Serrell is what is known as an acquired savant (prodigious savant).
There are two types of savants: acquired savants and autistic savants.
An acquired savant is a person with a rare condition with various
developmental disabilities, including autistic disorder and an astonishing
ability for brilliance.
1979, Orlando was the typical 10 year old boy. And like most children
of that age, he enjoyed various sports including baseball. But,
one baseball game would alter him for the rest of his life.
August 17, 1979 Orlando was engrossed in playing a baseball game
with his friends. As Orlando made a frantic dash to first base,
the baseball struck him on the left side of his head.
fell to the ground and stayed there for a while. Moments later,
he got up and continued to play baseball. “I didn't tell my
parents, therefore, I had no medical treatment for the accident,”
Says Orlando. But, his head continued to hurt for a long while.
the headache ended, but Orlando soon noticed an uncanny ability
to perform calendrical calculations of baffling complexity. In addition,
he can recall the weather, where he was, and what he was doing for
every day since the accident.
the media became interested in this “calendar-brain”
and he began to appear in various local newspapers. On June the
17th, 2002, he received a telephone call from NBC News (Dateline).
They invited Orlando to visit the University of Columbia in New
York to perform a functional MRI testing on his brain. During the
procedure, the news staff video taped Orlando undergoing the MRI
which would be used to compare his brain functions to that of other
people who are not savant or at the genius level of brain functionality.
January 13th, 2003, NBC News televised a documentary on “savants”
on the Discovery Channel and included Orlando in the program.
makes Orlando Serrell so unique is that he may indeed hold the key
that unlocks the genius in us all. Orlando Serrell did not possess
any special skills until he was struck in the head by a baseball
when he was 10. And his extraordinary gifts seem to be his only
side effect. Could this mean once a key hemisphere in the brain
is stimulated, we can all attain the level of genius Orlando posses
and beyond? Only time and research will tell. Until then we will
do well to keep our eyes on Orlando and learn what we can from his