First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Margo DouglasFollow


Professor Brian Stiltner Professor Suzanne Deschenes

Participation Type

Paper Talk

College and Major available



Panel E: University Commons UC 114

Start Day/Time

4-24-2019 11:00 AM

End Day/Time

4-24-2019 12:15 PM


Apr 24th, 11:00 AM Apr 24th, 12:15 PM

Savant Syndrome; Benefits of Mainstream and Alternative Education

Panel E: University Commons UC 114

Circuses, reality TV shows, and movies; the entertainment industry captivates the American viewer with characters with disabilities and abnormal characteristics. The different spectacles often enhance and over-emphasize the characteristics of individuals with disabilities. American society’s interest in abnormal abilities isolates and labels individuals with abnormalities and disabilities as outcast. However, individuals with disabilities consist of a large percentage of American society whom possess the same desires to succeed, feel loved and add value to the world. Categorizing an individual as abnormal compared to peers influences his or her self-esteem, confidence and motivation to engage in society. The behaviors and abilities declared abnormal based on American society’s standards are unique characteristics with the potential to benefit and add value to society. Individuals who possess specific, obsessive skills are often diagnosed with savant syndrome (SS); a primary and secondary developmental disorder. A variety of educational resources for individuals with SS influences successful integration into society post-secondary education. Individualized education based on specific characteristics an individual with SS possesses influences successful integration in society.

Savant syndrome, sometimes referred to as savantism, is a rare condition in which individuals with or without developmental disorders have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance that are in contrast with the individual's overall limitations (Straus, 2014). The specific ability an individual with savant syndrome possess is his or her savant skill. Typical savant skills include extraordinary musical and creative talents, mathematical skills. Diverse educational opportunities and environments help develop social, vocational, and academic skills vital for successful integration in society among individuals with SS.


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