Driving through Fond du Lac and other surrounding communities, there are many opportunities to see signs directing you to the wide assortment of services now offered through the SSM Health Treffert Center. Started in 2016, the Treffert Center has grown to include the Treffert Academy, Treffert Autism Services, Treffert Clinic, the Treffert Library, the Treffert Way for the Exceptional Mind and Exploration High School (located within the School District of North Fond du Lac) and most recently SSM Health Treffert Studios.
What's the story behind all these services and the "Treffert" name that is attached to each?
For 87 years, Darold Treffert, MD, an internally renowned researcher who dedicated his life to the study and treatment of savant syndrome, hyperlexia, and autism, called Fond du Lac home. A pioneering psychiatrist, Dr. Treffert left behind a rich legacy after his passing in December 2020 through the Treffert Center, which invites individuals, families, and communities worldwide to explore the potential of the human mind, focusing on strengths rather than limitations.
Dr. Treffert personally worked with screen writer Barry Morrow on accuracy in representing the talents of savants for the movie "Rain Main," which made savant a household word and was the beginning of heightened autism awareness. He has been recognized for his work in this field and has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions.
Learn more about Dr. Treffert's legacy, and how the SSM Health Treffert Center and a team of more than 140 clinicians, educators and creative professionals are “carrying the torch.”
History at Home programs focus on stories about the area's past every month. Programs are held on the second Thursday of every month at 6 pm in the McLane Room. The programs are free. Many History at Home programs are captured on video and shared on the library's YouTube channel. That link can be found at fdlpl.org/miss-program.