Autistic Boy With Higher IQ Than Einstein Discovers His Gift After Removal From State-Run Therapy

Jacob Barnett

By  Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

In yet another example of how an out-of-control Goliath state system can cause more harm than good, a teenage boy who was diagnosed with autism at a young age has risen to stellar heights after quitting the special ed system with the help of his concerned mother.

State therapy specialists claimed Jacob Barnett would never tie his shoes, read or function normally in society. But the boy’s mother realized when Jacob was not in therapy, he was doing “spectacular things” completely on his own.

She decided to trust her instinct and disregard the advice of the professionals. Instead of following a standardized special needs educational protocol, she surrounded Jacob with all the things that inspired passion for him – and was astonished at the transformation that took place.

Don’t fix what’s not broken

Following a diagnosis of autism at age two, Jacob was subjected to a cookie cutter special education system that focused on correcting what he couldn’t do compared to normal children. For years, teachers attempted to convince Kristine Barnett that her son would only be able to learn the most basic of life skills.

When exposed to the state system of educational therapy, Kristine noticed Jacob would withdraw deeply and refuse to speak with anyone. Even though she found it “terrifying to fly against the advice of the professionals,” she knew in her heart “that if Jake stayed in special ed, he would slip away,” Kristine relates in her memoir, The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius.

So began a journey for Jacob that would lead to such unexpected achievement that the whole premise of standardized therapy for this ‘special needs’ child would be blown to bits.

A path of passion and discovery

After years of frustration and little progress, Kristine made a radical decision in the eyes of the special ed system — she took Jacob out of school and prepared him for kindergarten herself. As described in the New York Daily Times:

She let him explore the things he wanted to explore. He studied patterns and shadows and stars. At the same time, she made sure that he enjoyed “normal” childhood pleasures – softball, picnics – along with other kids his age.

“I operate under a concept called ‘muchness’,” Kristine said “which is surrounding children with the things they love – be it music, or art, whatever they’re drawn to and love.”

By the time Jacob reached the age of 11, he entered college and is currently studying condensed matter physics at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. According to an email Professor Scott Tremaine wrote to Jacob’s family:

“The theory that he’s working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics … Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize.”

Jacob also has an IQ of 170 — higher than that of Einstein. He is history’s youngest astrophysics researcher, has spoken at a New York TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) conference, and appeared on a variety of news interviews, including 60 Minutes and the Time magazine website.

Not bad for someone who was classified by state experts as so severely disabled that he would never tie his own shoes or learn to read. If Jacob had stayed within the system, the prediction may very well have come true.

VIDEO:  Forget what you know | Jacob Barnett | TEDxTeen

Article Sources :

About the author:
Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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  • lorna

    so, while this article tells me about jacob, it fails to mention what his mother actually did. not even one example. please, clarify.

    • mary

      It says she surrounded him by the things that inspired him and took him out of special ed.

    • Tom

      As described in the New York Daily Times:

      She let him explore the things he wanted to explore. He studied patterns and shadows and stars. At the same time, she made sure that he enjoyed “normal” childhood pleasures – softball, picnics – along with other kids his age.

      “I operate under a concept called ‘muchness’,” Kristine said “which is surrounding children with the things they love – be it music, or art, whatever they’re drawn to and love.”

    • barbi

      nor did they mention if he can actually tie his shoelaces now….

      • Love

        I’m just assuming that was a joke….

        • Amber

          It might not be. I do know a couple of autistic young men who will never be able to live on their own yet in other ways are very intelligent. One has a masters degree in engineering but can’t do anything with it (his mother takes care of him and worries what will happen after she passes- he can’t do much outside of his areas of interest) and another is in state care and an expert regarding birds and insects. He recently turned 18, and has a new species of beetle that has been on display at BYU for a few years. But he’ll never be able to function outside of an environment as regimented as an institution.

          I would love to know if she was able to also work on those practical skills or if she is acting as 24/7 nurse/assistant.

          • Jane

            That actually is a good question. My son hasn’t been classified as a genius, but often seems like one to me. He’s 13, can do almost anything with a computer, loves vacuum cleaners and can you the make and model of the one you have at home if you give him a brief description of it. He knows them inside and out, but even if he finds a career there someday, I doubt he will ever live on his own. And no, he cannot tie his shoe.

          • Bev

            Velcro. Loafers. Mules. Flip flops.
            Absolutely no reason to tie your shoes nor is tying shoes an indicator of future life successes.

          • Bernardo Yanez

            Amber, this article is about freedom. As in the land of the free which the U.S.A.’s supposed to be. About listening to your heart as Jacob’s mum did and not to act in a robotic way as narrowly forced by the system. I don’t know about his day to day routine, but i’m pretty sure that Stephen Hawking’s -the only other person in History who shares Newton’s chair at Cambridge -might need a hand here and there, as I need with so many things like my helpless cooking. We are not here just to celebrate Jordan’s extraordinary genius, but, more importantly, humankind right to freedom, as in Kristine’s heartfelt choice and the role the State has to play in supporting and encouraging it.

