Jennifer Erin Camulli, Lyndsey Aik Lwee Goh, Kok Hwee Chia


BK[1] is a case of a young adult who has Tuberous Sclerosis with Savant Syndrome. Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a rare multisystem genetic disease that causes non-cancerous (benign) tumours to form in different organs, primarily in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin and lungs (NINDS, 2006). The aspects of TSC that most strongly impact quality of life are generally associated with the brain: seizures, developmental delay, intellectual disability and autism. Current estimates place TSC affected births at 1 in 6000. The prevalence of Savant Syndrome is approximately 10% in the autistic population and less than 1% in the non-autistic population, making the combination rare. Extraordinary skills, such as remarkable abilities in calendar dates and mathematical calculation, artistic or musical talent, and eidetic memory, are markedly incongruous to the overall handicap in the individual (Treffert, 2009). The authors of this paper present the psycho-educational diagnostic evaluation and profiling of a young savant artist (BK) with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and autism spectrum conditions whom they have worked with.

[1] The actual name of BK has been kept anonymous and those years during which he has undergone different assessments have also been changed to ensure full confidentiality in adherence to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) enacted in Singapore in 2014.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), savant syndrome

Full Text:



Baron-Cohen, S., Richler, J., Bisarya, D., Gurunathan, N., & Wheelwright, S. (2003). The Systemising Quotient (SQ): An investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism and normal sex differences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B, Special issue on “Autism: Mind and Brain,” 358, 361–374.

Baron-Cohen, S., & Wheelwright, S. (2004). The empathy quotient: An investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism, and normal sex differences. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 34(2), 163-175.

Brown, L., Sherbenou, R. J., & Johnsen, S. K. (1997). TONI-3, test of nonverbal intelligence: A language-free measure of cognitive ability. Austin, TX: Pro-ed.

Chia, K. H. (2008). Two case studies of autistic savants: Understanding their systemizing ability (Paper #101-4.4). Paper presented at the 10th Asia-Pacific Conference on Giftedness: Nurturing talents for the global community, Hong Kong Association for Gifted Education. Retrieved [online], 12 February, 2018, from: http://hkage.org.hk/en/events/080714%20APCG/04-%20Social%20&%20Emotional%20Development/4.4%20Chia_Two%20Case%20Studies%20of%20Autistic%20Savants-%20Understanding.pdf

Crino, P. B., Nathanson, K. L., & Henske, E. P. (2006). The tuberous sclerosis complex. New England Journal of Medicine. 355(13), 1345–56.

Dunn, W. (1999). Sensory profile: User's manual. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.

Exkorn, K. (2005). The autism sourcebook; Everything you need to know about diagnosis, treatment, coping, and healing. New York, NY: Regan Books.

Holland, B. A., Kucharczyk, W., Brant-Zawadzki, M., Norman, D., Haas, D. K., & Harper, P. S. (1985). MR imaging of calcified intracranial lesions. Radiology, 157(2), 353-356.

Hurley, R. S., Losh, M., Parlier, M., Reznick, J. S., & Piven, J. (2007). The broad autism phenotype questionnaire. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 37(9), 1679-1690.

Gilliam, J. E. (1995). Gilliam autism rating scale. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed Inc.

Ridler, K., Suckling, J., Higgins, N. J., de Vries, P. J., Stephenson, C. M., Bolton, P. F., & Bullmore, E.T. (2007). Neuroanatomical correlates of memory deficits in tuberous sclerosis complex. Cerebral. Cortex. 17(2), 261–71.

Roid, G. H. (2003a). Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales: Fifth Edition. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.

Roid, G. H. (2003b). Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales: Fifth Edition, Examiner’s Manual. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.

Roid, G. H., & Barram, R. A. (2004). Essentials of Stanford-Binet intelligence scales (SB5) assessment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Oot, R. F., New, P. F. J., Pile-Spellman, J., Rosen, B. R., Shoukimas, G. M., & Davis, K. R. (1986). The detection of intracranial calcifications by MR. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 7, 801-809.

Prather, P., & de Vries, P. J. (2004). Behavioural and cognitive aspects of tuberous sclerosis complex. Journal of Child Neurology, 19, 666-674.

Sasson, N. J., Lam, K. S., Childress, D., Parlier, M., Daniels, J. L., & Piven, J. (2013). The broad autism phenotype questionnaire: prevalence and diagnostic classification. Autism Research, 6(2), 134-143.

Staley, B. A., Montenegro, M. A., Major, P., Muzykewicz, D. A., Halpern, E. F., Kopp, C. M., Newberry, P., & Thiele, E. A. (2008). Self-injurious behaviour and tuberous sclerosis complex: frequency and possible associations in a population of 257 patients. Epilepsy & Behaviour. 13(4), 650-653.

Treffert, D. A. (2009). The savant syndrome: An extraordinary condition. A synopsis: past, present, future. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364 (1522): 1351-1357.

Treffert, D. A., (2010). Islands of genius: The bountiful mind of the autistic, acquired, and sudden savant. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Treffert, D. A. (2010). Extraordinary people: Understanding savant syndrome. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

Treffert, D. A. (2014). Savant syndrome: Realities, myths and misconceptions. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 564-571.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) (2006, April 11). Tuberous sclerosis fact sheet. NIH Publication No. 07-1846. Retrieved [online], 3 January, 2018, from: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Tuberous-Sclerosis-Fact-Sheet.

Wheelwright, S., Baron-Cohen, S., Goldenfeld, N., Delaney, J., Fine, D., Smith, R., Weil, L. & Wakabayashi, A. (2006). Predicting autism spectrum quotient (AQ) from the systemizing quotient-revised (SQ-R) and empathy quotient (EQ). Brain Research, 1079(1), 47-56.

Whitney, R. V. (2016). Definitions of sensory terms. Retrieved [online], 26 February, 2018, from: http://www.spdbayarea.org/definition_of_sensory_terms.htm.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejse.v0i0.1508

Copyright © 2015 - 2023. European Journal of Special Education Research (ISSN 2501 - 2428) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).