Darold Treffert, MD, graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1958, interned in Eugene, Oregon and completed a Residency in Psychiatry at University Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1962 he joined the staff of Winnebago Mental Health Institute where he developed the Child-Adolescent Unit. In 1964 he was named Superintendent of the Institute, a position he held for 15 years. In 1979 he left that position to divide his time between the private practice of Psychiatry and a position as Executive Director of the Fond du Lac County Health Care Center. During that time he was also Medical Director of the Alcoholism Rehabilitation Unit of St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac. In 1991 he retired from those positions and now devotes his time to conducting research, writing and lecturing at the Treffert Center.
His book Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome has been published in the U.S. and has been translated into ten other languages. His most recent book Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired and Sudden Savant was published in April 2010; it summarizes his 50 years of interest and research in both autism and savant syndrome. Dr. Treffert was a consultant to the movie “Rain Man”, in which Dustin Hoffman portrays an autistic savant.