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Daniel Tammet – The ‘Brain’ Child

Daniel Tammet (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts) is an English autistic savant. He is a writer, translator and an essayist. Born in 1979 in East London England, Tammet suffered as a child from epilepsy and frequent seizures. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder. According to Dr. Darold Treffert, Tamment is one of the rare less than a hundred “prodigious savants”. He was awarded with the “Best Book for Young Adults” in 2008 for his memoir that was published in 2006, titled “Born on a Blue Day” which manifests his autistic life and living with the savant syndrome. His book named “Embracing the Wide Sky” was the 2009 best seller in France. His books have been published in more than 20 languages.

He was positioned 12th and 4th in 1999 and 2000 respectively in the World Memory Championships in London. He also appeared in a documentary titled “The Boy with the Incredible Brain” that was first broadcasted in UK on the British television in 2005. He has been a subject of research in the United States and Britain as unlike most of the savants he can describe how he does what he does and what all he sees in his mind which to the researchers is extremely exciting. For example in Tamment’s mind every integer that is positive and is up to 10,000 has a peculiar feel, shape and texture. For him 289 is ugly whereas 333 is appealing. Pi for him is beautiful. He has this strange emotional feeling and perception of words and numbers. Tammet is also a polyglot and knows at least ten languages. He learnt Icelandic (Conversational) in a week after which he appeared for an interview for an Icelandic channel. His website “Optimnem” launched in 2002 offers courses to learn different languages such as Spanish and French. He is an approved member of the United Kingdom’s “National Grid for Learning”. He has been appearing on different talk shows on the radio and television.

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Daniel Tammet photo

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Tammet lived in with his first partner Neil Mitchell who is a software engineer. They lived together in Kent with their cats. They both worked on Tammet’s online language learning website. After a few years he split with Mitchell and now lives with his new partner, a French photographer named Jérôme Tabet. He met Tabet while he was on a tour for promoting one of his books. He has hardly been reluctant speaking about his relationships. He has said that without the love and encouragement of his first partner Neil Mitchell he couldn’t have achieved a lot of things, however he felt that he could be happier which actually happened when he met Jerome Tabet with whom he feels more liberated. He has also said that traveling has changed him as a person. He used to be simple and rigid but traveling has opened him and now he is interested in more things.  He says that he has an IQ of 150.

Daniel Tammet

Tammet’s major awards include the Ann Arbor award, the Sunday times top choice, Booklist Editors choice. American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and the most prestigious Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


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