About Orlando Serrell

The making of a genius.
   
What makes a genius? Do we all possess genius and fantastic mental abilities? Are those abilities laying dormant, trapped inside our brains? How can we tap into the genius caged in our minds? The answer to these questions may lay inside the mind of Orlando Serrell.

Orlando 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.

In 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.

Orlando 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.

Eventually, 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.

Soon, 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. On January 13th, 2003, NBC News televised a documentary on “savants” on the Discovery Channel and included Orlando in the program.

What 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 experience.

 
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