When Jacob Barnett was two years old, doctors told his mother Kristine that her son would probably never be able to talk, read, or even tie his shoes. He had moderate to severe autism, they informed her.
Indeed, Barnett seemed to have gone silent. Over about six months, the toddler had lost all communication skills and eye contact – he wouldn’t even say “mommy” anymore. Per the experts’ recommendations, Kristine put Barnett into an intensive therapy program, and into a preschool for kids with special needs. After a while, Kristine went against everyone’s advice and pulled him out of special education. She figured that her son would be better off if he spent those hours focused instead on what he could do – what he wanted to do.
So Kristine started teaching him herself, honing in especially on his outsized passion for math and science. To say that this approach got her son talking again is an understatement. Suddenly, at age three, he spoke four languages. He could answer complicated astrophysics questions, despite the fact that no one had taught him the subject matter.
At age eight, Barnett audited a physics class at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. His mom sat with him in the lecture hall, so people assumed that she was a student who didn’t have a babysitter. But after Barnett started speaking up in class – and after he got an A on the final—the university invited him to enroll.
At 10, he was officially a college student. At 13, he became a published physicist. At home, his parents couldn’t stock paper fast enough to keep up with how fast he was writing equations. So he’d move on to whiteboards, then to windows.
“I’ve always had a deep curiosity to understand how the world works,” he says. “It has been both fascinating and humbling to believe that life’s diverse patterns could emerge from simple mathematical expressions.
Barnett’s work is already stretching our understanding of the universe. “I enjoy defining the boundaries of my understanding of the world and pushing them farther,” he says. One of his favorite findings is that of a fermion-doubling problem in loop quantum gravity. “I demonstrated,” he explains, “that the theory appears to have an inconsistency with the standard model of particle physics.”
He has a proven very high IQ and is featured in The Prodigy’s Cousin by Joanne Ruthsatz, a book on child prodigies attributing the roots of prodigious skills to autism. Joanne Ruthsatz identified Jacob Barnett as a child prodigy on the basis of a working memory test she administered on the CBS web show 60 Minutes Overtime. His mother, Kristine Barnett, wrote a book about him called The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius.
According to psmag.com and the-genius-of-autism.fandom.com. Source of photos: internet