Jennifer Erin Camulli, Lyndsey Aik Lwee Goh


Savant syndrome is strongly linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) given that 50% of the cases of savant syndrome have autism as the underlying developmental disability. The spectrum of ASD was officially recognised in the DSM-V to reflect the wide range of symptoms, manifestations, skills, and level of disability unique to each individual. A similar heterogeneity exists among t[1]hose with savant syndrome and can be examined by three core symptoms: 1) underlying disability; 2) over-excitability in one, two, or more areas of extreme interest, and; 3) underlying superior systemising ability. To more aptly reflect the levels of disability, degree of over-excitability, and manifest systemising ability, the authors of this paper propose a re-conceptualising of autistic savantism as autistic savant spectrum syndromic disorder, or ASSSD for short. This paper also serves as a sequel to a previous paper on the case study of a young adult savant artist named BK[2], who has been diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and identified as a savant artist (see Camulli, Goh, & Chia, 2018, for detail). Here in this paper, we intend to re-examine his case and to argue our points why we strongly believe he is a savant artist.


[2] 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. In light of this understanding that definitions, criteria, and new insights of developmental disorders continue to emerge, we propose a re conceptualising of autistic savantism as a spectrum syndromic disorder.


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