Savant Syndrome and Autistic Savant

Topics: Savant syndrome, Psychology, Autism Pages: 2 (527 words) Published: February 14, 2012
Should Rainman Stay?

In the movie “Rainman” the main characters Rainman and Charlie Babbit, two brothers separated at childhood ages. In the movie there dad passes away and all the money goes to Rainman. Charlie finds out he has a brother and his brother is getting all the money. It just so happens Charlie’s business was in the hole eighty-thousand dollars. So Charlie drives to where brother is institutionalized to meet his brother. When there he takes Rainman thinking he can receive the money in having custody of Rainman. Also when there he finds out his brother is an autistic savant. The autistic savant is one of the most fascinating cognitive phenomena in psychology. "Autistic savant" refers to individuals with autism who have extraordinary skills not exhibited by most persons. Historically, individuals with these exceptional skills were called 'idiot savants,' a French term meaning unlearned (idiot) skill (savant). In a 1978 article in Psychology Today, Dr. Bernard Rimland introduced a more appropriate term 'autistic savant,' which is the current label. After that he decides to kidnap Rainman and take him with him to California to receive their dad’s money. Later on in the movie the Charlie grows a brotherly bond with Rainman. At the end Charlie and the institution argues who should have custody of Rainman. Who should Rainman go with?

Charlie took Rainman from the institution thinking he could inherit his father’s fortune. Charlie had never taken care of an autistic savant; therefor he has no experience with taking care of him. On their journey together Charlie learns things about Rainman and autistic savant. And grows to learn and love him as a brother. For example when Charlie realizes Rainman has certain needs and has to do certain things at certain times. I remember in the movie Rainman had to have 12 cheese balls and nothing more or less. Or when he couldn’t stand being touch or cursed at. But later in the movie Charlie...
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