Friday, December 07, 2007

Why I love Christmas - Part III



My friend finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Sat!
So happy for her.


Now, let's continue.
If you want to know the context of why I'm writing what I'm writing,
scroll down to read Part I & II before you read on.









In this post, I'd like to blog about
the most famous savant on earth - Kim Peek.

If you've watched the movie, Rain Man,
well, Kim Peek was the inspiration of that 1988 Oscar-winning movie.
I highly recommend that you watch it.

"I may be the star, but you are the heavens"
That's what Dustin Hoffman, the main actor of Rain Man said to Kim.
Dustin subsequently gave his Oscar statue as a gift to Kim.
That was also the movie which has changed Kim Peek's life.

Prior to the movie, Kim can never look at people's eyes when communicating with others.
After the movie, he's found the self esteem to look at people's eyes.

He was born on November 11, 1951.
He had an enlarged head,
an encephalocele (brain defect)
and an absent corpus callosum (the connector between the left and right brain)

Fran Peek, Kim's dad was advised to dump him in an institution,
and forget about him.
Because he's described as 'severely mentally retarded',
and will never ever be able to learn.

But Fran was determined to raise him up with his wife, nonetheless.
Kim did not walk until he was 4 years old.
But Fran said, at the age of 16 - 20 months,
Kim was already able to memorise every book that was read to him.

When he's slightly older, he was also obsessed with numbers and arithmetic.
He read the telephone directories, ZIP codes, calendars,
and enjoys totalling up the numbers on car no. plates.

His parents would move Kim's finger along each sentence being read.
Kim would then memorise a book after a single reading.
Then, he'll put it aside, upside down. So no one would read it to him again.
He still does that up to today.

The local library is Kim's favourite place in the world.
He reads up to 8 books in a day. And he reads at a phenomenal speed.
One page which takes you or I three minutes to finish,
Kim take 10 seconds.

That's because he reads the left page with his left eye.
And the right page with his right eye.
After reading, they tested his memory.
His brain retained 98% of the book.
He even remembers the page numbers correctly!

He's really good at calendar calculations.
If you tell him your birth date & year,
He can tell you this:
1. Significant events that happened on the day of your birth
2. The day which you were born on
3. The day on which your birthday will fall on that present year
4. The day which you will turn 65, so you can think about retiring

Today, he is called, "Kim-puter".
Or described as the "Walking Google".

He's now 56 years old.
And he's a genius in about 15 different subjects.
(To name a few, history, literature, geography, numbers,
sports, music and dates).
But he's still severely limited in other ways,
e.g. not being able to dress himself.

Here's a video about Kim:


video



After reading and posting about all these people,
I realised that many of them are highly at risk
of being aborted, dumped, given away or institutionalised (some of them did).

But because their parents (or either one of the parent)
refused to give up caring for them, God rewarded them by
giving amazing gifts to these children.
It must have taken a lot of courage to take these kids in.

Sometimes, I wonder,
"What would I do,
if God has given me a defected child?"

I have to admit,
I shuddered at the thought.
Christian or not, at this moment,
I still struggle to come up with an answer.

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