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Islands of Genius

Islands of Genius

The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired, and Sudden Savant

Darold A. Treffert
Foreword by Daniel Tammet

Hardback: £25.00 / $39.95

2010, 246mm x 173mm / 10in x 7in, 328pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-810-0, BIC 2: JM MMJ JMR

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Paperback: £15.99 / $24.95

2011, 246mm x 173mm / 10in x 7in, 328pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-873-5, BIC 2: JM MMJ JMR

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* Gold Medal Winner in the Psychology / Mental Health Category of the 2011 IPPY Awards *

* Silver Medal Winner in the 2010 BOTYA Awards Psychology Category *

Savant syndrome is a rare condition in which individuals with developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance - "islands of genius" - that exist in contrast with their overall limitations. In this fascinating book, Dr. Darold Treffert looks at what we know about this remarkable condition, and at new discoveries that raise interesting questions about the hidden brain potential within us all.

Dr. Treffert explores the phenomena of genetic memory - instances in which individuals somehow "know" things they never learned - and sudden genius or "acquired savantism" - where a neuro-typical person unexpectedly and spectacularly develops savant-like abilities following a head injury or stroke. Showing that these phenomena point convincingly towards a reservoir of untapped potential - an inner savant capacity - within us all, he looks both at how savant skills can be nurtured, and how they can help the person who has them, particularly if that person is on the autism spectrum. A central colour section contains the extraordinary artwork of some of the savants who are mentioned in the book.

Islands of Genius will intrigue anyone who has ever wondered what makes the mind of a savant tick, as well as clinicians, parents, teachers, therapists, and others who care for, and about, individuals with savant syndrome.

Blog posts

JKP Wins Gold at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards

9 May 2011

We are thrilled to announce that JKP has won several medals in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards, including two Gold medals! Darold A. Treffert’s Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired, and Sudden Savant won the Gold medal in the Psychology/Mental Health category.  Rudy Simone’s Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome was...

Dr. Darold Treffert on Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired, and Sudden Savant

1 June 2010

"...new cases of the acquired savant — neurotypical persons in whom savant skills emerged, sometimes at a prodigious level, following brain injury or disease when no such skills were evident pre-incident — have convinced me that we have vastly underestimated brain plasticity and the brain's ability to repair itself when damaged through rewiring, recruitment and release. This new neurologic optimism — the brain's ability to renew and repair itself — has vast implications not only for better understanding and intervening in autism and related conditions, but provides much more hope and enthusiasm for intervention post-stroke, for example, or for treatment of a variety of other CNS conditions formerly viewed much more pessimistically."