          • Bernardo Yanez

            And here are another two cases identical to Kristine’s decision: where, as always, the hearts of two women proof to be more intelligent than the minds of “specialist”.


            From my point of view it’s Sally and Sue, who changed Larry and Tracy’s lives, by taking a decision with their hearts. Larry ended up at the age of 8 in an institution, where he was physically abused and misdiagnosed by doctors with schizophrenia first, then again reported clinically insane. Tracy was wanted by doctors to be put in an institution, compare to a caveman, and they said of him that he’d never amount to anything.

            Only after Sally and Sue took the decision with their hearts, without any need for scientific knowledge, it’s when Larry and Tracy’s lives where ready to improve. And only after that doctors and scientist where ready to improve on their intellectual knowledge.

            The heart will always come first.

            And that’s and immutable truth for all Humankind.

            “Our big time message is “Presume competence” and “Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say.” Tracy Thresher, autistic disability right activist, (generally communicating through his computer). 

            “Learning is prompted by belief in each child’s intelligence, not standardized testing. Give students a love of learning rather than a fear of failure.” Larry Bissonnette, non-verbal autistic artist, (communicating through his computer).

            Thank you Kristine, Sally and Sue! Thank you Jacob, Tracy, and Larry!

      • morgan

        whoever is asking if he could tie his shoes clearly only read the article and didn’t watch the video linked.

      • Name (required)b

        does it matter anyway ? i wear moccassins and boat shoes daily – no tying of shoes.

    • Teresa818

      Kristine relates in her memoir, The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius.

    • Susan

      what a cutie. who cares if he ever ties shoes, if he’s happy with sandals Great ! anyone this brilliant is a gift to us, let him excel and contribute in his field/s and do Whatever it takes to support his efforts ~! if there are others of genious IQ otherwise unable to self-support, hire them caregivers and help them contribute their areas of genius for the betterment of mankind ! a Mind is a Terrible thing to waste ! !

    • Chuck Boe

      I think it’s safe to assume Jacob got some of his smarts from his mothers side. .

  • Sue-Ann

    Amazing! What an amazing mother to trust her own instincts.

  • A retired Title One School teacher, I am thrilled and excited to hear about this young man’s journey of d discovery and excellence! Congratulations to his Mother too, for following her instinct, something we ALL need to learn how to do!

  • Paul

    That’s are school system for ya. Encouraging and enhancing the young student’s ability, Not! It’s time to teach the teachers.

    • Judith Burns

      It’s not the teachers that are the problem so much as it is the state system requirements that have to be followed in order to get state/federal funding. People who make the rules at the state/federal level need to keep up with teachers and innovations in teaching.

    • Suzanne

      This would be interesting if you had proper grammar

  • Mahito

    We have expectations about normal behavior and autistic children do not fit into those expectations at all. Because of that, we immediately assume something has gone wrong. We try everything we can possibly try to get them to fit into the box. But they did not come here with the intention of fitting into the box. They came here with the intention of helping us to get out of ours!

    • Glen Wasson

      I have 4 kids who all went through the gifted program. The gifted, as a group, are also misunderstood, they are kids, but their thinking is so far ahead of the teacher and class that they normally have or cause problems. There seems to be a thin line between the two conditions.

    • lbt

      The problem with state education and pidgenholing is they continue to let it be a law that its run by people with less intellegence that this boy that do not hold the ability to see out of the box, that pidgonholing is the problem. People like his mother should hold those positios. Her passion was what saved him. Not her minimal education to only agree with others that there was a catagory for anyone to ever fit into. 🙂

  • Joisey

    Einstein also had trouble tying his shoes.

    • Leesa

      I am glad the child is doing well, however it is misleading that they say his IQ is higher than Einsteins because Einstein never took an IQ test so there is no record of is IQ.

    • mykuol

      Einstein never wore a shoe!!!

  • Kat

    This is Awesome!!! What an incredible story, I Love it! Thankyou 😉

  • Donny Lalonde

    Wonderful to read about a proactive take action mother who did what was needed to help her son in spite of discomfort bucking the system and powers that be. Congratulations. I am so happy for you and your son. And anyone who is inspired enough to take action for their loved ones.

  • Donny Lalonde

    Congratulations for being proactive enough to buck the system and going against the grain for your son. What a wonderful article. Thank you WUW for being and doing what you are.

  • She let him explore the things he wanted to explore. He studied patterns and shadows and stars…

    It tells me she let him be himself and validated him for his uniqueness and his unique approach to experiencing life.

    I am sure the details would take a book and it is one that should be written. However the one example given speaks volumes.

  • JD

    A wonderful mother, but how is this about formal education, exactly? The article states that the boy was pulled out of school in kindergarten. It hardly seems that “the educational system” would have been that involved in his life.

    • Lori

      Actually, the dept of ed gets involved with special ed kids once they turn three, so by kindergarten he would have already had two years of state “education”.

