The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett
This is the remarkable story of Jake, who is severely autistic, and the unconventional therapy he receives from his mother that nurtures the genius inside him. Kristine just had a gut feeling the ‘normal’ way was not cultivating all the potential she knew Jake possessed.
Kristine had no idea she had a genius on her hands and if she had not gone against the advice of experts, she may never have known. It’s very likely Jake would still be locked inside himself. Kristine’s instincts told her not to focus on what Jake couldn’t do, but to focus on what he could do and what he loved…if she nurtured ‘it’ the rest would follow. She proved this over and over again first with her son Jake, and then with the many children in a program she started called Little Light.
When Jake was young, Kristine ran a daycare out of her home during the day, and in the evening she turned her garage into a developmental playground. She helped parents and their autistic children discover what talents the child was suppressing and pulled it out of them by encouraging them to tell stories, play with alphabet cards, or cook…whatever their ‘thing’ is.
Jake was still non-verbal at age three; however astronomy helped pull Jake out from inside himself. He started college level courses at age eight and was solving mathematical problems no one ever thought could be solved. He will probably receive a Nobel Prize. Incredible!
This is a book anyone can enjoy and each person will likely take something different from it. My take away is that even though my children might not be good at math or reading there are many things they are good at and it’s best to encourage them to excel at the things they love and the rest will come.
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