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WHAT’S NEW: 2016


Update: March 25, 2016

Temple Grandin at Marian University and the
Treffert Center

Temple Grandin will give a lecture at Marian University on May 20, 2016 in Fond du Lac, Wis. She also will visit the Treffert Center for a tour and book signing. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Click here for more details, including registration information.

Update: Feb. 29, 2016

News From the Treffert Center

The new Treffert Center (see Feb. 19 update below) seeks to preserve, make available and expand Dr Treffert’s legacy by inviting individuals, families and communities worldwide to explore the potential of the human mind, focusing on strengths rather than limitations. In this new seven-minute video, you can learn more about Dr. Treffert, including his upbringing, education and extensive experience with children with autism, as well as the mission of the Treffert Center.

You are also invited to subscribe to a new e-newsletter filled with important dates, information and insights from all areas of the Treffert Center. Click here to sign up.

Update: Feb. 23, 2016

NPR’s Hidden Brain explores hidden genius

Derek Amato had a concussion in a diving accident and immediately thereafter became an expert piano player, never having exhibited that talent previously. In an episode of the NPR program “Hidden Brain,” Derek tells the story and explores his case of acquired savant syndrome in his own words, with some comments by Dr. Treffert and Dr. Barry Kaufman.

Click here to listen to “Stroke of Genius: How Derek Amato Became a Musical Savant.”

Update: Feb. 19, 2016

The Treffert Center—a place for the study of exceptional minds

Doctor Treffert met his first savant in 1962 and has been engaged in research and public information about that extraordinary condition since then. This website (www.savantsyndrome.com) has been a gold mine resource for new cases and a great podium for research, public information and, most importantly, a place for information and support for these remarkable persons and their equally remarkable families. The movie Rain Man made “autistic savant” a household term; Dr. Treffert was a consultant to that excellent film.

In recent years Dr. Treffert has been in search of a place to house his huge library of videos, books, papers, publications, documentaries and savant artwork to preserve that collection and make it as available as possible resource to other researchers, journalists, students, media, families and the general public. Now Agnesian HealthCare and St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin have established the Treffert Center to house those materials and expand research and information services.

The mission for the center can be accessed here, and a press release about the center can be accessed here. More information about the center can be accessed at www.treffertcenter.com. Now open, the center will have a Grand Opening later this Spring.

In recent years Dr. Treffert has expanded his interest in savant syndrome to research in autism, hyperlexia and other forms of exceptional brain function. In addition to the library portion of the center, focusing on those conditions, there will be an expanded autism assessment and treatment program and a pre-school.

The center is presently recruiting clinicians and research personnel for the autism assessment and treatment component, along with some “fresh, new explorers” to carry on Dr. Treffert’s work. Dr. Treffert can be reached at daroldt@charter.net

Update: Feb. 10, 2016

Rex Lewis Clack and savant syndrome

A detailed story on savant syndrome, featuring Rex Lewis Clack as a musical savant, was published recently on SPECTRUM—a leading source of news and expert opinion on autism research. In “Extraordinary minds: The link between savantism and autism,” author Linda Marsa explores the link between prodigy and savant syndrome and references Dr. Treffert’s work, as well as some other more recent studies suggesting savant syndrome may be more frequent than one in 10 persons with autism.

Following its publication on SPECTRUM, the article also appeared in The Atlantic, and can be accessed here.