  • Cathy Sapp

    This sounds similar to the book “SonRise” about the parents of a child that was supposedly severely autistic that founded a therapy school for autistic kids. That son is now an educator with the school. It is also a great read.

  • Erin

    I give kudos to both the mother and son in this story, and yet it kinda makes me sad that many people feel that the special education system is failing kids. I have been working as a special needs teacher assistant for the past 6 years. Working with children all over the spectrum and with other special needs. I have been around long enough to see the amazing achievements that I didn’t ever think possible, and it was thru hard work by everyone involved, parent, student, teacher, school, school district, bus driver, everyone. This is one amazing story in a sea of amazingness that goes unnoticed. I just wish that people would start looking at education as a team effort, rather than blame the school system or the underpaid, sometimes undertrained teachers. If you really “need” someone or something to blame look to those in your state, city, county that are spending money places they could be putting into the education system. With more support we could together help more kids achieve this kind of greatness.

    • Amber

      I do wonder if he can handle basic life skills, however- the “tie his own shoelaces” sort of things referred to in the article. I worked for a short time in a group home with some autistic young women who also had other severe developmental delays. Some of them had areas in which they excelled while also literally not being able to tie their shoes (or dress themselves, eat with a fork, make a bed or bathe, etc).

      Similarly, a friend of my mother has an autistic son who has earned a masters degree in engineering but can do nothing with it because he has the same sort of issues- he is not able to preform many “simple” tasks and she worries a lot about what will happen after she is no longer able to care for him. A co-worker has a nephew in state care who has a host of functional problems who also is an expert on birds and insects- he found a new species of beetle currently on display at BYU. But he’ll never be able to live alone.

      A lot of the programs out there try to focus on functionality, and there is something to be said for that. There are skills that make a person a lot less dependent that have nothing to do with other sorts of intelligence. I really would like to know if the mother was able to help with those skills and produced something more balanced or if this is dependent on her providing a lot of care and him only following those areas of interest?

      Our schools systems have many problems, but so do many of the alternatives. There are problems in just following interests as well as in being forced to march lock step with others. Ideal would be a balance, but that means investments in teachers and schools and parental involvement that often is not there (often can’t be with the way people work.)

      • cvryder2000

        Most states have programs that will match people with a “support person” who assists them with such things. I know, because my son is a high functioning autistic person who is able to live on his own with the help of a support person. Also, many of those things *can* be taught, with enough patience. And many people find relationships with others who help them. The world is not as bleak as you think. We parents have to be our child’s advocates, because for sure nobody else is going to be!

    • Lindaxox

      Money would not have changed anything. This poor mother explains she met with many school officials. Once you are labelled an “expert” part of that seems to be you know all and listen to no one, not even the parent of the child. She knew what she was doing yet had to listen to all the experts including the one poking her chest.

  • 1amWendy

    This touched a nerve: my older son was labeled ADHD, then that was dropped in favor of ED, and the school system sent him to an enclosed classroom. After 18 months he looked at me and said “I am not learning anything. I don’t want to go there anymore.” A legal action, civil disobedience, and a tense meeting with 17 school officials later, complete with a finger poking my chest/”your son is disabled and always will be”, my son was back learning. He went on to be nominated for a leadership conference, got an NCAA scholarship, where he was a bona fide “scholar athlete” graduate, and is now a remarkable, happy, productive, working young man. They almost ruined him. Grrrr.

    • holarsen

      Hi there, your comment reminded me of something I read recently, as you author name has the US flag next to it…

      I hope this is of interest to you.

    • Peggy

      Funny Wendy, I had a similar experience. I want to make a comment about this issue with shoe tying. My Granddaughter who has Aspergers Dx was still not tying her shoes at 8. It was making me crazy and became an obsession. I mean this kid could draw, write, read etc. Yet when it came to tying her shoes it would literally take an hour and then it was such a lousy job they would just become untied. I finally gave up. Kept buying her slip on sneakers. One day we went shopping and she saw a pair of really colorful Nikes. She wanted them. I thought oh God I cannot spend $100 on a pair of sneakers to have her walking around on laces and tripping. She insisted on trying them on. I thought OK let her. After five minutes of trying to tie her shoes she’ll just give up an we’ll move on. She put them on and within seconds. she tied a beautiful knot as perfect as you or I. I said when did you learn how to ties shoes. She said I always knew how to tie them. I said no you didn’t, they would always come untied. Her answer was I never liked those sneakers you would buy me so it didn’t matter. Lesson here was when it became important to her she did it. I these kids are not interested in what you want them to do they will NOT do it. When the day comes that they decide its important it will happen. These kids get to where they need to go when they are dam good and ready. Nothing you do will change that.

      • hannah.psp

        Very true, you can try, but you won’t succeed, if it doesn’t interest them, they just won’t do it, AND they will make it look like they ‘can’t do it’ too!

