The most AMAZING Video I Have Ever Seen: Beautiful Minds: Stephen Wiltshire

Stephen Wiltshire from London is a star among savants. Stephen is autistic. He did not speak his first words or “pencil” and “paper” until he was 5 years old. Yet, when he was age 11 he drew a perfect aerial view of London after only one helicopter ride.

For this film they tested the “Living camera” in Rome. Stephen had never seen an aerial view of Rome before and went on a 45 minute helicopter ride scanning the buildings and streets below.

He was asked to draw Rome from memory on a 5 1/2 yard panoramic sheet of paper and he had three days to complete the task. There were literally thousands of details to memorize – the major sites, the columns, every balcony, window and street.

How precise was he? It was amazing! He drew the complex coliseum so precisely that it was practically a blueprint of the real building. He had the correct number of arches and columns.

In all seriousness how can this be? I am stunned. The world of a savant person is very interesting and it has only been in the last 20 years that the mystery has began to unravel:

  • 10% of people who are on the autistic spectrum have savant skills
  • 50% of savants are autistic
  • there are 4 to 6 times the number of male savants to female presumed to be because of the development of testosterone in the brain

Savant syndrome is a rare condition in which who have an autism spectrum or another developmental disorder have an area of expertise or an area of brilliance not in character with his other abilities. Almost all savants have a remarkable memory as is the case in the video above. Other may be able to read a book and recite it back.

Autistic savants sometimes have obvious neurological abnormalities and many are known to have an abnormality in the left hemisphere of the brain and these abilities show up in the right hemisphere. Most people are left brain thinkers and savants typically are right brain thinkers.

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About Arlene Martell

Arlene Martell is the publisher of and the author of Getting Adam Back – A Mother's triumph over Epilepsy and Autism. She resides in a seaside suburb on Vancouver BC Canada with her husband James and their four children Adam, Justin, Shelby and Victoria.