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April 30 , 2011

Nadia Revisited

A Longitudinal Study of an Autistic Savant


This book re-examines the case of Nadia, discovered as a child aged six, who had been drawing with phenomenal skill and visual realism from the age of three, despite having autism and severe learning difficulties. The original research was published in 1977 and caused great international interest. Nadia Revisited updates her story and reconsiders the theories that endeavour to explain her extraordinary talent.

As well as summarising the central issues from the original case study and presenting her remarkable drawings, the book explains Nadia’s subsequent development and present situation in light of the recent research on autistic spectrum disorders and representational drawing in children. The book also considers the phenomenon of savant syndrome, the condition in which those with autism or other learning disabilities have areas of unusual talent that contrast dramatically with their general functioning.

Lorna Selfe uses this single case study to discuss theories of developmental psychology and considers the possible links between prodigious talent and underlying neurological dysfunction. The book is especially valuable for students and teachers of developmental psychology and neuropsychology, education and special education, as well as art and art education. Parents of autistic children or those with related disorders, learning difficulties or special needs will also be interested in the discussions presented in this book.

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