        • Yvette Perez Vega

          It is that they don’t bend or yield. They are on an earthly mission and don’t allow anything or anyone side-track them. They work from a within process. Until something that they may need on their journey awakens their interest they process enough information to get their will through to this side. But, it is an insurmountable effort to try to communicate on this plane. So, unless it is important they “pick their battles”.

  • Jessica

    I find most of what I hear about autism affects social skills, I have known and heard of many who were autistic but are able to accomplish great things that require a great mind. Most brilliant people are different, strange or crazy compared to the norm.

  • Bazinga

    Sheldon Cooper is that you?

  • It’s great to see more and more parents going against the system and protecting their children. I had to take my High IQ son out of public schools because they were literally breaking his spirit and creativity. I wrote our story too! Good for you Mama Tiger – it’s up to us parents to take action!

  • Edward G Nilges

    Oops, there goes funding for several hundred thousand mental patients who aren’t Einstein. Dang I hate when that happens.

    State-run solutions don’t work well when the state creates the problem. But they are all that thousands of people have.

  • Alis

    Who cares if he can tie shoelaces or not?? Steven Hawking can’t, and it doesn’t seem to get in his way. There are many disabilities which prevent you from performing self care – the sensible course of action is to find a way around the issue – and that might be to get someone else in to do such menial things as shoelace tying. There are plenty of shoelace tyers out there, and precious few physicists.

  • don heard

    thanks for a great article !

  • Erica

    Thank God this minter did not allow the state idiots to define and control her on.
    I am a Registered Nurse and have worked for state government for my entire career. That being said I NEVER EVER allowed the state to define for me what my patients got from me re. Assessment or education. And, if something was screwed up with how the state did things I simply refused to comply. I was a rebel but could defend everything I did and would challenge the powers that be to prove me wrong or prove that I ever caused harm vs. Tremendously helped those I encountered. My path was not easy or always comfortable.
    The very WORST ABUSER OF HUMANS IS THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS in Minnesota. That is because the person running the health services is a business major and knows nothing about health. In addition,that person is a control freak from hell. Since that person took over the state has been plagued with a multitude of prisoner deaths, unlike prior to that person’s hire.
    It is up to everyone to challenge the LIVING SHIT out of the beaurocrats in the system. They often can not distinguish their asses from a hole in the ground.
    Kuuuudos to this mom.

  • tobi

    Hate to point this out but you do know Einstein never did an IQ test there for there is no record of an IQ so stating he had a higher IQ than someone who never did an IQ test is beyond stupid. It is theorised what his IQ was and the numbers range from 170-195+. I would also like to point out this is a copy and paste news report with no credible sources. I am yet to find a legitament report about this.

  • jane

    To those asking if he will “be able to tie his shoe” – I think he’s demonstrated his ability to function highly in “society.” Severely autistic people often don’t have the communications skills, relatable humor, and coherence (to us plebes) of thought he exhibits. Quite literally – he can wear slip on Vans and flip flops the rest of his life. Problem solved.

  • Kimberly

    In the beginning of the video of his TED talk you can see he is wearing flip flops. Found that interesting and relevant since a lot of people are commenting about if he can tie a shoe lace

  • lindz

    What the boy has technically is not autism, but an autistic spectrum disorder called Asperger’s Syndrome.

    The average IQ of a truly autistic child would be average at most, whereas an Asperger’s child has the average IQ at the lowest end of the spectrum.

    The boy, like many others with the Asperger’s diagnosis (such as myself) also tend to excel in classes such as the maths and sciences.

    It’s also funny that this article mentions Einstein, since there are researchers that find it likely that he, Isaac Newton, and even Henry Cavendish (the man who discovered Hydrogen) had undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome.

    • Anthony Benson

      Enthusiastically agree. one of my good friends has Asperger’s and though he may be socially abrasive at times (according to other people), he is a gifted poet who can compose sonnets on the fly. Certainly not disabled in my view!

  • KHPage

    Many years ago I was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey. I occasionally saw Einstein walking down the street in front of our house on his way to the Institute for Advanced Studies. A contemporary of his, Dr. Marsden Morse, lived next door to us. It turns out that neither of these brilliant men could drive a car, so they both often walked to the Institute instead. If they wanted to go a longer distance, their wives drove them. The contributions that they made far outweigh any capability they may have had with respect to the more mundane aspects of our lives

  • Jim

    you do realise that one of the symtomes of autism is cognitive deficit right? and how do you know his and einstein iq. I know some people use mental age for iq calculation but its not suppose to be reliable

  • Shany

    While this is an awesome story I have to say it paints a misleading picture about people with ASD and those who work with them, at least in Canada. the idea that all people with autism are savants in some way is simply not true. And if there is latent talent we try to bring out communication abilities so people can function and grow. As a behavior therapist we encourage strengths and interests, and through these expand deficit skills (as with any child). The people in this field are enormously compassionate and constantly open to new research and better methods. This is not the ‘state’ of the past which had a policy of institutionalization and fatalism (your son will never tie his shoe). The field is constantly seeing goals as possible and making them happen by tracking progress DAILY. The goal for most children I’ve worked with is to get them into mainstream schools (which itself is a faulty state-run system which hands out a letter grade every 4 months…. but I digress.)

