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Jhoanna
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PostSubject: How Special they are...   Mon Sep 15 2008, 05:21

Daniel Paul Tammet (January 31, 1979) is a British high-functioning autistic savant gifted with a facility for mathematical and natural language learning. He was born the first of nine children to middle-class parents in London. In his memoir, Born on a Blue Day, he talks of how having epilepsy, synaesthesia, and Asperger Syndrome all deeply affected his childhood.

Pi
Tammet holds the European record for reciting pi to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes. This sponsored charity challenge was held in aid of the National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) on “Pi Day”, March 14, 2004, at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, UK. The NSE was chosen to benefit from this event because of Tammet's experience with epilepsy as a young child. Professor Allan Snyder at the Australian National University said of Tammet: "Savants can't usually tell us how they do what they do. It just comes to them. Daniel can. He describes what he sees in his head. That's why he's exciting. He could be the 'Rosetta Stone'."

Language abilities
Tammet claims to speak eleven languages including English, French, Finnish, German, Spanish, Lithuanian, Romanian, Estonian, Icelandic, Welsh and Esperanto. He particularly likes Estonian, because it is rich in vowels.

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Jhoanna
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PostSubject: Re: How Special they are...   Mon Sep 15 2008, 05:30

Stephen Wiltshire MBE, (born April 24, 1974) is an architectural artist who has been diagnosed with autism. Wiltshire was born in London, England, to West Indian parents. He is known for being able to draw an entire landscape just by seeing it once.

Wiltshire was mute and at the age of three was diagnosed as an autistic. The same year, his father died in a motorcycle accident. At the age of five, Stephen was sent to Queensmill School in London where he expressed interest in drawing. He began to communicate through his drawings. At the age of eight, he began to draw imaginary post-earthquake cityscapes and cars.

His teachers began to encourage his drawing and, with his aid, Wiltshire slowly learned to speak at the age of nine. When he was ten, Wiltshire drew a sequence of drawings of London landmarks, one for each letter, that he called a "London Alphabet".

In 1987, Wiltshire was part of a BBC programme 'The Foolish Wise Ones'. A collection of his works, named Drawings, was published that year. Wiltshire can look at a target once and then draw an accurate and detailed picture of it. He once drew the whole of central London after a helicopter trip above it. He can also make imaginary scenes like St. Paul's Cathedral surrounded by flames. In 2003, there was a major retrospective in the Orleans House gallery in Twickenham, London.

Stephen's work has been the subject of many TV documentaries; neurologist Oliver Sacks writes about him in the chapter "Prodigies", in his book An Anthropologist on Mars.

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PostSubject: Re: How Special they are...   Mon Sep 15 2008, 05:52

Kim Peek (born November 11, 1951) is a savant though he is not autistic. He has a photographic or eidetic memory and developmental disabilities, possibly resulting from congenital brain abnormalities. He was the inspiration for the character of Raymond Babbit, played by Dustin Hoffman, in the movie Rain Man.

Kim Peek was born with macrocephaly, damage to the cerebellum, and, perhaps most important, agenesis of the corpus callosum, a condition in which the bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain is missing; in Peek's case, secondary connectors such as the anterior commissure are also missing. There is speculation that his neurons make other connections in the absence of a corpus callosum, which results in an increased memory capacity. According to Peek's father, Fran, Peek was able to memorize things from the age of 16-20 months. He read books, memorized them, and then placed them upside down on the shelf to show that he had finished reading them, a practice he still maintains. He reads a book in about an hour and remembers approximately 98.7% of everything he has read, memorizing vast amounts of information in subjects ranging from history and literature, geography, and numbers to sports, music, and dates. He can recall some 12,000 books from memory.

Increasing ability
Unlike many savants, Peek has shown increasing social skills, perhaps due to the attention that has come with being perceived as the "real Rain Man". His father says that his sense of humor has been emerging since 2004 or so. Also, he has developed well beyond the stage of being a mere repository of vast amounts of information; his skills at associating information he remembers are at least one of the signs of creativity. He still displays difficulty with abstractions such as interpreting the meanings of proverbs or metaphorical terms of speech.

Although never a musical prodigy, Peek's musical abilities as an adult are receiving more notice now that he has started to study the piano. He apparently remembers music he heard decades ago and can play it on the piano, to the extent permitted by his limited physical dexterity. He is able to give running spoken commentary on the music as he plays, comparing a piece of music, for example, to other music he has heard. In listening to recordings he can distinguish which instruments play which part and is adept at guessing the composers of new music by comparing the music to the many thousands of music samples in his memory.

In 1984, script writer Barry Morrow met Peek in Arlington, Texas; the result of the meeting was the 1988 movie Rain Man. The character of Raymond Babbit, although inspired by Peek, was portrayed as having autism. Dustin Hoffman, who played Babbit, met Peek and other savants to get an understanding of their nature and to play the role with accuracy. The movie caused a number of requests for appearances, which has increased Peek's self-confidence. Barry Morrow has given Kim his Oscar to carry with him and show at these appearances. They call it the "Most Loved Oscar Statue" since it's been held by more people than any other Oscar Statue. Kim also enjoys approaching strangers and showing them his talent for calendar calculations by telling them on which day of the week they were born and what news items were on the front page of major newspapers. Peek has also appeared on television. He travels with his father, who takes care of him and performs many motor tasks that Peek finds difficult. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Lukas Daniel

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PostSubject: Re: How Special they are...   Thu Sep 25 2008, 23:14

padaan lang po... later na ako mag post. ang masasabi ko lang : i am always wondering why the special children (autistic or those mentally challenged, handicap) excels in everything? in IQ, in arts, music, literature.. whereas ordinary soul like us (normal daw) could not even comprehend the world of these special kids? pero in fairness sina CHARICE, CHARLES GREEN hindi naman sila handicap. ung mga artist na si van goh (spelling?) or ung mga edgar allan poe. matawag din ba natin silang special ? hay buhay.. sarap nila no? pangarap ko marunong ako ng languages (aside from english) na german, arabic, chinese. kaso dense ako eh . kaya kuntento na lang ako sa tagalog.
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