Savant Sydrome in what the film was soley about can occur in any one, even in people defined as normal, if you wish to know more please bare with me and read the whole artical
The film written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass which was Released in 1998 became a Box office smash and film which highlighted The brilliant minds of those who are " Specially Abled"
The Story Line ..
Charles Sanford "Charlie" Babbit is a self-centered Los Angeles-based automobile dealer/hustler/bookie who is at war with his own life. Charlie, as a young teenager, used his father's 1948 Buick convertible without permission and as a result, he went to jail for two days on account that his father reported it stolen. It is then that Charlie learns that his estranged father died and left him from his last will and testament a huge bed of roses and the car while the remainder will of $3 Million goes into a trust fund to be distributed to someone. Charlie seemed pretty angry by this and decides to look into this matter. It seems as if that "someone" is Raymond, Charlie's unknown brother, an autistic savant who lives in a world of his own, resides at the Walbrook Institute. Charlie then kidnaps Raymond and decides to take him on a lust for life trip to the west coast as a threat to get the $3 Million inheritance.
At the time the film was released everyone thought that Film was purely based on Autism and that Kim Peek was Autistic..It later came to light The origins of the dispute date back to 1984, when Hollywood scriptwriter Barry Morrow met Kim Peek at a meeting of the Association of Retarded Citizens in Texas, and was astonished by his great brainpower.
After discovering that Kim, then 33, was able to reel off every address in the 50 states of America, complete with zip codes, he decided to write a movie based around his phenomenal gifts.
Until then, Kim had lived reclusively with his family in Salt Lake City, but Morrow urged his father to show his son's talents to the world.
Kim Peek was born on November 11, 1951.From his first moments, it was clear something was very wrong.
His head was abnormally large, with a baseball,sized blister at the back where his brain protruded through his skull, and his eyes moved independently of one another.
When he was nine months old, a psychologist pronounced him 'mentally retarded' and urged his parents to put him in an institution - the young Raymond Babbitt's fate in the film.
Frank Peek describes his son this way: "Kim is not autistic. He has a warm, loving personality. He truly cares for people and enjoys sharing his unique skills and knowledge capacity.
Drawing on the film's huge popularity, they aimed to break down the stigma surrounding mental impediment by demonstrating Kim's exceptional abilities before an audience, and though he could not understand the concept of fame 'the real Rain Man', as he was announced, became a celebrity.
His talents were so amazing that studio bosses thought they beggared belief, however, and Morrow's original film script was extensively rewritten to make it more believable, and bears little relation to Kim's life.
A few years later, Fran Peek also wrote a book, titled The Real Rain Man, about his son's moving struggle with Savant syndrome, the rare condition which gave him extraordinary powers of recall even though he was so disabled he could not wash or dress unaided. In which he became known as the GOOGLE BRAIN.
But Dustin Hoffman's character was not just based on Kim Peers yet it came to light in an interview that he had also had researched another role Model A young autistic man, Peter Guthrie, and combined the two together. And his co-star Tom Cruise drew traits from Peter's brother Kevin, a handsome young football player.
So yes the film shows a lot of Autistic Traits which Dustman portrays brilliantly but it also shows the Rare condition of Savant Syndrome on which the film is trying to high light.
Why Rainmain (Kim Peek)is not all about Autism:
Mental retardation is congenital, even when the baby is still in the mother's womb, doctors can already tell if the baby has mental disabilities. Autism is regarded by doctors as a developmental disability. Autism shows no signs of mental disabilities in the early years of the person. Doctors usually do not have a clue if the baby has autism. In fact, as toddlers, they appear to be normal and energetic children. Symptoms usually show up at about 5 or 6 years old, when the development of their brain suddenly stops.
Savant Syndrome Explained:
In the dictionary, savant means a person with detailed knowledge in a specialized field or a person of learning. Hence, idiot savant or savant syndrome was taken from that word. And in this hub, I'll be using savants to connote people with savant syndrome.
Savant syndrome is a rare but extraordinary, condition whether associated with autistic disorder or other developmental disability, most often is present from birth and surfaces during early childhood. However recently more instances of "acquired" savant syndrome have been reported in which savant-like abilities emerge, sometimes at a prodigious level, following CNS injury or disease in later childhood or even adult life in previously non-disabled persons. There is also such a thing as "Sudden" savant-an otherwise normal person who suddenly and unexpectedly acquires savant-like abilities. has mental disabilities but has an extraordinary talent that is connected with immense memory. It is the presence of unusual intellect or artistic abilities. The skills savants possess tend to use the right-hemisphere of the brain more than the left-hemisphere, though.
Savants can focus on a single talent and perfect it. Whether the talent is in mathematical calculation or in any other artistic skill but they don't have the ability to learn skills that is beyond the periphery of their talents. Their brain pushes them to focus all their energy into a limited skill.
It seems to us that savants acquire amazing abilities instantly. It is just that their brains tend to hyper-focus on a certain skill that normal people are unable to do. While they are unable to do what normal people can do.
Cognitive skills, logical skills, and analytical skills are absent in savants. The talent takes over the life of the person. They spend their day practicing that talent. They should practice, and they practice obsessively. It's a force within them. They are very interested and motivated in their skills. Thus they show amazing ability.
Darold Treffert, M.D. is considered one of the foremost experts on savantism in the world. Dr. Treffert has published two books on savant syndrome: "Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome"in 2006 and "Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired and Sudden Savant" in 2010. He has been a contributor to numerous articles in professional journals and has participated in many broadcast and documentary television programs around the world. In his efforts to raise public understanding of both Autism & Savant Syndrome.
While J. Landon Down included 10 such cases in his original description of this interesting circumstance in 1887, and Kanner included some such cases in his first accounts of early infantile autism in 1943, the 1989 movie Rain Man made "autistic savant" a household term. While there is as yet no over-arching theory to explain all instances of savant syndrome, more progress has been made in better understanding this condition in the past 15 years, than in the prior 100.
Recent case reports increasingly implicate left hemisphere dysfunction with right hemisphere compensatory processes as an important causal component in many cases of savant syndrome.
Especially intriguing are reports of newly emerging art, music and other savant like skills in previously non disabled persons following CNS injury or disease. These cases of "acquired" savant syndrome raise the possibility of hidden potential, perhaps, within us all and add to findings that implicate left hemisphere dysfunction as a causal factor in savant syndrome overall.
Savant skills in autistic persons, rather than being irrelevant and frivolous, can, by "training the talent" serve as a "conduit toward normalization" with an increase in language, social and daily living skills, providing more independence for the savant overall.