Derek Amato

Derek Amato’s reflections in My Beautiful Disaster provide rare insight into what people with extraordinary gifts see, think, feel and do; pose questions about the potential to tap into previously undetected abilities and spotlight the ‘silent epidemic’ of head trauma.

His experiences also make vivid some the challenges faced by those living with autism and other neurological disorders and hint at the possibility we all have more in common than we think.

Readers enchanted by autistic savant, Daniel Tammet’s eloquent Born On A Blue Day, will welcome another multi-layered, first person account of what is to live with a remarkable condition.

Uniquely, having spent his life as a “neurotypical” Amato’s tale relates the before and after of ‘the gift’; his voice at times resonating with incredulity at what has happened and what the eventual cost may be.

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6 responses to “Derek Amato

  1. Great story – we loved having you at Reality Rally for Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center, and look forward to seeing you there again next year…..I love that you have decided to use your gift this way…….

  2. Awesome story Derek! One thing from your story keeps running through my mind…the black and white squares. Have you ever attempted to figure out that visual notation? Say, preparing black and white squares, and then see if you can configure those squares on a table to match segments of the piece just after your mind has processed the images. This while working with someone who understands the keyboard and musical structure. Most likely needing to video record what your hands played and compare that to the square pattern.

  3. How wonderful and amazing from, of all things, a trauma! I saw your story on Ingenious Minds just today and decided to google you. I wanted to share one thing; after an emotional trauma 16 yrs ago I decided to go out dancing with friends to help the depression, sadness and grieving. One particular night out I was so sad I wondered why I went out at all. Then I tried on something a counselor kept telling me to do. I “chose” to feel happy for one hour. I got on the dance floor and let go. That was the first time I saw music in pictures. Only my shapes were circles, ovals and curly lines all floating and shaping in front of me. Each instrument in the music I’d focus on became it’s own shape. I was always a person who could dance but that night I became one of the best simply because I now tuned into a different part of my brain. Since then I always get comments and compliments on how well I dance. That never happened before.
    Only when I heard your story did I find the word to describe this, synesthesia. Why it happened to me with an emotional trauma versus a physical head trauma, I have no idea. It is just amazing how far yours took you and I can well understand why you will accept the downside of it to keep the upside.

  4. Hello Derek,

    I’m Derrick D. Milner.

    Derek, I thank GOD for allowing me to tune in to Inside Edition and hear your MIRACULOUS story. Yours reminds me of one of many MIRACLES I’ve received.

    I’m 51 and an HIV/Cancer survivor amongst many other “things” that have encountered. For years (1987 diagnosed), I’ve wanted to express my “gratitude and discoveries” in particular melodies, but, I can’t hold a note or play any instruments, however, the melodies ring out LOUD in my head. In my mind I feel wonderful humming the “playbacks” hoping that I could encourage others as well. I’m sure you felt the same once you discovered your GIFT!

    Derek, I’m not certain how this may pan out, but, I’d like to share my interests with you, maybe you’ll compose according to my lyrics.

    Thank you for sharing your story as it has really been a MOTIVATOR to me and my family. May GOD bless you and your family Derek, take care and have a BLESSED DAY.

    Sincerely,
    Derrick Demetrius Milner

  5. I don’t recall how long we’ve been friends but it wasn’t because of this. I look forward to reading the book and learning what happened. Derek, you are an inspiration because of your youthful enthusiasm about life and generosity of spirit. I hope the day comes when I can thank you with a hug!

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