Autism: Savant syndrome

Essay by jsmith1234College, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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Savant Syndrome: The Autism Connection


Engaging in an analysis of Savant Syndrome, this literature review most saliently focuses on the psychopathology's significant connections to Autism and the autistic spectrum. Noting that the condition is best understood as a subset or symptom of this spectrum, it argues that understanding and treating the disease must be accomplished on the basis of an understanding of its autistic corollaries. On this basis, the review proposes that Savant Syndrome can never be understood or treated in a vacuum. Rather, effectively mitigating the condition's pernicious corollaries must always be accomplished within the context of a broader understanding of any given patient's location upon the autistic spectrum.

This literature review examines Savant Syndrome, in the context of its broad and significant comorbidity with the autistic spectrum, so as to advance the thesis that understanding and treating Savant Syndrome requires understanding and controlling for this fundamental comorbidity.

Beginning with an overview of Savant Syndrome itself, the literature review notes that the condition is deeply intertwined with autism, and other autistic spectrum disorders, and typically exists as comorbidity to these other conditions. Leading individuals to display great skill in a very narrow element of cognition, all the while leading them to suffer from broader deteriorations of cognitive, emotional and social skillsets, the disorder is thus one which leads an individual's cognition towards great focus in one specific area. Shifting to prevalence, and noting the great degree of comorbidity between Autism, autistic spectrum disorders and Savant Syndrome, the literature review notes the deep interconnectedness which exists between the two. On this basis, the literature review moves forward to examine the link between the autistic spectrum and Savant Syndrome, and argues that the overarching commonality of poor executive functioning and control which is...