When Jacob Barnett was two years old, he was diagnosed with severe autism. Doctors and educators told his parents that he'd never be able to function in society.
He'd never be able to read, write or talk. As an adult with his severe condition, they said that he'd never amount to anything. Although his parents did what they were advised to do, they soon realized that all of this advice, these special needs classes were making him even more distant and less happy. Eventually, he stopped speaking completely.
Witnessing this decline in Jacob broke his mother's heart, so she pulled him out of the program and began home schooling him. His mother was a nursery school teacher who used her skills to foster his interests: drawing, mathematics and solving puzzles.
By the age of 10, he had absorbed the entire high school math curriculum in two weeks and was accepted to Purdue University in his home state of Indiana.
Who's laughing now? Jacob grins ear-to-ear, he knows the answer!
He studied astrophysics and tutored his peers in advanced math on the side. By the age of 15, Jacob was accepted to Canada's world-renowned Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. He's the youngest student ever to study for a PhD at the institute.
Jacob has a photographic memory, an IQ over 170 and has published research at the age of 13. Princeton Professor, Scott Tremaine, reviewed Jacob's work on Einstein's Theory of Relativity. After seeing what Jacob could do, he believes that he is destined for nothing short of greatness:
"The theory that [Jacob] is 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."
All of this was possible because his parents saw the beautiful potential in their son and nurtured it to the best of their ability. Now, he's reaching beyond the stars and contributing so much more to humanity than anyone could have dreamed for him.
Watch their interview below!