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Defining the Savant Syndrome

Abstract

Current uses of the term (idiot) savant are reviewed. In contrast to the original use of the term, which emphasized certain kinds of exceptional skill and general mental deficit, recent usage has expanded to include a variety of disabling conditions and levels of exceptionality. It is suggested that the implications of any particular study depend upon a careful documentation of the level of skill present and the nature of the accompanying deficit. A conceptual approach is outlined which compares working definitions of “savant” with those of “learning disability.”

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Miller, L.K. Defining the Savant Syndrome. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities 10, 73–85 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022813601762

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  • savants
  • savant syndrome