Saturday, May 16, 2009

Did You Know...

Some of you may already be aware and
some of you may not yet know that the
movie “Rainman” was inspired by Kim
Peek. Who is he?

Kim Peek is often referred to as the
Real Rainman. It is because of Kim
Peek that screenwriter, Barry Morrow,
(after meeting Kim) wrote a story and
that story turned into the screenplay
for the 1988 Oscar-winning movie,
Rainman, with Kim Peek being the
inspiration behind the character,
Raymond Babbitt, played by Dustin

Kim Peek is a mega-savant and
one-of-a-kind. Kim was born with
Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, as well
as no anterior commissure, damage to the
cerebellum and macrocephaly.

Some of you may have had the pleasure
of seeing Kim Peek and his father,
Fran, speak at a lecture or perhaps you
have even had the opportunity to meet them
personally. The father/son pair travel
from place-to-place on a regular basis
attending numerous speaking

Kim Peek and his father, Fran Peek,
were keynote speakers at the 2008 DCC
Conference held by the National
Organization for Disorders
of the Corpus Callosum (NODCC).

I have been reading a book written by
Fran Peek, Kim’s father, called
The Real Rainman…Kim Peek and
it is truly a touching story.

You can find more information about
the book and read an excerpt from the
book here.

In the book Fran Peek includes what he
refers to as a “KimKwip” and they consist
of little things that his son, Kim Peek,
has said. They are gently sprinkled
throughout the pages.

My favorite “KimKwip” is found on
Page 12 and is about a little girl eating
an ice cream cone. It is so amusing and
adorable that I told my husband about it…
both of us will never forget it.

My husband just informed me that he
wants to read the book and asked if I
was finished with it yet…pretty impressive.
I don’t recall him wanting to read a book
I have chosen to read….until now.

The most beautiful and moving words that
represent Kim’s remarkable character that I
had the pleasure of reading are on Page 136
(one page from the end of the book) and it
nearly brought me to tears.

Below is a 5 part video series about
“The Real Rainman” Kim Peek:

#1 video:

#2 video:

In this video you will see Dr. Elliott H. Sherr, M.D., Ph.D., Kim Peek’s Neurologist.
Some of you have children with agenesis of the
corpus callosum or a corpus callosum disorder
who have been seen by Dr. Sherr at (UCSF)
University of California, San Francisco.

#3 video:

#4 video:

In this video you will see Dr. Lynn Paul of Caltech
(California Institute of Technology). Lynn Paul, Ph.D.
is also the founding President of the National
Organization for Disorders of the Corpus Callosum.

#5 video:

Fran Peek along with Lisa L. Hanson
wrote a new book about Fran’s son,
Kim Peek. It is called:

The Life and Message of the Real
Rainman-The Journey of a MegaSavant

Have you read either of the books written
by Fran Peek about his son, Kim, or have
you seen Kim and Fran Peek at a speaking
engagement or met them? I’d like to hear
all about it.

Update: Sadly, Kim Peek passed away suddenly
of a heart attack on December 19, 2009. His
soul lives in Heaven.

More information about Kim Peek can be
found here.

1 comment:

  1. I think that doctors need to recognize literalism when they see it. When Kim is told to "push toward me", you will notice that he IS pushing toward the doctor. He is pushing his BODY toward the doctor. The doctor did not say "push your HAND toward me". Kim is following directions. It's just that the act of taking a patients hand and telling him to push cues the patient to understand that he is to push his hand, if the patient is typical. A more literal person will not always be able to INFER that by holding his hand, the doctor is indicating that it is the hand that must be pushed. I saw this again in a NYTimes article about a child with autism. The doctor annoyed the patient by repeating several times that the child needed to "make eye contact with me!" The child later drew a picture of himself extending two fingers to poke the doctor's eyes, Three Stooges style. While some would interpret this as anger at the doctor for being so persistent, I see it as simply following directions, literally. After all, he did say "make eye contact". The child was able to refrain from actually doing this, but I think the picture that he drew makes it clear that that's what he was picturing in his mind as the doctor kept repeating the instruction. You must be careful how you word things, as unless you live with this 24/7 you won't necessarily be thinking this way.


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