    It’s true those in the field are hesitant to try theories that ‘might work’ or have worked for some, but that is because practitioners are regulated and liable, so have to use best practices and evidence based treatment. That DOES NOT mean the kids are not given time to explore their interests, run around, play, sing and dance etc. It simply means the educational aspect is tailored to their individual needs and progress is closely tracked.

    I know we in society glorify intellectual feats, genus IQ, and higher levels of learning, but for some children, finally saying ‘I want pee’ spontaneously at age 7 will be a feat that brings cheers to all teachers and therapists, and tears of joy to parents. It won’t make the news, but stories of successes like this which might seem insignificant to society at large represent a huge improvement in the lives of these children and their parents. Those stories are the reality for many and if they are not told and celebrated, at least they should not be ignored or undermined.

    (Not meant to be a rant. Just balancing the tone and scope of the article with an insider’s perspective. I would have shaken my head at the ‘system’, rushed my child out of services and sat them at a piano all day after reading that article!)

  • Ghozer

    Will someone from this website, to do with this article email me?

    I can tell you a story from the flip side, I was diagnosed as ADHD/Autistic at a young age, was put through ‘the system’ and ended up with nothing, struggling to find work, and keep a job, and while I do have friends, I don’t like meeting new people…

    there’s LOTS more I can talk about, lemme know if you’re interested…

  • Larry

    I am pretty sure that Purdue is in West Lafayette, Indiana.

  • Don

    Larry, if you google “IUPUI,” (Indiana University / Purdue University at indianapolis), you’ll find that it’s a real school.

  • Michael

    I read this article with great anticipation that it could lead somewhere for others who have encountered the same or similar issues. It is great that this family has found an answer to something that weighs heavily on the minds of those who are in a similar situation. We have a 6 year old boy who is alos brilliant when it comes to certain subjects but he also has extreme difficulty just putting on pants or jacket, tying shoes (we use velcro). In Las Vegas,, we were lucky enough to have a 504 writtne and the education system works wonderfully with him but people still (and partially I mean teachers) expect him to follow the same path / rules and reward system setup for the typical student. He cannot stop talking, ever! It is just not in his makeup. Their are certain activities (especially his preferred ones like video games) that he concentrates on so much that we get some peace and quiet there but erything else; reading, writing, watching a movie, playing board games, etc, he talks incessively. His Neuropsychologist called us upon his initial exam to apologize that she doubted us about his excessive talking. She said he tested higher (Intellectually / certain test) than any child or adult she ever examined . As a parent we were excited but closure did not come. He struggles with daily life, emotions, meltdows as he is just not capable of dealing with normal daily life. What are downs / struggles for us are anxiety builders that continue until he crashes. I wish there was a way to contact someone who has similar experience and see if we can find that special something that makes our child capable of living a somewhat normal life

  • Carolanne Wright

    Michael ”” I’m so sorry to hear about the situation with your son. It’s an exhausting ordeal and my heart goes out to you. Not an easy path by any means.

    My daughter is five-years-old with her own set of developmental issues, one of which is incessant chatter. Even though she can only put a few words together at a time, she will repeat those words in rapid sequence over and over.

    Through trial and error (and many hours of research), this is what I’ve found works for us:

    – Plenty of time in nature (Google forest schools for more information)

    – Diet is incredibly important. No sugar, very little carbs, no additives/preservatives, completely organic, high fat intake (ghee, MCT oil, olive oil, fish oil), no eggs or gluten/grains, plenty of vegetables, soaked nuts/seeds — especially chia seeds. Organic meats, preferably grassfed, wild caught salmon and sardines. I’ve also taken her off foods that contain salycilates and have seen improvement.

    – I noticed a huge difference when she did a heavy metal detox (I used BioRay), but you have to make sure the eliminatory channels (liver, kidneys and colon) are in good shape. It’s best to work with a trained practitioner before beginning any type of detox, especially with children.

    – A variety of calming activities (yoga, heart breathing, meditation). I will, say, practice yoga in front of her, without any prompting for her to participate. Eventually, she will take an interest and have fun with it.

    Lastly, I’ve found that cellphones, television, video games, tablets, computers ”” anything electronic or overly stimulating ”” makes her issues much, much worse. Fluorescent lighting has been shown to dramatically increase hyperactivity and ADD symptoms. Unfortunately, most schools use this kind of lighting. Wireless routers are also problematic.

    I realize this is a tremendous amount of information, but I hope it can help in someway.

