Schools put genius child in special ed, tell mom he can’t learn. Now he’s free, and he could win a Nobel Prize

They said he would never learn, now he’ll teach them a thing or two…

A genius boy whose IQ is higher than Albert Einstein is on his way to possibly winning a Nobel Prize after being set free of special education programs in public schools. His mother made the decision to take him out of the programs, even after having doctors diagnose him with Aspergers and say that her son Jacob Barnett would never even learn to tie his shoes.

She describes in her book “The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius” that she was afraid of trying to pull him out of school. “For a parent, it’s terrifying to fly against the advice of the professionals. But I knew in my heart that if Jake stayed in special ed, he would slip away.”

Jacob was not thriving in special ed classes. He kept turning deeper into himself and was uncommunicative with other people. His doctors prescribed medical treatment for the boy. When he wasn’t in therapy though, his mother noticed him doing amazing things. “He would create maps all over our floor using Q-tips. They would be maps of places we’ve visited and he would memorize every street.”

Jake dropped out of elementary school in the 5th grade. His incredible memory allowed him to attend university classes after he learned all of high school math in two weeks. Now he’s on track to graduate from college at age 14 and working on theories to build on Einstein’s theory of relativity.

60 minutes did a special on Jacob here.


Meet Jacob Barnett


SAM ADAMS October 24, 2013 at 6:46 am

The liberals had this kid labeled and setup for a life of government dependency! This is why it’s so important to rid the planet of the entire liberal mindset!

Kai October 26, 2013 at 7:05 am

The liberals?? What..? You totally missed the point of this article/video. Nowhere within it was indicated any type of political debate. Incredible.. I wish people would pay attention instead of trying to turn everything into an irrelevant political battle.

SAM ADAMS October 26, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Read it again then! I don’t know what to tell you if you are not outraged at the liberal dominated education departments and how they could have easily had this gifted kid put away in some special ed class for life! .Common core is going to be even worse with the way they pigeon hole every kid into “programs”. BTW this is a mainly political site. If you don’t want to read political ideas then I might suggest a fuzzy puppy blog next time!

Echo Moon October 28, 2013 at 2:10 am

so am i to understand from your posting and from sam’s that the liberals have been in control for the past 30 and more decades??
just because this kid and the video is posted on a liberal page does not make it a political statement.

SAM ADAMS October 28, 2013 at 2:55 am

Wow. I think you need to learn how to write. Please re read what you wrote and put it into a statement which can be comprehended by intelligent people like myself. I’m tired of dumbing myself down to speak to people like you! It’s time for you to suck it up and learn english! Next, learn how to put a thought together cohesively! After you learn that much you can try to speak to me again. Otherwise just bugger off! While you are at it you might want to check the page you are on. This is not a “liberal” site,it’s a libertarian one! If you can’t tell the difference than I guess you are a liberal(idiot)!

Josh Doppelt November 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Sam I feel bad for you man. You must be a really unhappy person to turn all tough and combative on a comment board on a page devoted to showing how special this one boy is. I am sure you are a very intelligent person. I just hope you utilize it for a better cause. Belittling people on a chat board is dumb.

On a different note, I hope this child and his parents change the way we as a society help our children. More personalized attention is needed to unearth the wonderful children hidden under their labels. Jacob is an inspiration, I wish him and his family the best

SAM ADAMS November 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Face it, It’s America is a tough place today! There will be time for being nice when things get better!

FaqUrug November 13, 2013 at 3:07 am

Seems like you could have benefited from a “program” or two, Sam – your writing is barely passable.

SAM ADAMS November 13, 2013 at 4:26 am

Nice troll line .

bdgshv November 13, 2013 at 3:20 am

maybe your Oreo aka Ovomit can put him into an institution and deny him any help. Isn’t that what democrats do to sheeple

Cre8tive Clyde November 13, 2013 at 5:15 am

Josh: one way of doing your second paragraph is to begin, in utero, dealing with the health of the mother, most especially those in the bottom 50% of the economic spectrum. Then, coaching them through visiting nurses, psychologists, other health care professionals in both home and group situations, to create a stimulus rich environment for the new child up through 4th grade so that we really create an quasi-equal opportunity society.

T. Lorraine French November 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm

You have missed the point of this article entirely. You are clearly fueled by an unmerited feeling of superiority. You may assume you are highly intelligent but you come off as an arrogant buffoon when you bring up politics on an article about a parent who trusted her gut and the inherent special abilities her child possessed.
Then you turn around and falsely blame all liberals for his placement, when children are now placed in special education according to the requirements set in place by the No Child Left Behind Act implemented by George Bush.
For future reference if you want to argue a point or debate an issue make sure you are on topic and be mindful that it is never all one sides fault. More people are likely to hear your point of view if you are more balanced both intellectually and psychologically.

SAM ADAMS November 13, 2013 at 4:28 am

Why are you arguing republican politics with me. You are obviously in the wrong discussion. I’m a libertarian and have never voted or supported any other candidates! I never voted for bush. I could see his line of bs a mile away!

weenus November 13, 2013 at 2:11 am

There you go. Attack and insult everybody, that’s how you communicate. That lazy attitude is basically how the kid in this story ended up buried in special ed in the first place.

It takes more effort for you to articulate yourself respectfully. I get it. It’s easier to spout your rhetoric while being rude and condescending. Whatever pumps you up for your e-warrioring against the liberal agenda, keep fighting the good fight!

SAM ADAMS November 13, 2013 at 4:30 am

Politics is not a vocation of the weak! Go somewhere else if you don’t have the stones for it!

