Discovering Purpose in Challenges
Amy can not read. She can not write. At two, she had no spontaneous communication. Then it happened. At 32 months old, she started playing the piano and organ...at 6 years she effortlessly transposed songs from one key to another. At 6 years of age, she displayed rote memory repeating Nursery rhymes and her prayers....at 8 years old, she began... Singing.
What is a Savant?It is a condition in a person with a mental challenge or mental illness (usually an IQ between 49 to 70) who has a special ability to perform an unlearned skill. These skills generally occur in areas such as calendar calculating, music, mathematics, prodigious memory, mechanical ability, or extra sensory perception. Dr. Darold Treffert the leading expert on Savant Syndrome has researched this condition for over 40 years. To learn more about this astonishing condition and these remarkable persons, Dr. Treffert has documented these amazing persons in Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome.
At 7 years old, our daughter had beautiful blue eyes, long blonde hair, and a smile that could melt your heart. She could not read. She did not write. Her speech consisted of repeating sounds, without initiating any independent conversation except for a few one or two word phrases. When I began my journey of motherhood, I had no idea what the future would hold for my beautiful daughter Amy, my husband or me. When doctors informed us Amy had total brain damage, they offered a dismal future. The journey contained great heartache and wrenching difficulties. THEN, it came with examples of great mercy, and amazing support from teachers, therapists and endless doctors.
Miraculously, Amy received a special gift: to hear a song and play it on the organ.
In 2014, Dr. Treffert registered Amy as a savant. As Dr. Treffert says, there are probably many more of these extraordinary people and stories to be told.