As a parent, we always want the best for our child and probably spent almost all of our time thinking about our kids’ future. But what if your child received a diagnosis of autism? Perhaps, you will be shock and baffled. It is really hard to accept that someone you treasured so much has a serious developmental condition that may affect how their life might be in the future. This will be an everyday battle. But naturally, loving our kid for whatever they are comes out naturally and we tend to focus on the positive despite the situation. The success story of Jacob Barnett is one of those inspiring stories of people with autism and how his mother handle the situation is probably an eye-opener.
The autism spectrum disorder, also known as autism, is a developmental disorder which suffers a problem on social and communication skills with repetitive behavior. It results in isolation and irritability. It might be caused by the combination of genetics and environmental influences. Signs of this condition is noticeable at the age of two to three years old. Despite the increasing number of this case which is about 24.8 million people around the world, parents are finding their ways for an alternative solution to lessen the worst scenario and improve the outcome by involving themselves. Guidance and encouragement from parents can be the sources of cure. It is a hard battle every day but parents must be flexible when an abrupt situation happens. Parents must understand and appreciate the way how their kids with autism see the world and remember that diagnosis doesn’t define your kid.
Despite the developmental and societal problem caused by autism, achievements and success stories are still possible just like the story of Jacob Barnett who is a math and science prodigy. When he was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with autism and it was believed by his doctors that he won’t be able to talk, read and even do simple things for himself. Truly, his lack of communication and social skill is evident after some months. He was encouraged by experts to undergo intensive therapy program and special education but it doesn’t work. It is still hopeless despite the uncounted hours spent by professionals. According to his mother, he became irritable when she tried to hug him, he pushed her away. He stopped speaking completely and doesn’t like to have eye contact with anyone. He wanted to be isolated and unhappy. Therefore, his mother decided to go against the experts’ advice since she noticed that instead of getting better from those intensive therapy program and going to school for special education, he was bored and getting worse. She stopped sending Jacob to special education and let Jacob focused on what he wants like drawing, solving puzzles, astronomy and mathematics. Her mother tried to teach him herself and it is when his enormous interest in Science and Math was discovered.
Unexpectedly, he was able to speak 4 languages, completed a 5000-piece puzzle, learned Braille himself, answered astrophysics questions, made complicated diagrams in a mathematical pattern and recreated street maps on the floor using Q-tips. These shows his photographic memory at a very young age. When he was eight, he tried to take a physics class at Purdue University. He was accompanied by his mom who truly gave her whole support to Jacob. People concluded at first that it was his mom who is the student and happens to have no babysitter. Dealing with that new environment, it was tough because of some challenges regarding communication and social skills. He listened carefully in conversations, but when he was being addressed, he will look at his mother for assistance to interpret the question. His supportive mother guided him to speak in class. It was his mother who made that an easy journey and the school invited him to enroll after getting an A for the final. He really proved himself that he is not just an ordinary kid but he got what it takes to be called a true genius. He completed the curriculum for grade six to twelve in just over a year. He found it easy to learn algebra, geometry, and calculus and absorbed all formulas in just two weeks. He was officially a college student at the age of 10 and studied astrophysics. This new environment makes him better. He even mentored advanced Mathematics to his peers and schoolmates and worked as a research assistant and became a published physicist.
At the age of 15, Jacob was accepted to the world-famous Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada. This institute is a physics zone for top thinkers including Stephen Hawkings, one of the most famous theoretical physicists. Jacob is the youngest student in the school`s history who is currently working on his Ph.D.
He is always curious about how the world works such as expanding an alternative theory of the Big Bang Theory. He believed that life’s patterns could arise from simple mathematical expressions. Jacob Barnett also worked on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Receiving a Nobel Prize is within the realm of possibilities for those who help us see the world in a different way. His current research is focused on problems with countless particles by extending standard quantum mechanics. Who would have thought that this boy who can’t even do something for himself is destined to have a photographic memory, an IQ greater than that of Albert Einstein and become a published physicist. Jacob’s positive outlook is really admiring. He considers his condition as a blessing in disguise as he believes that it is the reason of his success.