Four-year-old Teddy from Portishead, UK, recently became the youngest member of Mensa, the international association for the gifted. He was accepted at the age of three. The young genius can count to 100 in six foreign languages, including Mandarin, and taught himself to read as a toddler.
People who want to join Mensa must be in the top 2 percent of respondents on a recognized IQ test. This was no problem for little Teddy.
His mother Beth Hobbs says in an interview with BBC News that Teddy learned to read when he was only 26 months old. He did this by “watching children’s television and imitating the sounds of letters”.
When he started reading letters and his parents took him back to the nursery after corona lockdowns, they shared with the teachers that he could probably already read. “We got a call back from the nursery, who sent a kindergarten teacher to check. She said, ‘Yes, he can read.'”
Teddy is not forced by his parents to learn certain subjects. Every month he chooses something that interests him, be it numbers, math tables or countries.
His parents are also surprised that he is learning other languages. “He was playing on his tablet and making noises I just didn’t recognize. When I asked him what it was, he said, ‘Mommy, I’m counting in Mandarin,'” Hobbs says.
His parents think it’s important that Teddy has a normal childhood. “He’s starting to realize that his friends can’t read yet and he doesn’t understand why, but it’s very important for us that we keep him grounded.”
“He sees it as, yes, I can read, but my friend can run faster than me, so we all have our individual talents,” concludes Teddy’s mother.