Posted By RichC on January 18, 2007
Daniel Tammet has written a book, Born on a Blue Day, about his life as an Autistic Savant. He is an extraordinary 27 year old from the UK and is fortunate enough to be able function normally in society. In day to day life, he does has a compulsive need for order and routine well a particular precision with amounts of foods and exact times for tea. Daniel has developed the mastery of ten languages and is gifted with numbers ability to do calculations. He demonstrated his ability with numbers by reciting the number pi up to the 22,514th digit, a European record. The book details his relationship with numbers (think “Rainman” the movie) as well as the challenges of growing up with this unusual gift/curse.
In his childhood years, he struggled with epilepsy and seizures. The medicines being prescribed made him drowsy and slowed his progress early on in school. Daniel might now be classified as having Aperger syndrome which was not defined until 1994; it is characterized by an impairment in social interaction and repetitive behaviors associated with Autistic Savants. He mentioned that during his childhood he faced anxiety and loneliness and had difficulty understanding why he was different than his peers.
Along with the biographical information, Daniel shares how he views numbers. He ‘sees’ them as colors and with personality, the number 9 is ‘blue’ as is Wednesday — the day he was born. The book provides an interesting view inside the mind of a a Autistic Savant and is well worth reading. It might also be interesting to peruse his blog or read the first chapter of his book available in PDF format.
EDIT: Was forwarded this ABC Good Morning America clip and thought I would include it.