Lessons given by Real Live: The Genius of a Child

What would you do if your child is diagnosed two years that is autistic and you make sure that it can never lead a normal life?

What would you do when, years later, experts will reveal that the same child has an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 170, beating Albert Einstein , who had an IQ of 160?

Albert Einstein

To our knowledge, no mother has had to go through something like that, except Kristine Barnett , Jacob’s mother (known to his family as Jake), the consideration to his 14 years as one of the great geniuses of the century.

Therefore, the selfless mother has decided to collect his experience alongside their offspring in a book to be published this week, The Spark: a Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius (Random House) . Not only that, but Warner Bros  has acquired the rights to his story in order to move it to the big screen.

Kristine Barnett with Jacob
My name is Kristine Barnett, and my son Jake is considered a prodigy in mathematics and science, “ begins in the book’s introduction. “He began to study mathematics, astronomy and physics at the level of college at age eight, and was accepted by University at nine. Not long after he began working with the theory of relativity . ” By then, the boy had begun to develop a theory that, if able to develop to its logical conclusion, can make winning the Nobel Prize, as say some of the world’s leading astrophysicists.

It appears, therefore, that Jacob has everything to succeed in life. However, when I was three, teachers felt that never learn to read. He had not said one word to two years and their parents began to think that maybe something was wrong. The initial diagnosis was Asperger’s syndrome , and as time passed, the situation ” was so sad to daunting “.

The best expectations, at that time, was that it was able to tie his shoe at sixteen. Jacob spent hours staring at the back of his Indianapolis home, and little by little, the frightened parents saw how they lost their child. Kristine decided, at that time, his son away all kinds of special education and upbringing face only from your intuition. And he succeeded.

Realizing that it might not be able to relate correctly, his mother decided to promote his hobbies, which were mathematics and astronomy, and who spent hours and hours filling folios (and windows) of equations and formulas that make no sense for their parents. They were not mistaken. Soon after a local newspaper publish the story of Jacob, Kristine, teacher in a kindergarten, were overwhelmed by the response to that article resulted. The family origins were humble, perhaps too much to offer all the support that a person with these needs require.

Kristine had never suspected that his son could raise so much anticipation, so he decided to send Princeton a tape in which Jake appeared recounting his version of the theory of relativity . He received favorable response from the eminent astrophysicist Scott Tremaine said its theory that not only made ​​sense of the world, but was also an unparalleled originality in contemporary research.

One of the peculiarities of Barnett is that, despite his autism, his ability to explain the most complex simply flabbergasted. For this reason, the child has decided that wants to be a teacher, something for which anyway will not be long. All peers will assume that one of the great American researchers recent future, because for a couple of years, has been published in some journals in the world. 


HALO Videogame

Jacob, however, has learned to develop their social skills over time: playing with his friends to the game Halo , likes to watch movies and has already thrown his first girlfriend (although not continue with it).

He has given talks at the TED (in the cycle TEDxTeen talk ) in which, at every word, contradicts the bleak prospects that were done on it. Indeed, many of his classmates are surprised to discover you have autism. Is expected to go for the first time in the United States this summer, in order to advertise the book.

It is not easy to care for Barnett. When it is embedded in their equations, they often forget to eat and not feel the need to sleep, which can be very dangerous in the long run. Suffer severe sleep problems and sometimes said that you can not help but see numbers in your head. However, the teachers, to the reserves of the mother at the time of sending your child to college, said it would be very counterproductive for him not to develop their talent, much more than the obvious difficulties would find during their university.

One of the most tantalizing paradoxes Kristine, as explained in the book, is that he feels a responsibility very different from other mothers who forces her to develop the talent of his son, but still enjoying the same resources anyone, even founded a charity, Jacob’s Place , with the aim of helping children with autism and their families. ” We are a normal family, so all this is very rare , “he told the mother.

Barnett’s story powerfully reminiscent of  John Forbes Nash , star of ‘ A Beautiful Mind ‘.

While Barnett has been made ​​in the long road of overcoming their problems, mainly thanks to the self-control that is showing, recognizes that sometimes certain situations you are mistaken. Interestingly, the book of the mother has been applauded by Sylvia Nasar , author of A Beautiful Mind , which told the story of John Forbes Nash , the celebrated American mathematician who received the Nobel Prize in Economics after being diagnosed with schizophrenia . A story very similar to that of small Barnett was subsequently transferred to film.

In the book’s introduction, Kristine has one of the first experiences of his son in college, something that caused astonishment and incomprehension among their peers. The episode sums up how to deal with a person like Jacob, as bright as contradictory. On that occasion, a teacher approached the proud mother of the boy, and said: ” Mrs. Barnett, I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I enjoy having your child in my class. It’s getting the better of all students, not accustomed to be overcome in this way. To be honest I do not even know if I’ll be able to keep up!

What was the response of the mother?

Oh, my God, just summed up the story of my life “.

Before ending this post, I invite you to Presències intervention Jacob Barnett did in TEDxTeen , titled “Forget what you know” (forget what you know). I apologize because currently this video is available only in English. Hopefully most interest you.


C. Marco
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0 comments

  1. Escort Torino · enero 30, 2014

    This is such a great post, and was thinking much the same myself. Another great update.

    Me gusta

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