Lura October 28, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Listen, I’m not GOP wingnut and I teach gifted. I work with these kids and I would never do that a kid. This has nothing to do with liberals versus RWNJs. This is about labeling kids and not helping them with their needs.

SAM ADAMS October 29, 2013 at 12:13 am

And common core is not about labeling kids!?! Give me a break!

Ivan Harr November 13, 2013 at 3:22 am

I totally agree the schools are run by libtards I pulled my child out over two years ago went from straight Fs to Honor student in 3 months time so suck it up! Public schools suck unless your a minority then you can do what ever you chose…….. true fact………..

Tiger Forest October 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Kai, everything in life is political. Human communication is politics. You are just trying to use another tact at gaining power even though you would say that is not true. You just don’t know enough about politics at this point in your life. Your statement contradicts itself by saying on one hand the guy missed the point (which you never name) at the same time you come to an online magazine called the Libertarian Republic and claim there is no political debate. Man, you woman are out of control.

eyeoftheleopard October 28, 2013 at 10:47 am

@Sam, and certain parents would have jumped for joy at the special ed dx, ’cause that means a potential disability check!

T. Lorraine French November 12, 2013 at 11:35 pm

You DO realize he was placed based on the standards set up by a Republican president? (i.e. NCLB)

Mike Koeniger Sr. November 13, 2013 at 1:17 am

A Republican President set that up with no input from the Congress? Interesting. Actually the standards are created at the state level as directed by the bipartisan law. Some background information that the media apparently does not provide folks:

plan, based on successful legislation passed when he was governor of Texas, called
for school choice for students attending failing schools, increased funding to
improve schools and teacher quality, and standardized testing in English and
Mathematics for students in grades 3 – 5 (National Association Of School
Nurses, 2001).

Only one of his three proposals was written into the law as sponsored by Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain. The
law proposed as a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
of 1965 passed the U. S. House of Representatives 384 to 45, 34 of the
opponents were members of the Republican Party (Clerk Of The House, 2001). It passed the U.S. Senate 91 – 8, six of the
opponents were Republicans (Senate Bill Clerk, 2001). No Child Left Behind (NCLB) became law on
January 8, 2002.

T. Lorraine French November 13, 2013 at 3:32 am

Never, ever said there was no input from congress. genius. I was making the point that the result of this child being placed in special education was not the result of a singularly liberal agenda. Bush in his state of the union addresses repeatedly and proudly took credit for NCLB regardless of all the input from both sides of the aisle. Regardless, it is ignorant to say it was liberals labeling this child. Especially when there is NO indication of the political affiliation of those placing him. We can perhaps suppose that they placed him based on criteria established by NCLB which can hardly be called a liberal policy with all the credit the then President Bush took and the input and approval of the majority of both parties

SAM ADAMS November 13, 2013 at 4:32 am

Do you realize I’m not a republican or do I have to repeat it over and over to you! Government should not be educating our kids! Why don’t you go somewhere else! You are not a libertarian!

thepaulrevereshow November 13, 2013 at 6:32 am

Egad. Another fiendish liberal conspiracy afoot. Sigh..How predictable. What would reactionary fringe kooks and crackpots do without Liberals?

SAM ADAMS November 13, 2013 at 6:54 am

Have: Jobs,money,freedom,etc. What wouldn’t we have? Detroit,Chicago and DC !

豐 Piotrek Nowacki 豐 October 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

It’s great that he can now learn in his own way but the whole nobel prize at this stage is a bit over the top imo.

ajay October 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Well, I guess Obama can give the kid his.. He definitely doesn’t deserve it.

kendra October 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm

He was diagnosed with ASPERGER’S not ADD. Fyi, might want to change that. He is brilliant though.

7BillionTo1 October 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm

“Stop learning, start thinking,” a novel idea, if there were any people left that could think.

I’m more interested in reading his book. I want to see if he discusses arithmophobia vs. just plain laziness.

Some cannot learn math due to a legitimate, however irrational, fear of numbers, yet others will not learn due to their shear lack of effort.

Brilliant child. I hope the fame doesn’t go to his head, for a bulb that burns too brightly soon burns out.

~A Romantic Cynic~
“It’s foolish to wish upon a star,
for it’s most likely dead.
It’s best to invest in who you are,
and your own abilities instead.”

Kirsten Houseknecht October 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm

there is also the fact that many people have the often undiagnosed learning disability called “Dyscalculia” which makes understanding abstract symbols and symbol order very difficult (like me)
in addition, as with ANY subject, different children learn different ways… i am a hands on learner and abstract concepts are harder (not impossible) for me. once i could actually apply a math problem in real life in some fashion, i GOT it… but lists on a blackboard were confusing me

Steve Greene October 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm

There was a Canadian television series several years ago called *ReGenesis*, about an advanced biotech research laboratory in Toronto, Ontario. One of the characters portrayed in the series, named Bob Melnikov, had Asperger syndrome, and was a brilliant biochemist.

tree worm October 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm

they dont even have ppl for dyslex here in the whole state of louisiana

FaqUrug November 13, 2013 at 3:09 am

Ranked the second-most illiterate state in the union… forget helping kids who read backwards (oversimplification, i know) – There’s a major problem with education in general in LA.

bdgshv November 13, 2013 at 3:17 am

Democrats + Liberals + Sheeple = Socialist/communist style government and death for milions of people.

Mother, should I trust the gov November 13, 2013 at 3:31 am

Jacob Barnett is awesome! I seen a couple of his lectures. He is going to advance physics to new levels, for all of us. If anyone can prove string theory and the Big
Bang, it’s him.

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