Born On a Blue Day
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©2006. By Daniel Tammett. In this fascinating book, the author, from England, describes his life as a person with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and the very rare savant syndrome. He describes his childhood, including a severe epileptic seizure at the age of four, which he feels may have influenced his savant abilities. He talks about his experiences as an international English teacher in Lithuania, and how this experience helped him gain confidence in his transition to independent adulthood. He reveals what it was like to fall in love, and talks touchingly about how much his partner Neil does to help him in their life together. But perhaps most excitingly, he reveals what is is like for him to think. He describes his synaesthetic relationship with numbers, seeing them as colors and shapes in his mind, and his ability to learn languages. He talks about the research scientists have done with him to try to better understand savant syndrome. He explains the process he went through to prepare for his fundraising event for the National Society for Epilepsy, at which he recited 22,514 digits of pi from memory without mistake. He describes Mänti, the language he has been inventing for several years, based predominantly on Scandinavian and Baltic roots. He also talks about the filming of the documentary Brainman, for which he traveled to the US to meet researchers in California; to Utah to meet Kim Peek, who was the savant inspiration behind Rain Man; and to Iceland, where he was challenged to learn Icelandic in just one week. He now runs a website business for which he designs foreign language tutorials. Throughout it all, he acknowledges the challenges Asperger Syndrome presents him, but sets a clear example that they can be overcome to live a full and happy life. He has been featured in an interview with 60 Minutes. (Softcover; 237 pages.)
©2007-2008. Autism Society of North Carolina.