Autistic Savants Demonstrating Telepathic Abilities

A non-verbal Autistic child demonstrating signs of telepathy, as seen in the video below.

In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • Telepathy has been reported by people from almost every culture, and across the millennia. Hundreds of studies on telepathy have shown positive results.

    • Dr. Diane Powell, MD, Neuroscientist has investigated and conducted experiments with autistic savants who display strong characteristics of telepathy.

    • This article examines a few examples.

  • Reflect On:
    • What does this tell us about human capabilities?

    • How much more do we have to discover about ourselves?

    • Do certain belief systems sometimes prevent humanity exploring and expanding our understanding about the nature of reality?

    • What do we do when faced with evidence that contradicts what we believe?

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Parapsychology has been studied at the highest level of government as well as independent scientists in multiple countries for decades. This involves the study of remote viewing, telepathy, precognition and much more. Dr. Jessica Utts, a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine worked with the US government on these programs for years. According to her,

“I got convinced by the good science that I saw being done. And in fact I will say as a statistician I’ve consulted in a lot of different areas of science; the methodology and controls in these experiments are tighter than any other area of science where I’ve worked.”

Some of the results that came out of these programs were very strong, and changed what we think we know about the nature of reality and human capabilities.

Diana Powell And Telepathic Autistic Savants

Dr. Diane Hennacy Powell, MD, Neuroscientist and Psychotherapist has had a strong interest in parapsychology for a number of years. According to her, if anybody can prove the existence of telepathy, it will be non-verbal autistic children with savant capabilities.

“Telepathy has been reported by people from almost every culture, and across the millennia. Hundreds of studies on telepathy have shown positive results. These statistical studies aren’t taken seriously because their effect size is too small to prove something labeled “impossible.” Science has remained stuck with this circular reasoning for over a century.”

Diane Powell

Autistic savants are capable of extraordinary and unexplainable phenomenon. For example, autistic twins studied by Oliver Sacks could provide prime numbers in up to 20 digits, without knowing basic math.

According to Powell,

“Being incapable of speech from an early age increases their motivation to find alternative means of communication with their caregivers but that isn’t all. Autism expert Bernard Rimland, PhD reported “ESP” as existing in a small percentage of his patients, and considered it to be a savant skill.”

Diane Powell

In September 2015, Powell published a paper in Edge Science, a publication put out by the Journal of Scientific Exploration titled “Autistics, Savants, and Psi: A Radical Theory of Mind.” In it she provides multiple examples of autistic savants she has investigated over the years, including some interesting cases of telepathic ones.

Powell has been able to test three children in the United States under controlled conditions, with randomized words, letters, numbers and pictures. Their answers have been astoundingly accurate, but due to time constraints, the testing protocol was not optimal, which makes it insufficient to declare definitively that they exhibit telepathy.

In 2013, Darold A. Treffert, a psychiatrist and research director who specialized in the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders and savant syndrome, referred a nine year old mute autistic girl named Haley for Powell’s evaluation.

Powell explains in her paper in Edge Science,

“Hayley communicates by either pointing at letters and numbers on thick plastic stencils, or typing into a device called a “talker” that converts text to speech. Hayley’s parents and therapists hadn’t believed telepathy was real until Hayley exhibited it.

They want to keep their identity hidden to protect Hayley from attention by the media. Her father is a medical doctor which is why he immediately realized how significant this would be to science.”

Below is a clip of one of the experiments she conducted with Haley and a therapist

Powell goes on to explain in her paper,

“Everything I learned about her indicates a very low likelihood of fraud. Hayley’s family initially thought she was a mathematical savant. She could give answers to increasingly complex problems involving several digit numbers, but she couldn’t do simple math.

One day she typed her answer in an exponential format for the first time. She hadn’t been asked to, but the therapist’s calculator had just accidentally been switched to displaying results in that notation. The shocked therapist asked how she knew.

Hayley typed, “I see the numerators and denominators in your head.” Hayley then accurately answered questions for her therapist that she shouldn’t have known the answers to, such as her landlord’s name, “Helmut.”