    I’m not sure if you will check back and see this, but, if you do, please feel free to contact me at:

    Post on the page and I will be in touch.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  • elan sun star

    Jacob wisely stated…”They made the “transition from Learning to thinking to creating”.. The key phrase here.
    And as Albert Einstein said. “Imagination is more important that Knowledge…for knowledge is limited to all we now know…
    while imagination embraces the whole world AND also all there will ever be to know and understand”
    And Einstein had his “thought experiments” wherein he used creative imagination to solve issues

    Bravo!!! Creativity in action…

  • Emily

    The high IQ thing is misleading. What people like Einstein have is a high IQ combined with the ability to think in new ways. There are many people with IQ’s higher than Einstein–it’s what you do with it.

  • Lisa Prewitt

    Kudos to the mom for realizing her son was not getting what he needed in the system. But, don’t knock a system where teacher do their best with limited resources. It is impossible with the limited funding and resources available to differentiate instruction for each special needs student, which is what this child needed. The system is broken, but no one wants to fix it. Like this author, people state what is wrong easily enough, but what are they doing to fix the problems?

  • HipJipC

    And as usual the IQ of the writer stays painfully stagnant. Einstein never took an IQ test. Why are high IQ’s so rare?

    • Christine Wood

      Because you can be the smartest person in the universe and still suck at tests. People aren’t made the same and test makers seem to fail to understand that.

  • Hi Kristen,

    You could definitely check out this web site, as a starting point –

    Let me know of what country you live in, so that I can provide you with more web sites to look at 🙂

    Wishing you a beautiful day, Kristen,

    Meagen @ WUW

  • Patrick T. Hendrick

    The real tragedy in our learning, is that we fail to recognize the fact that no two people learn the same. We are individual in this, but we continue to put all learning in the same box. Learning is accumulation of experiences over a life time. I was fortunate to have teachers who saw this with me and allowed me to continue to satisfy my curiosity. I can say at 72 my curiosity is as strong as when I was a kid. Our educational system kills the child like curiosity possessed by all children. Children need mentoring to encourage development of their interests and not feel that have to conform to some arbitrary standards. Curious and questioning people are a threat to a system based on conformity. Most of our societal problems can be addresses if we get out of these boxes and listen, observe and learn. Comfort zones are dangerous.

  • Steve McKerracher

    This boy is a cool story, it’s unfortunate people are trying to use it to further their own agenda.

    His mother pulled him out of something, it isn’t clearly defined, but BEFORE he entered kindergarten. You can’t blame a system for not recognizing a gift before freaking kindergarten.

    I was in largely the same situation, and nobody would have thought I was smart before kindergarten. I didn’t even talk until 4 years old. I might not be as smart as that kid, but I do have a higher IQ than high 90 percent of people.

    But nobody, no matter how expert could have known that before kindergarten.

    “After years of frustration and little progress, Kristine made a radical decision in the eyes of the special ed system — she took Jacob out of school and prepared him for kindergarten herself.”

    How many years of frustration and little academic progress are there BEFORE KINDERGARTEN!

    Also… any article claiming anyone has a higher IQ than Einstein is ignorant. Einstein never took an IQ test and didn’t believe in them.

  • Elizabeth Barnett

    you rawk, kid!

  • SF

    Just give the kid a ball and let him be a regular boy.

  • Nicole Brandon

    Good article. Should not define the boy by his disability. Saying ‘Boy with Autism’ is a lot better than ‘autistic boy’. There’s more to him than one diagnosis.

  • Gordon Chapman

    he is very high functioning. the good kind of autism. my two boys, ages 23 and14 with autism don’t speak. but they are very bright. there is a much harder barrier to overcome when you can not speak.

  • Dillon Rogne

    I’ve been diagnosed with asperger’s myself, the struggle the school put me through was their inability to expand and teach by the perspective of their students, instead “by the book” but as many other comments, including this video, what if the book is not 100% right. Speaking of the patterns you mentioned, I see something very similar, i see a net of different lines and circles, as mentioned the intersecting circles, I see three dimensional and connect all aspects of my life on a net, all connecting, intersecting, from predicting behaviors, seeing the motion of water or the wind, the sand, the hairs on my arms, even playing notes on my guitar, like a push and pull of the universe in something that makes sense to me, but not to others. But I’ve seen how anyone can pick up those aspects, and expand on them their selves, sometimes it just takes a push to make a great snowball. I’ve actually decided to just aim for a GED and and a couple trades, because I only plan to obey as long as I don’t have the money to start something great for myself.

    • Dillon,

      Thank you for the fabulous insight you have given us here at Wake Up World!

      We wish you well on your magnificent journey, darling one.

      [email protected]

  • Lauri

    helping a child do what they are naturally drawn to creates a ‘carrot’ and a base to teach the other skills. Many people who are autistic or have other learning disabilities, can slowly develop the other necessary skills while doing what they enjoy and thrive on. Instead schools sometimes take everything away the child loves and only focus on what needs to be ‘fixed’ without any relevance to what would inspire the child and lead into other learning ventures. My son tackles new things when he’s ready and then he just does it. One day he decided he was going to ride his bike without training wheels. 2 years of cajoling and nothing, 1 day of determination and he had it. The same with tying his shoes. Took until he was 8 to tie his shoes. Once a child starts learning and communicating, and finding the way to communicate can be the hardest part, then you can start explaining to them the need to learn the life skills and other things. Some kids are willing to stick to life skills only and learn them and they are OK, other’s shrivel up and die inside because they have no joy or no way to communicate within the system they are stuck in.

