As a child, doctors told Jacob Barnett’s parents that their autistic son would probably never know how to tie his shoes.
Diagnosed with moderate to severe autism at the age of 2, Jacob spent years in the clutches of a special education system that didn’t understand what he needed. His teachers at school would try to dissuade Kristine from hoping to teach Jacob any more than the most basic skills.
Jacob was struggling with that sort of instruction — withdrawing deeper into himself and refusing to speak with anyone.
But Kristine noticed that when he was not in therapy, Jacob was doing “spectacular things” on his own.
One day, his mom took him stargazing. A few months later, they visited a planetarium where a professor was giving a lecture. Whenever the teacher asked questions, Jacob’s little hand shot up and he began to answer questions — easily understanding complicated theories about physics and the movement of planets.
Jacob was just 3-1/2 years old.
His mom realized that Jacob might need something that the standard special education curriculum just wasn’t giving him.
So Kristine decided to take on the job herself.
By the time he was 11 years old, Jacob was ready for college. He’s now studying condensed matter physics at the Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.
His IQ rounds out to 170 — higher than that of Albert Einstein. He’s been working on his own theory of relativity. Professors at Princeton’s Institute for Advance Study were impressed.
“The theory that he's working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics,” astrophysics Professor Scott Tremaine wrote to the family in an email.
"Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize."
Your kid doesn't have to be the next Einstein to benefit from getting out of public school. I wonder how many other kids might be just as gifted but they never learned because they were surrounded by professional bureaucrats.