Savant syndrome is when someone with a developmental disorder displays above-average skill in a specific area. People often associate Savant syndrome with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Savant syndrome is rare, with some evidence estimating that it may affect
Autism is a developmental disorder that
People with savant syndrome could have above-average skills in one or more domains, such as memory, music, or mathematics. The specific type and combination of skills will vary from person to person.
In this article, we discuss what savant syndrome is, what might cause the condition, and whether it is diagnosable and treatable.
Savant syndrome is a rare condition in which someone with an intellectual impairment has one or more skills that exceed a population average. It can occur from birth or develop during early childhood. In some cases, the syndrome may develop following a brain injury or disorder.
People with savant syndrome have exceptional ability in one or more skills, which could include art, mathematics, or spatial abilities.
Autism is a developmental disorder that many people associate with savant syndrome. However,
The research suggests that people with savant syndrome are distinct from autistic people in several domains, including:
- heightened sensory sensitivity
- obsessive behaviors
- technical and spatial abilities
There is a lack of formal diagnostic criteria for savant syndrome, which makes it challenging to estimate how many people have the condition in a population. The estimated number of people with the condition varies substantially.
For example, the SSM Health Treffert Center suggests that around 1 in 10 autistic people have savant syndrome. However,
- calendar and numerical calculating
- mechanical abilities
- spatial abilities
Their skill in these domains exceeds that of the general population. For example, someone with savant syndrome could perform rapid mathematical calculations or produce drawings with high levels of detail.
People with savant syndrome will typically also have other symptoms from a co-occurring mental or developmental condition. For example, they may also have autism and
- Communication skills: Autistic people may avoid eye contact, lack appropriate facial expressions, or be unable to interpret the emotions of others.
- Restricted or repetitive behaviors: Autistic people may intensely focus on specific parts of an object, be sensitive to changes in order, or rock backward and forward.
- Other problems: Autism can also cause a range of other issues, such as delayed language, movement, or cognitive development.
There is currently
Another theory is that autism
Savant syndrome lacks any formal diagnostic criteria, which prevents someone with the condition from receiving a diagnosis from a doctor.
However, researchers have recently developed questionnaires for characterizing the condition more clearly, such as the
People with savant syndrome have an exceptional ability in one or more domains, which may not require any specific treatment. However, these abilities could cause people to feel different from their peers, which might lead to social isolation or other problems. These problems could lead to the development of other conditions, such as depression.
People with savant syndrome may receive treatment for related conditions, such as autism. These treatments range widely according to the type and severity of symptoms and
People with savant syndrome typically have other mental or developmental conditions that may require treatment, such as autism.
It is unclear whether people with savant syndrome need treatment for their abilities. However, they may develop problems alongside their condition that could require long-term treatment at some point, such as depression.
Savant syndrome causes exceptional abilities in one or more domains in people with developmental or mental conditions. For example, someone with savant syndrome could be a highly proficient musician or able to make rapid mathematical calculations in their head.
People with savant syndrome typically have autism or another condition that may require treatment. However, it remains unclear whether people require treatment for the specific symptoms of savant syndrome.