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Hi Hello,

The "savant institute" section of the Treffert Center continues to receive national and international attention.  Dr. Laurence Becker of Austin, Texas visited the center along with videographer Ron Sullivan.  Together they are producing a documentary film "Fierce Love and Art" which focuses on six savants where the 'fierce love' of their parents was a critical force in the full development of their extraordinary art abilities.  Together, in 1983, they had produced an award-winning film "With Eyes Wide Open: The Life and Art of Richard Wawro".  That film, 34 years ago, was a real pioneer effort to opening the eyes of the world to the magnificence of savant syndrome just being newly described about that time. 

The film will include discussion between Dr. Becker and Dr. Treffert about the constructive power that parental love, acceptance, support, determination, belief, encouragement, hope and faith have in bringing savant talents to full bloom along with providing, simultaneously,  greater self-esteem, pride and independence.  The film is expected to premier in Fall, 2017.

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On July 13-14 Hiroki Morimoto, better known as GOMA in Japan, visited the center accompanied by a film producer and crew from NHK television in Tokyo, Japan.  NHK is the largest broadcasting organization in Japan, and is producing a documentary film on acquired savant syndrome. NHK sponsored GOMA's trip to Fond du Lac for filming here.   GOMA was an internationally acclaimed didgeridoo player before he suffered an automobile accident and head injury.  Following that he developed an entirely new, amazing art ability which will be highlighted in the film.  While at the center GOMA gave a demonstration of his musical talent, and also spent time in the classroom with academy students demonstrating his pointillism art style which they then practiced along with him.  Pointillism uses distinct dots of color in patterns to form colorful and complex images.  On his U.S. trip GOMA will be visiting two other acquired savants.

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Darold Treffert, MD

Spotlight Associate

Rachel Vite, Treffert Academy Teacher

My name is Rachel Vite, and I am a preschool teacher at the Treffert Academy.  I recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where I earned a dual licensure degree in Early Childhood Special Education and Elementary Education.  

I was first introduced to the play-based learning environment at the Treffert Center as a Line Therapist through Agnesian Beyond Boundaries of Autism. I could instantly feel the dedication from staff to meet the social and emotional needs of all children and knew I would love to become a part of the team one day.

I believe in the importance of fostering natural curiosity and prompting excitement in learning. The power of inclusion, differentiation, and embracing a child's strengths drives my practices as an educator.  I am so excited to grow with the Treffert Center on my journey as a lifelong learner. 

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Treffert Academy News

Summer is underway and beneath the warmth of the summer sun, the Treffert Academy children have been enjoying numerous water play activities and field trips. We were so honored to be invited to the opening of the Born Learning Trail ribbon cutting ceremony at Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac. We joined the United Way and other child care centers to be the first to test out the new trail. The Born Learning Trail provides suggested activities as you work your way along the sidewalk by the playgrounds. The children had a good time exploring the trail and even got to enjoy making dirt cake as a treat!

Jodi Oye, Treffert Academy Supervisor


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Treffert Academy 

Now accepting enrollments!

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 What our visitors are saying:

“Before I came to the Treffert Center from Japan, I really didn't fully understand what the term savant meant. After meeting Dr. Treffert, hearing stories of some of the savants whom he has worked with and spending time looking at the rich collection of materials in his library, I was able to realize that I myself was in fact an acquired savant. The feeling of suffering that I have carried with me until now has been transformed into positive energy. I will now go forward with a sense of pride, and I thank you so much for giving me that confidence.”

     - Hiroki Morimoto, "GOMA" Acquired Savant

Support the Center

Children learn in different ways, and at the Treffert Center we are always looking to improve quality of care, programs and our learning environment.

Financial support affords us tools, equipment, funding for outings and support for our students in need. Your generous support helps us achieve our goal of strong social and emotional growth, self-regulation skills, and the development of empathy for all our children.

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The Construction Circuit

For inventors 10 to 13 years old  Only FOUR sessions
Tuesdays, August 8 & 15 and Wednesdays, August 9 & 16
4:30 to 6 p.m. • Session fee $60 per child ($15 per session)
Treffert Academy • 371 E. First Street, Fond du Lac
Light snack provided.


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