Two 'Idiots savant'
SummaryThis term is from the French, meaning 'wise idiot'. (Nowadays of course, to be 'politically correct' one is supposed to use the term 'savant syndrome'). In this variety of subnormal individual, although generally functioning intellectually at a low level the person has abilities in a limited field which are appreciably beyond this. Of course, intellectual abilities are correlated and we would not expect to find such cases very often, they are statistically improbable. Typical cases show special abilities in music, or art. Less interestingly we see cases where the individual is able to perform tricks like giving the day, if provided with a date, a month and a year, and the reverse. Two cases of this less interesting type were studied in the mid-80's at a residential school for boys. Both individuals were, I think, operating generally at around the borderline intellectual level. It was fairly easy to question them and work out that they were actually quickly calculating the answer using a very logical system.