What is an autistic savant

An autistic savant is a person on the autism spectrum who may exhibit one or more remarkable abilities.  Dr. Darold Treffert calls these skills “Islands of Genius.” Savant comes from the French word meaning “skill.”  The skills can be in subjects such as art, music, math, science, or an ability with languages.

About 10 percent of the autistic population is said to have savant skills, but not all of those who have savant skills are considered to be “prodigious savants.” Prodigious savants are those who have skills so remarkable that they would be considered geniuses. Examples of prodigious savants are the artist Stephen Wiltshire, the pianist Derek Paravacini, and the physicist Jacob Barnett.