  • Sol R Nova

    Considering Einstein never did an IQ test.. and a lot of his theroies have proved to be incorrect and he may not have been a genius, the heading is a little ingenious.. Speacially so cos; most will never be highly functioning Aspergers. With Autism being ever increasingly common, most of us now know of several families affected. I know solo mum’s that are only too happy to have their autistic child go to school with their more normal siblings, where socialisation is also part of the school day.
    Better would be articles on how diet can make a huge difference on the quality of life and how severe the symptoms are

  • Erin Bullock

    I was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder as a child. It was total garbage–I didn’t have bipolar; I had PTSD from trauma. I was smart (not this smart) and creative, but they forced me to go to special ed for a while, and put me on a bunch of psych drugs. Unfortunately, I don’t have a happy ending. My spine was all but destroyed by the drugs, and now I can barely walk and live in crippling pain 24/7. Thanks, cookie-cutter psychology.

  • chianasmoke

    How many more kids like this has state run socialism ruined.

  • Harmony Kennedy

    Wake up people, the system is designed to control you, and to others wise get you to pay for special services you don’t need, it angers me that our medical services, our educational services are for profit, that they make money off our children but telling us things, like your child is slow, your child has ADHD, you’ll need this this and this, and it will cost you this this and this. Money it all comes down to money.

  • Mixiael

    I was diagnosed as ADD about a year ago. In my late 30’s and medication with therapy and lifestyle changes provided by a responsible clinician saved my life. Growing up there was the double standard, “he’s a genius!” “why is he failing?” “He must be dumb!” I could never succeed no matter how hard I worked at it, nothing could pierce through my boredom. My only point with this story is that while adhd / add/ autism get this BS rap for being “imaginary illnesses” I can say with confidence that it is real. I say this not as a victim looking to get attention, just as someone that was running on about half my IQ for my entire life, and after a year of treatment was able to excel at anything I applied myself to. My world became a larger place, full of many spectacular things, not the boring drudgery I had always known. The greatest issues treating these illnesses are either over medication, or a fear of/lack of medication. The brain is a malleable thing, and chemically lacking in neurotransmitters is hell on earth. I was old enough to not be so hurt by a label. I just wanted to have a chance to be more than a low level worker reading Faust or Kant but unable to apply my knowledge due to what I coined, “the wall”. It isn’t laziness, we want to fly, but our wings are tatters, better served as a cloak against a constant barrage of those that relegate mental illness to a place of conjecture. Even now, as I effortlessly make leaps of logical deduction, or lead a classroom in a dialectic discussion, part of me will always feel like a fake, just a few pills or a bad run of gut bacteria to becoming the person I was, slowly fumbling in mediocrity as my friend Algerian slowly fades away. Doctor’s are human, meds can be trial and error, one has to educate oneself and be mindful, we are all different. If one wants an idea of what true add is, imagine a severe OCD case. Not just a cleaning shoes in order type, but a real “light switch must be flipped exactly 29 times” or you lose it, ocd. Now just invert this concept, and you have true add. Light autistic attention over abundance. We see everything, but untreated we are like Cassandra, we see the patterns, the future almost, but are powerless to make sense of the noise, and our prefrontal cortex leaves us no choice but to withdrawal, to avoid people, relationships, contact with humans simply because the thought of small talk makes is ill. The hyperactivity is our way of trying to offset out lack of interest, of boredom, leading us toward often destructive behavior because its to only way we can feel anything. These meds make it so we don’t need to seek danger just to feel alive, we can find a small measure of peace. Needing meds, diet and effort to recover is nothing more than what anyone else with a chronic condition would need. It’s all about how one reacts to reality, if its a constant struggle and life is hell, then they need help, simple. I am not a math generous, and I never will be, but I can design, I can create, and i can teach. I can relate to people because I do not judge them. Everyone has a problem, and if eating lima beans helps, then do it, nut if meds work and are not abused, so be it. Taken proberley the altered brain scans that show add in the prefrontal cortex can actually be repaired over enough time. Some say the meds are a crutch, and they might be, but to stand tall and be a productive member of society, the crutch is doing it;s job, it supporting you, not standing so you don’t have to. I wish everyone the best, and that at the very least, while tough love is needed, we are all a stubborn bunch, be kind, be gentle with us, give us structure, while inducing small amounts of variables over time. We suffer an inability to cope with low structure and high variables, like in social situations, as our minds tend to involuntarily try to follow every conversation, know everything going on in the room. Hence we can play a game for hours, predicable, no “fuzzy” interaction between people that we cannot understand. Illogical, messy, unpredictable, life becomes ever more cacophonous as we get older as we see a truth that only serves to add to a feeling of resentment and nihilism. Treat the person, not the disease, no matter one’s opinion, being unkind will never help someone suffering illnesses like this. I was stubborn, thought all these psych diseases were a sham, until I took the smallest, most controlled leap of faith, and found that this world was not the nightmare I had lived for 20 years +. A label is just a label, but a lack of cognition, is very measurable. The MRI between “then” and now, were quite different, and I know that my life is better. Don’t make the mistake I did and let disbelief or anger stop anyone from even trying. Even if the diagnoses isn’t so severe, nothing bad can result from gaining the power to live a better life. Maybe even learn how to be happy. Good luck to you all, and your loved ones.

