School & Experts Put Genius Boy In Special Ed. Now He’s Free & On Track For Nobel Prize

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Jacob-BarnettA young genius whose IQ is said said to be  higher than Albert Einstein, is on his way to possibly winning a Nobel Prize after dropping out of elementary school and his special ed programs. From a young age, Jacob Barnett was very interested in Math and Physics. Numbers were his passion and he was getting bored of early grades of elementary school as they did not come close to challenging him. Finally, his parents made the decision to take him out of public school and special ed programs regardless of the fact doctors had diagnosed him with ASD.


“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’s mother.

Jacob’s incredible memory and mind allowed him to attend university classes after he taught himself all of high school math in just two weeks.He is currently on track to graduate from college by the age of 14 and it is believed his research into math and physics may begin to challenge some of the established theories in physics. This is an exciting prospect given many have touched on knowledge and devices that currently defy mainstream physics. The implications of such discoveries are endless.

Jacob Barnett is currently studying at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, ON where he and his family now live.[1]

This is just another example of how society can often leave kids behind who don’t fit the ‘mould’ of ‘every other child.’  Kids who are given labels because they don’t fit into the system are actually incredible beings, like everyone else, with the capability to participate entirely in advancing society in many ways. Key point being, you allow them to do what they want to do and are passionate about, and suddenly their “issues” are gone or dissipate drastically. One more reason why educating people in batches and teaching them near useless information is not going to cut it for much longer.


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  1. Vi

    From my own experience I can say that his parents made the right decision. I was one of these children that they just kept skipping grades in traditional school. MY IQ was tested in grade 2 at 145. It made me feel isolated because I couldn’t relate to the kids my own age as I wasn’t thinking in the same way. I still played with Barbies and neighborhood kids. Talk about a dichotomy. High school was hell, not because I was years younger, but rather I had no interest in “high school teenage girl” things, most which seemed goofy. This made me an outcast and I got bullied for years. Teachers had difficulty relating to me – and I think they saw me as a PIA since I could read the book in a day, write the test and would challenge them with questions they couldn’t answer. I was curious. I learned at 12 to hide my intelligence, especially when it came to “boys”, a trait carried out throughout my life. It’s not the social thing that causes problems in adult relationships, it’s more that the other person is not thinking on the same wavelength. Let the kid be who he is and do what he does and be respected for who he is…

  2. I love him but thats more than 120 dB

  3. Important recap from what this kid says: People don’t come up with brilliant ideas because they are geniuses, but rather because they stop learning about the field and “become” the field they are passionate about and start creating.

    We are in for a treat on this planet with these evolved young ones coming in!!

  4. Susan McAulay

    I am torn. I am glad that Jacob has the opportunity to excel at what he is good at. A school system, by definition, does not work for everyone, no matter how teachers may want it to (and I am one). However much we may want to differentiate (and how good we are at it), I think there is only so far one can go when you have a class of 30 or more children with different learning styles and needs. That being said, I hope (and wonder) if Jacob is getting the social support that he needs to become a happy human being. It’s true that his brilliance will cause others to give him leeway, even from a social standpoint, ultimately, true happiness requires more than just being able to excel at something. Individuals who are on the spectrum typically need support to be able to in the world, with others. I hope he is getting that on the outside. If he is going to college, with those who are much older than he is, he does not have a peer group to interact with.

    • Greta

      Jacob’s mother said he was “slipping away” at special ed school, and in normal school he would be the juiciest of targets for bullies.

      There is almost never a perfect solution (for any of us) but I suspect Jacob’s parents’ decision would be as good as it gets.

    • Dee Lynn

      For Jacob, other college students are his peers. Kudos to his parents for listening to Jacob instead of experts (who looked at him as a diagnosis instead of as a remarkable individual) and for looking at possibilities instead of absolutes. From following the Macleans link and reading additional articles, Jacob can not only interact with a variety of age groups but instruct and lead. He is an amazing individual and appears to be happy and doing what he loves. It doesn’t get better than that.

    • Sandra

      He seems pretty normal to me. Not everybody needs to be a social butterfly with a bevy of confidants in order to be happy. Beyond high school, peer groups are comprised of people who share our interests, values, etc., and are not limited to physical age. So, I’d say he’s more likely to find a peer group to interact with in college than he would in middle school. Also, I doubt his chosen peer groups in college would be the drunken frats, partiers, or pothead slackers, even if he was 18-22. Finally, he seems to have strong, supportive, and loving family. Don’t write off his happiness so soon, just because he’s 14 and on his way to a Nobel prize. ;)

    • The implicit assumption in your comment, Susan, is that traditional schooling provides the social support that a person on the spectrum requires, at least to a higher degree than anything else (such as home schooling).

      Another assumption is that adequate social support is best achieved from a “peer group”, meaning a group of same-aged children, as opposed to a more diverse group such as can be found at home and in the local community.

      I challenge both assumptions, and invite you to do likewise :)

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