We ran across this article and felt you all should know about Jacob Barnett. Some say he may be smarter than Einstein and is destined to profoundly shape our understanding of physics. At age 2 he was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism, stopped talking for over a year and was considered unable to ever learn to read. You can read about Jacob’s fascinating development on this websites: here where you can also find a link his TEDxTeen Talk video.
Now, at age 15, Jacob’s IQ is estimated at around 170. He is a child prodigy with promise: a university student, teacher, theoretical physicist and avid basketball player. He considers himself to be different and recognizes the advantages and disadvantages of being so. He believes that his differences make it difficult to learn from other people; “a lot of the learning you have to do pretty much on your own”.
And that’s part of Jacob’s lesson for others. Having recognized that individuals’ learning styles are unique, according to Jacob, the key to learning for kids (with and without differences) is to follow their interests and passions and learn everything they can about that which they find interesting! His mother, Kristine Barnett, challenged to provide a supportive home-school environment for Jacob when his public school special education programs seemed to have failed him, developed the “philosophy of muchness” adapted to her son’s unique needs and available to all of her preschool students> Her perspective is to promote the positive rather emphasizing the remediation of problems. For example, “at the daycare she ran, if a child liked crayons, they were going to get every color of crayon there was. At the weekend center for autistic children that grew out of it, if a child liked boats, they were going to be making some boats.”
PS: On Sept. 10 at the Macleans.ca website, a live online chat with both Jacob and his mother Kristine Barnett will take place at 1 p.m. ET.
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The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.