  • Dawn J. Stevens

    Preschool. Kids do that now, usually two years worth. And those two years in school are usually the worst because the teachers are staring more at behavior and less at how they are learning.

  • jjdoe

    I’m sure the Feds are sad that they couldn’t get this misfit into a state penitentiary, for society’s own good! And look what’s happened – he’s out there, doing well, showing them wrong!

  • suzsez

    So many hangers-on building their careers on labeling & keeping people “disabled” and “in the system”. It’s disgusting. There’s a hot place in hell for all of them.

  • ladykatie25

    Kinda makes you wonder how many gifted kids are being held back, stifled and discredited by so called “professionals.”

  • stmccrea

    And people would learn to think, and therefore vote out or rebel against our current cadre of sociopathic and incompetent “leaders” who hold the strings of society in their hands. This could NEVER be allowed!

  • stmccrea

    Because they make this shit up as they go along. Read about how DSM diagnoses are determined – it is very educational, if severely disillusioning about the mental health system.

  • stmccrea

    There is quite an extensive preschool “special ed” system called “Early Intervention” (at least it’s called that in Oregon) that can start as young as 2 years old or less. I’m sure that’s what she means.

  • xealgo

    Throughout elementary and middle school, I was placed in SLD (slow learning disability). At the age of 12 I began learning basic html / javascript and by the age of 14, I was creating 3D video games in C++. I was a C/D student, but at the age of 20 I began working as a programmer. I’m now going on 10 years being a professional software engineering. People ask me for advice / help all of the time. I’ve been asked to join several startups, one of which I was the acting director of engineering. My point is, our educational system is terrible because simply, it can’t be done on a per individual basis. It’s more up to the parents to determine how they can help their children succeed in life. The “system” should ONLY be viewed as a stepping stone or tool, not as the end-all, be-all solution for producing successful people.

    P.S. I have anxiety problems and was also “diagnosed” with ADHD when I was a kid. In most cases it’s BS. Kids don’t always pay attention to what you want them to…it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them 😉

  • jared

    We must standardize. Everyone is equal. You will all be given equal treatment, or shall I say treatment to equalize. It is the only way that is fair. If you are more than one standard deviation away from the norm, you WILL take this medication and standardize yourself. We are here to help. It’s fair, it’s normal… we’ll even (demand by gunpoint that those with the means) pay for the drugs we will force down your throat, if you cannot afford them yourself.

  • G Clay

    My wife’s oldest nephews mom took her son to e tested for pre-school or something like that and they suggested that he may need to be in a “special needs” program. Turns out it was a 2 hour wait to be tested and he was bored. He is in his late thirties now and has a PHD in astrophysics and is a professor at a university in Wa. You can look up some papers he has written by googling Matt Duez. Good luck making sense of them.

  • Taric Sam Alani

    Spoiler alert: Einstein’s IQ was never measured. All estimates are based on conjecture.

  • Steve G

    Everything I have found on Einstein only gives an estimated IQ. Please give your source that shows he took an actual IQ test.

  • No, you don’t hate to point it out. You enjoy pointing it out, which is precisely why you did it. You felt that pointing to one spelling error would somehow discredit the entire comment. However, spelling is not a reliable indicator of the intelligence of the commenter nor the reliablility of the information.

  • Seeking Truth

    The school system has been a problem for years. Children don’t learn anything of value. They learn to sit quietly and take tests. Children that fail to do that are put into special class or on meds.

    Here is a major note of interest:

    Albert Einstein didn’t learn to talk until he was four, couldn’t learn to tie his own shoes, and was way behind his classmates in learning to read. His teachers said he was mentally slow, unsociable, and a dreamer. Although he eventually made it through school, he failed the entrance examination for college. Some people think he may have had Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism.

    Despite his struggles in school, Albert Einstein became a theoretical physicist who came up with some of the most astounding scientific discoveries and theories. He proposed the theory of relativity and also made major contributions to the development of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and cosmology. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect and “for his services to Theoretical Physics”.

    Courtesy of:

  • Excellent reality check !

  • Mark Musser

    Not to tarnish an inspiring story, but no one knows what Einstein’s IQ was, as he was never tested.