Flo and Kay Lyman are unique, they’re the only known female twin autistic savants. Savant syndrome is a serious mental disability in which sufferers, often autism, are capable of acts of genius that far outstrip their expected level of ability.
For more than 50 years, and through considerable struggle and emotional hardship, these two incredible people have kept themselves entertained with their eidetic memories, memorizing everything that has ever happened to them. Give Flo and Kay any date, and they can tell you the day of the week as well as any occurrences that happened on that day. If the date is from their own lives, they can tell you the weather, food and drink consumption, what they wore, and what other people were wearing.
At 52 years of age, the twins are bubbly and sociable. The two are passionate about music, enjoy going to gigs and love to laugh. This means that they do not fit the classic stereotype of autism sufferers.
At the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute, Dr Nancy Isenberg uses the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule to perform her assessment. She asks the twins a series of questions about friendships and emotions. As well as listening to their answers, she observes the sisters’ body language. Dr Isenberg concludes that despite Flo and Kay’s outgoing natures, they still possess the standard signs of autism – minimal eye contact, poorly modulated voices and failure to engage in conversation.