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Grades K - 6
Astonishing Savants: Savant qualities are exceptional abilities or talents that stand dramatically apart from typical functional levels. In the movie Rain Man, Dustin Hoffman’s character, Raymond, exhibited extraordinary calculation skills when he glanced quickly at a mess of hundreds of spilled toothpicks and instantly assessed exactly how many were scattered about the floor. Savant qualities are present among about 10% of people with autism spectrum disorders (as opposed to among less than 1% of the general population), and when they appear they can be quite astonishing. Students on the spectrum who have savant qualities almost always demonstrate remarkable memory and often possess uncanny abilities in music, math, technology, calendar calculation, or other areas.