Islands of Genius
The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired, and Sudden Savant
(If any tax is payable it will be calculated and shown at checkout.)
Print & copy permissions
About the author
Darold A. Treffert, M.D. is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. He has worked with savants and researched this rare condition for nearly 50 years, and was a consultant on the award-winning movie Rain Man in which Dustin Hoffman plays the part of an autistic savant. Kim Peek - the inspiration for the film - is just one of the extraordinary individuals Dr. Treffert introduces us to in the book
* Gold Medal Winner in the Psychology / Mental Health Category of the 2011 IPPY Awards ** Silver Medal Winner in the 2010 BOTYA Awards Psychology Category *Savant syndrome is a rare condition in which individuals with developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance - "islands of genius" - that exist in contrast with their overall limitations. In this fascinating book, Dr. Darold Treffert looks at what we know about this remarkable condition, and at new discoveries that raise interesting questions about the hidden brain potential within us all. Dr. Treffert explores the phenomena of genetic memory - instances in which individuals somehow "know" things they never learned - and sudden genius or "acquired savantism" - where a neuro-typical person unexpectedly and spectacularly develops savant-like abilities following a head injury or stroke. Showing that these phenomena point convincingly towards a reservoir of untapped potential - an inner savant capacity - within us all, he looks both at how savant skills can be nurtured, and how they can help the person who has them, particularly if that person is on the autism spectrum. A central colour section contains the extraordinary artwork of some of the savants who are mentioned in the book. Islands of Genius will intrigue anyone who has ever wondered what makes the mind of a savant tick, as well as clinicians, parents, teachers, therapists, and others who care for, and about, individuals with savant syndrome.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
; May 2010
328 pages; ISBN 9780857003188Read online
, or download in secure EPUB
or secure PDF format
Title: Islands of Genius
Author: Peter Leed; Rosa Martinez; Daniel Tammet; Susan Rancer; Shirlee Monty; Darold A. Treffert
In the press
Darold Treffert's Islands of Genius provides a fascinating and richly detailed account of the clinical and neuropsychological aspects of savant syndrome, the presence of very unusual abilities in persons with developmental disabilities. Treffert shares his lifetime of interest and learning, through clinical work and research, about persons with savant syndrome in this well-organized, timely, and respectful work... Here is a respectful, humanistic, optimistic book written by a master clinician-scientist who sees the whole person: history, gifts and challenges, environment, relationships. The book is a fascinating read that can be easily accessed by college students, professionals, and people in the general population who are interested in savant syndrome, including parents. The author is deeply respectful of the talents of those with savant syndrome and sees these as evidence of great talent to be more fully developed, as a source of satisfaction and meaning for the talented person and a source of betterment of others. He understands people with savant syndrome as part of the whole society--not as separate, interesting "cases" but rather as growing, developing, immensely talented people involved in relationships, loved by others, and demonstrating the brain plasticity and capacity that is available to all of us.