The stereotype of being a Savant or having special abilities

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does your autism give you any special abilities?
yes 69%  69%  [ 29 ]
no 31%  31%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 42

bijouxmiu
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05 Mar 2010, 9:36 am

I want to know if there is any truth to this stereotype. Mostly because scince im soon to be retested for AS for the second time i constantly wonder weather or not my normality will play a huge role in the desicion making process for the doctors. (also i cant help but wonder weather or not it did when i was tested the first time) I cant do math in my head, i dont have photographic memory, i cant build computers from scratch. Im no Mozart or Einstein. People say im smart and i have an extensive vocabulary but im mediocre, im not some sort of genious or child prodigy im generic.

- How has this wiz-kid stereotype attached to the spectrum affected you?
- Do you think its a misrepresentation? if you have an average mind do you feel like you have been robbed?
- If you have special abilities what are they? do you fear that if you dont preform well on your respected strengths that you have some how not lived up to the media standard of your condition?
- How do you think this stereotype affects the autisic community as a whole?



Danielismyname
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05 Mar 2010, 10:38 am

You can be a savant and "only" have a normal level of ability in one area, with the rest being below the norm. For example, you'll test mentally retarded on all but one specific part of an IQ test. There's various ways this can manifest.

Special skills, like calendar calculation or hyperlexia, a savant doesn't make, but they're commonly thought of as such.

You need to be given an IQ test to tell whether you are a savant or not.

O, and no, my ASD doesn't give me any specific abilities, barring a somewhat decent memory for facts, but it's not outside the normal range; my mother is as good as I am, for example.



anbuend
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05 Mar 2010, 10:50 am

My first diagnosis describes "idiot savant features". I haven't the foggiest clue why and had an IQ on the highish side (somewhere between normal and gifted) that year. (My IQ changes so much from test to test as to be even more meaningless than usual.). People can be savants without low IQs though, otherwise people like Jerry Newport wouldn't be savants. I don't consider myself a savant, and I don't know what "idiot savant features" was supposed to mean unless it was a weird way of describing my highly uneven (but not that exceptional) skill patterns.


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Danielismyname
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05 Mar 2010, 10:56 am

If you score normal in most areas, but have a specific part a certain number of points higher (I forget the number, but two standard deviations above the rest is sticking out in my mind), that's the same thing.

100 in everything, except you have a score of 140 in another, will make you a savant. The 140 will really show in the specific area at school compared to the other areas, and that's all it really measures (IQ tests that is).



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05 Mar 2010, 12:00 pm

I have several splinter skills, the most prominent being my photographic memory. I have always been known by family and friends for my talent in memorizing facts about special interests and in being able to quote dialogue from TV shows and movies in the exact intonation it was first said. My best friend calls me a "tape recorder", and that really is a good description. My memory splinter skill has served me very well in school, and it has always made me able to make some sort of acquaintances/friends, just because there are always people who find my knowledge interesting/fascinating.

I also think in pictures, and I was hyperlexic as a child. When I taught myself advanced Spanish grammar and vocabulary, which became one of my special interests, I realized that I also am hyperlexic in Spanish. As for thinking in pictures, I never thought this really applied to me until a couple of years ago, because I also think heavily in words. However, whenever I hear words being spoken or think in words, I always "see" the words in my brain being spelled out, complete with proper grammar/punctuation. I also involuntarily picture all descriptions in pictures, and if I'm talking about one of my TV show/movie special interests, I automatically "re-live" the scene I'm talking about in my head.

Anyway, I would never give up my AS, because the splinter skills make me unique and have allowed me to achieve the success that I have. My memory is really the only talent I have. Without it, I really have nothing interesting about me.
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05 Mar 2010, 12:13 pm

I have a more than average memory in some areas, not photographic though, so I don't know if it counts.

I taught myself to read in the age of 4½ and have absolute pitch. These two may count.



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05 Mar 2010, 12:16 pm

People expect you to put on a show, by showcasing your abilities, instead of just appreciating them for what they are.


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MONKEY
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05 Mar 2010, 12:45 pm

Everyone knows that having a disability gives you superpowers. It's one of the the laws of nature.


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ursaminor
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05 Mar 2010, 4:08 pm

MONKEY wrote:
Everyone knows that having a disability gives you superpowers. It's one of the the laws of nature.
Not unlike full body radiation.
Gamma rays are your friends.



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05 Mar 2010, 5:02 pm

AnnePande wrote:
I taught myself to read in the age of 4½ and have absolute pitch. These two may count.

I was 2, but now it doesn't matter. I was thought as "SuperKid", now I'm only odd unsociable person.

And there is stereotype, that Aspies are mad geeks and Auties are hardly disabled kids with lot of "useless" knowledge.
And adult Auties of course disappear.


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05 Mar 2010, 5:16 pm

I can make detailed models of cities using paddlepop sticks and bluetac.

Ugh no, I have no savant abilities but that doesn't mean that they're aren't savants on the spectrum. I'm a good story teller, artist and photographer. Although a lot of people can be as well. I like to think I bring something more special to it.


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05 Mar 2010, 5:17 pm

I could talk at 8 months, taught myself to read at age 2, and I had this really sharp mental arithmetic on me, I would challenge family members and friends to ask me to multiply really high numbers in my head, sometimes 5 or 6 digits, and I'd have the answer in about 10 seconds. But that was a long time ago. I don't know if I could still do that.

I'm also classified as gifted. Top 2% of the population, to be precise. I don't think that counts for much though, I never did particularly well at anything. I was high above average, but not a damn mutant. My learning style: take in massive amounts of detail, then not know what to do with it.


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05 Mar 2010, 5:26 pm

Sometimes I think: I was classified as hyperIQ... and so what? I have EQ/SQ on retarded level, so everythings sums up to average.
And if sb has low IQ but great social skills? Is sb savant in their specific way?


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05 Mar 2010, 5:34 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savant_syndrome

Quote:
According to Treffert:

* One in ten autistic persons has savant skills.
* 50% of savants are autistic; the other 50% often have different disabilities, mental retardation, brain injuries, or brain diseases.
* Male savants outnumber female savants by about six times.

A 2009 British study of 137 autistic individuals found that 28% met criteria for a savant skill, that is, a skill or power "at a level that would be unusual even for normal people"; the study suggested that the number is likely to be an underestimate, with the true value being at least a third of individuals with autism.


Hope that helps. :)

http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/ ... rticle.pdf

Savant Syndrome: An Extraordinary Condition
A Synopsis: Past, Present, Future
Darold A. Treffert, MD



mechanicalgirl39
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05 Mar 2010, 5:43 pm

Valoyossa wrote:
Sometimes I think: I was classified as hyperIQ... and so what? I have EQ/SQ on retarded level, so everythings sums up to average.
And if sb has low IQ but great social skills? Is sb savant in their specific way?


Yes. Good social skills - REAL social skills, not just knowing someone is pissed off at you or reading a little flicker in the ring of muscle around their eyes - are very valuable.


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anbuend
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05 Mar 2010, 5:50 pm

Reading early may have meant a lot earlier in life but I had and still have comprehension trouble and that never caught up when I got to be an adult. (I count that as one reason for the massive IQ drop -- my skills in a couple areas were very impressive at five but not so much at 15 or 22.)


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