Boy genius diagnosed with autism has IQ higher than Einstein
A 14-year-old boy from Indiana, who was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism at the age of 2, has an IQ of 170, which is higher than Einstein’s, and he is now on the road to winning a Nobel Prize.india Updated: May 14, 2013 10:23 IST
A 14-year-old boy from Indiana, who was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism at the age of 2, has an IQ of 170, which is higher than Einstein’s, and he is now on the road to winning a Nobel Prize.
As a child, doctors told Jacob Barnett’s parents that their son would probably never even know how to tie his shoes.
But the 14-year-old prodigy has given TedX talks and is working toward a master’s degree in quantum physics.
His mother Kristine let Jacob be himself — and helped him study the world with wide-eyed wonder instead of focusing on a list of things that he was unable to do.
Jacob spent years in a special education system that didn’t understand what he needed, his school teachers tried to dissuade Kristine from teaching Jacob any more than the most basic skills.
Jacob struggled with that type of instruction and withdrew deeper into himself and refused to speak with anyone. But his mother noticed that when he was not in therapy, he did “spectacular things” on his own.
She told the BBC that Jacob was able to create maps all over our floor using Q-tips, asserting that they would be maps of places they visited and he would memorize every street.
One day, his mother took him stargazing, a few months later when he was just 3-1/2 years old, they visited a planetarium where a professor was giving a lecture and whenever the teacher asked questions, his hand shot up and he was able to answer questions — easily understanding complicated theories about physics and the movement of planets.
Kristine realized that her son might need something that the standard special education curriculum just wasn’t giving him, so the Hamilton County mom, a nursery school teacher, decided to take her son out of school and prepare him for mainstream kindergarten herself and he thrived.
By the time he was 11 years old, he was ready for college and is now studying condensed matter physics at the Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, the New York Daily News reported.
He has been working on his own theory of relativity and astrophysics Professor Scott Tremaine wrote to the family in an email that the theory Jacob was working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics and anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize.
First Published: May 11, 2013 14:55 IST