Being autistic, Nandana Unnikrishnan is not like other girls her age. Despite the troubles that come with such a developmental disorder, autism sometimes lends itself to unusual and amazing talents, but never one like this: Nandana is allegedly telepathic.
According to initial testing, it appears that the young Indian girl has the ability to read her mother’s thoughts and emotions with no physical contact, able to pass ESP tests with flying colors, even going so far as to type out entire poems that have been telepathically communicated to her. The results have stunned skeptical researchers like Dr. Phillip John of the Indian Psychiatric Society, who told the Khaleej Times that he believes Nandana’s case is genuine.
“We see several autistic children with savant skills like unusual Mathematical skills, extraordinary memory about calendar days and dates. In such cases, they have access to their memory. In some people with schizophrenia, there is a symptom called “thought broadcast” wherein they believe their thoughts are known to others. It is not transmission of memory. In Nandana’s case, she has access to her mother’s memory and there is a transmission of memory, that too without a medium. This is the first time I am seeing a case like this. Here, we are talking about memory as a function which is why it is very surprising. This is a very rare phenomenon of transmission of memory without a medium.”
Nandana’s parents first became aware of her bizarre talents when they began to notice “unusual coincidences” when it came to her almost premeditated responses to her mother’s thoughts and feelings.
“I used to feel strange when she would come to me and say the name of the food I was thinking of preparing for her”, Nandana’s mother Sandhya, told reporters. “The same way, if my husband and I had decided to take her somewhere, she would know about it without being told about it and would start reacting to it.”
Despite her amazing ability, the autistic girl still has trouble grasping certain concepts like words and objects, and has some issues writing and verbally communicating. To help overcome this challenge, Sandhya gave her daughter a keyboard, which she uses to type out responses. This has come with it’s own set of hurdles.
“Now, if I prompt her to type what I am thinking of, she can do that. Sometimes there could be spelling mistakes and she cannot understand the concept of punctuation marks and the space bar. If I say space in my mind when she types the words, she might start typing the word ‘space’ instead of leaving a space between the words,” Sandhya said.
The case has even attracted the attention of Dr. Darold A. Treffert, whose work in the field of gifted children has earned him the reputation of “godfather of savant research”, and even he believes that Nandana’s case is “very convincing”.
“I certainly want to emphasize that Nandana’s case is extraordinarily rare in an already rare condition, but with far-reaching ramifications,” he told the Khaleej Times.
In one test, Nandana and her mother were placed in separate rooms and Sandyha was given a six digit number to glance at. When Nandana was able to type the number with ease, the researchers decided to up the ante, and gave her mother a Grade 2 level poem to read. When prompted, the young girl was able to type the entire poem without issue.
As of now, Dr. Treffert remains amazed, but has urged the family to seek more controlled testing in order to verify claims of the girls extrasensory powers.
“I also want to compliment you on the testing you did to confirm the ability…When it is musical skill, or art, the pieces speak for themselves. But in this instance the ability needs to be demonstrated by more rigorous testing of the type you did.”
If it turns out that Nandana’s abilities are, in fact, genuine, the implications would change everything we know about how the mind works and the shockwaves would be far reaching in the scientific fields. For now though, what we’re left with is a little girl whose mother is simply interested in answers.
“We want to know how it is possible for her to have this ability and how best we can make use of this for her future benefits or for others.”
Step one: build school for gifted children.
Step two: begin forming the real life X-Men.
So, what do you make of Nandana’s amazing abilities? Is she the world’s first real telepath? Or is there a simpler answer to the mind-reading skills baffling the researchers? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page, tweet us @WhoForted, or leave a message in the comments below!