Hayley also could type the exact words her therapist was thinking to describe pictures hidden from view. She even typed prose, word-for-word, including several foreign languages, but only when her therapist knows or reads it. In August 2013, Hayley’s family sent me three videos demonstrating telepathy. Filmed with a smartphone by her father in August 2012, they showed a young woman with a ponytail (Therapist A), looking at pictures, sentences, and numbers.

A much younger girl in pigtails typed into a device with an electronic voice, giving answers exactly matching what the therapist had shown to the camera.”

These videos were intriguing but scientifically unacceptable. Experimental protocol requires randomized stimuli, so that answers can be compared to chance. Also, the therapist was in the same room as Hayley with no divider between them. Although there didn’t appear to be any cueing, it cannot be ruled out because these videos don’t show the entire room.

After learning about Hayley’s “telepathy,” her parents kept it a secret. They didn’t know how people would react. They let a few teachers know because they saw potential for Hayley to fool them into thinking she was learning her subjects when, like the math, she might be using telepathy to give the answers. A new therapist (B) was among those who were not told, but she began to have suspicions. Hayley’s answers were always correct, and when they weren’t, they were exact replicas of the therapist’s mistakes.

She jokingly tested Hayley’s “telepathy” by asking her to translate “I love you” into German, a language the therapist knew and Hayley had never seen. Her jaw dropped when Hayley typed, “Ich liebe dich.”

Hayley started practicing telepathy with therapists A and B, taking pride in her ability and squealing with glee when she heard the “talker” speak the correct answers. Hayley became so excited during testing, her therapists started touching her shoulder to calm her down.

By 2013, Hayley had become psychologically dependent upon being touched during testing. This was a problem for research. My experiments were delayed while Hayley was weaned from this contact.

I also needed the therapists to work with a divider between Hayley and themselves. Autism makes any change challenging and, as anticipated, Hayley’s behavior regressed. There was no way to predict what form it would take. It could have been anything from soiling her pants to refusing to enter the room. Instead, she stopped typing her answers. Therapists have to think on the fly and will try a variety of techniques to get a client back on track.

When they returned to her initial method of communication, Hayley started participating again. She selected her answers from cut-out letters or numbers on stencils by pointing to them with a pencil in her right hand, then typing them with her left. Another complication arose. Hayley was undergoing intensive speech therapy and began to vocalize some letters, numbers, and simple words.

Rather than wait until Hayley and her therapists could work in separate rooms, my videographer Kent Romney and I scheduled testing for May 2014. Speech development has been reported to interfere with savant skills, and we couldn’t take that chance.

Nadia (Selfe, 1977) was an autistic savant who lost her remarkable artistic talent after acquiring language at age 12. Puberty might also diminish telepathic abilities and has according to parents of some autistics.

Hayley started having menses at age 9. Upon meeting Hayley, I saw that she exhibits all of the clinical signs of autism. She was diagnosed months before turning three, a typical age. Her social and language development were delayed and aberrant. She has repetitive behaviors, such as hand-flapping, and makes little eye contact with anyone, including family. When I asked her mother if she makes eye contact, she said, “occasionally she stares at my forehead.”

Quite fascinating to say the least. There are more examples outlined in Powell’s paper.

It’s quite odd that these capacities have been and are documented and studied within the highest levels of government, for example, yet shunned and unacknowledged within the mainstream academic community.

Perhaps it’s because the mechanism behind the phenomenon of telepathy is unexplainable. These examples push the boundaries of our beliefs and what we think we know about ourselves and the nature of reality. This, in a way, expands human consciousness tremendously. Perhaps with more research and investigation we could find ways of learning these abilities ourselves.

That being said, is humanity ready and mature enough for such things?

I’ll leave you with a quote from Cassandra Vieten, Executive Director of the John W. Brick Foundation, Scholar-in-Residence at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at the University of California, San Diego.

“There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.”

When Skeptics Face the Evidence.” Cassandra Vieten.

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