Boy Genius Diagnosed with Autism Has IQ Higher Than Einstein …and Jacob Barnett has a some insightful, interesting, and VERY encouraging advice for you in this video from his session at TEDxTeen.
Behind every great man there stands a great woman and at this point in young Jacob’s life it’s his mother, Kristine Barnett. She’s written a memoir and it is apparent from the book review below (and article linked above) that the inspiring tale of Jacob’s life was very-nearly a much different story, but for his mother’s great love and heroic fortitude. Not only in Jacob’s regard, but throughout the travails of the Barnett family as a whole.
“The Spark” is compulsive reading, and not simply because of Jake’s “savant almost obliterated by the system” story. In the tradition of those domestic-adventure memoirs where the mother (almost always the mother) of a challenged child bucks the system and triumphs, Barnett not only fights heroically on Jake’s behalf, she also beats down every other obstacle that life hurls at her and her family. Even for this hyperbolic genre, those obstacles are extraordinarily severe. The Barnetts’ second child, Wesley, is diagnosed with a reflex disorder soon after he’s born. It causes him to have seizures, up to nine a day, and to choke on simple liquids.
During her third pregnancy — with another son, Ethan — Barnett goes into full-blown organ failure; she subsequently has a stroke, at age 30, and is diagnosed with lupus. With the onset of the Great Recession, Michael Barnett loses his job at Circuit City, the family is overextended financially, and the Barnetts spend part of the frigid Indiana winter in a house without heat.
Jacob has a simple message, but one packed with much food for thought and good fodder for family discussion (and for personal introspection) on lifelong learning and what to do with it throughout your life. Jacob is not merely a genius, he is an encourager of the limitless imagination in all of us.