Jacob Barnett: The Boy With IQ Higher Than Einstein’s

20 06 2013

Before he was even a teenager, Jacob Barnett captured the world’s attention – the boy with an IQ higher than Einstein’s. At nine, he began work on an original theory of astrophysics. At age 12, on his way to getting a Ph. D in Quantum Physics, he became a paid researcher in quantum physics — and solved an open-ended problem nobody else had ever solved before and there are predictions that his ideas will eventually earn him a Nobel prize.

But behind the headlines, is another remarkable story – of his mother, Kristine Barnett, who searched for ways to connect with a two-year-old Jacob, diagnosed with autism when all “the experts” said that he was a lost case. At the age of 2, Jacob Barnett’s parents were told by experts that he would never learn to read or even tie his shoes — in spite of his obsession with alphabet cards. All the tests focused on things he was either unable to do or — and this later proved to be the case — too bored to do. While his mind was studying light and shapes and geometric patterns — things the teachers saw as mere useless distractions — he had no interest in sitting in a circle with other children or playing with puppets, the usual kinds of expectations for toddlers. And so he was seriously mislabeled as hopeless. If his mother had accepted the advice of the special ed people, his brilliant mind would have been lost to the world.

Kristine Barnett refused to accept a “ceiling” for her son and decided to give him all the alphabet cards he wanted, as well as whatever other activities he found interesting, and work with him from there. This was completely against all the professional advice — even her husband Michael was skeptical at first — but eventually, it worked. As long as Jake could focus on the things he loved — astronomy, math, history, and physics — he was willing to work on the more mundane socialization skills. As he grew older, he did begin to communicate and socialize with other kids, but he was so far ahead of his age group in academics that by third grade he was dying of boredom and starting to regress back into his own world again. The solution? Get him into a special college program, and eventually into college itself.

Jake long ago surpassed his mother’s ability to understand his equations but, she continued to be his mom and surround him with love. She had a philosophy that says every child is a unique gift of God and should not be put into any category beneath human dignity. Mothers of children with Down syndrome or other physical disabilities the world over should be inspired by this true life story to heed not “expert” advice to kill (abort) their children. If Kristine Barnett could do it and could give a good quality of life to Jake, why shouldn’t they? Women who feel deeply humiliated that their children were born handicapped in any way often going into depression or abandoning the child to foster care must go and read Kristine Barnett’s bestselling memoir, “the Spark,” for details of her hair-raising struggles to nurture her child against all odds. It wasn’t easy and she suffered a stroke and was often penniless, yet she did it and has left us all a shining example of what it is to be a MOTHER. Kristine’s success proves that parents have a fundamental right over the State in the education of their children. Not only should the State pay attention to their opinion but must never, ever take away their right to interfere with authorities when gut feelings tell them something is not going right. Affection and empathy enable parents to see deeper into the heart of their children to discover the hidden needs easily missed by disinterested experts.

Jacob Barnett on Quantum physics

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