Autism Light: Jacob Barnett
Jacob Barnett is a 13-year-old college student from Indianapolis, Indiana who has Asperger’s. He is a child prodigy for his amazing talents in mathematics and physics. Dr. Joanne Ruthsatz, a Psychology Professor at Ohio State University, says that Jacob’s talent is 1 in 10 million (Source: See 60 Minutes Segment on Jacob Barnett below). Jake Barnett is an Autism Light for demonstrating the exceptional achievements that some people with autism possess as he excels in the important fields of math and science. Only a small percentage of those with autism have the talents that Jake Barnett has, but he demonstrates the amazing potential in some people who are diagnosed with autism.
There is a 60 Minutes segment done on Jacob Barnett in January 2012.
In the 60 Minutes segment, Jacob was told that his parents say he is proud of his autism and Jacob responded by saying:
That [Autism] I believe is the reason why I am in college and I am so successful. It is the rise as to my love for math and science and astronomy. It is the reason why I care. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten this far.
Barnett is quickly running out of advanced math classes that he can actually take. He often tutors fellow students, normally graduate and post-graduate students. He is also developing an alternative theory to the Big Bang Theory, his hypothesis being that the Big Bang couldn’t have happened through advanced math. Barnett has a tested math IQ of 170, the highest that can be tested for. IUPUI is seeking to move him from a student to a paid researcher’s position (Source). The following video is Jacob Barnett giving a talk called “Forget What You Learn” for TEDxTeen.
Jacob’s mother, Kristine Barnett, started Jacob’s Place in 2000. It is now an autism charity that helps 200 children with autism in Indiana. More information on Jacob’s Place is at their website at http://jacobbarnett.org/.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.