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Meet The Mom Who Refused “Experts'” Labels and Nurtured Her Son’s Genius

By: Krystle Crossman

When Kristine Barnett’s son was two years old he was diagnosed with autism by his doctors. They told her that Jacob would probably never speak. She brought him to many different therapies and none of them seemed to work. The therapists told her that he would probably never talk as well. The dedicated mother decided to take matters into her own hands.

She took away any labels that Jacob had been given, looked past any limitations that he may have had and used his interests to help him instead. Now at 15 years old, young Jacob is right on track to win a Nobel Prize in theoretical physics. Barnett had run a daycare out of her home and she used this experience to take Jacob’s interests and nurture them. She said that he really loved repetitive behaviors such as taking a glass and looking it over and how the light played against the glass surface. Barnett would surround him with glasses that were filled with water at different levels and let him play and explore for as long as he wanted to.

Using his interests to help him learn definitely was working. One night she tucked him into bed, said goodnight to him, and he said goodnight back to her. She said it was like hearing music when he spoke. At this point in time he is enrolled in the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario studying theoretical physics. Jacob’s IQ is currently measured at a number that is higher than Einstein’s.

Barnett wrote a book titled “The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism.” It tells the story of her struggles with his diagnosis and her success with her method of teaching. She wants everyone to know that it is important to take away labels that your child may have been given such as ADHD or autism and see the child’s true potential and interests.

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7 thoughts on “Meet The Mom Who Refused “Experts'” Labels and Nurtured Her Son’s Genius

  1. Herbert Arce

    It’s definitely the parent who has the responsibility to educate children; ‘professional’ teachers only do it for the paycheck (Iknow, I’m going to get hate now for saying it), otherwise they would do it for free.

    • Adi

      No use in hating an idiot. In a capitalist society, no one can work for free. This is so basic even those at the bottom of the intellectual barrel understand it.

  2. A. G.

    That is what mothers do that truly love their children. They nourish them, encourage them and never allow anyone to predict their child’s future she should be proud of herself, job well done!

  3. Arthur Jones


    We applaud this forward thinking mother. She based all assumptions she made of her son, purely out of love. New studies have shown and are showing that the methods of education she’s using for her son, can actually apply to all students. Citizens, politicians and parents have simply got to understand that not all children are able to use the same methods of academic input. During my thirty six years as an instructor and social worker, one assignment at ninety-fifth street school,( Prin. Mrs. Janola Scales) I had a male, ten year old student. His name was Oscar, and he was Spanish. What bothered him was at his age, he hadn’t learned his alphabets yet. One day while working at the chalk board , I noticed whenever anything touched his back, he reacted much quicker than most other students. So the following day, again at the chalk board, I told him we’d play a game. Using my index finger, I marked alphabets on the rear of his tee shirt. Absolutely anything I wrote on his back, he was able to pick up and retain. So I began making the letters and naming them. Before the year was over, he had learned all twenty six. Oscar was able to pass a great many scholastic levels in this manner.
    It’s important for every parent, and every teacher (professional parents) to check all methods of input of their assigned students. You never know exactly who you’ll help, or what heights they will attain.
    God bless
    Arthur Jones..Editor Your Computer Newspaper (FREEPRESS) [email protected]. We publish about once per week. Our subject range is totally amazing. We are dyed in the wool Christians. SEND US YOUR ADDRESS.

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