coins!


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Fuzzy
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19 Jul 2008, 7:09 pm

Rainstorm5 wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Sublyme wrote:
Another ability I have is to always know what time it is, almost to the minute. It's like I have a clock inside my head...this freaks people out. I don't know where that comes from.


I was going to bring that up. When I wake up in the 'morning' I know what time it is, despite not having visible clocks(and my window is blocked off from light


Actually, most people have this ability - even NTs. Humans have an internal clock and when asked, can usually guess what time it is to within a half hour. .


Yeah, but I am not talking about within 1/2 hour. I'm talking about down to within 5 minutes, often less. Thats still not savantry, I know, and said as much in my first post. And if it were not for the vagarities of cooking(that chicken needs another minute), I'd eat at 11am and 4PM Exactly.


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qaliqo
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19 Jul 2008, 11:13 pm

Some of these aren't related, maybe?

* the math thing, in head, "show your work!" leads to "not my fault you can't do it";
* holographic memories, not still image, way back into early childhood;
* great seek time in phone books, internet, etc.;
* supertasting aspartame, iodine, etc...

Pretty uncommon, especially given shortage of social and physical talent.


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SquishypuffDave
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20 Jul 2008, 1:11 am

Savant-like? That's a little vague, but I recently discovered I had perfect pitch, which is why I can play piano by ear, and I also do equations in my head without knowing exactly how I'm doing it. I also have a talent for imitation... but that's not too uncommon. I'm definitely not a savant, but some of my brain workings are similar to savants.



lupin
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20 Jul 2008, 1:55 pm

I don't know if this is savantish, but I write. For publication I mean. I just write and, quite frankly, I don't exactly know how I do it or where all the thoughts and creativity come from. It just happens.

Last week, eg. one mag that commissioned me had given me a serious broad topic area. I read around it for an hour or so and forgot about it. Then all of a sudden the first line or paragraph pops into my head and I have to write it down. Once that's on screen, the rest just flows and flows...in the case of that article it was 5,000 words in about 4 hours, with a bit of addition the next day. Last year I wrote a book (72,000wds) in 11 days because I had the first lines all of a sudden. (I'll let y'all know when it's at the printers! It's about AS.)

Since the 5K wd piece I've written about 3 or 4 shorter articles in just the same way. Today, I've written another short publication piece whilst aware that I'm thinking (or maybe 'sensing') another completely different, more serious, one bubbling under - and whilst watching a movie. It's very rare that I have to edit anything. It's like somewhere in my head (inaccessible to my logical mind - although I am otherwise an intensely logical aspie) it's all just lying around just waiting to be transposed to screen.

I have always struggled with feeling like a fraud...if I believed in God, I'd say it was God-given. But I don't, so it's just my brain doing something rather wonderful that I don't understand and can't claim to expend any real effort at.

The point is that I really don't know how all this writing happens, except that a) it's earned me a good living and b) I love doing it. I love 'hearing' the sounds of the words as they come out, I love the way they fit together mellifluously and just flow, I love developing ideas and points that other people haven't thought about or seen in this way, I love the concluding denouments ('love' in this context means 'profound satisfaction beyond words': it's like it's something I was absolutely born to do).

Is this a savant-type talent? (It's certainly a talent, but does it count as an autisitic savant?) Do people like Daniel Tammett have to think about number operations as they do them? Don't the solutions 'just arrive'?



PS - Ishmael - yes, please do spill the beans about TOE/GUT. It's something that's actually kept me awake at nights...