This 4-Year-Old Boy Who Taught Himself To Read At 2 Has Joined MENSA

Do you recall when you first learned to read as a toddler? Most of us had trouble remembering the alphabet, and pictures helped us identify the objects. Teddy Hobbs, 4, of Portishead, Somerset, has become the youngest member of the high-IQ club after his parents requested that he be evaluated by a health visitor before starting school.

Teddy taught himself to read at the age of two while watching television and playing on his tablet without his parent’s knowledge. Teddy’s mother, Beth, said they initially thought he was just making noises while playing on his iPad until realizing he was sounding out Chinese digits.

“It seems that he chooses a new topic to be interested in every couple of months or so.” Sometimes it’s numbers. “It was times tables for a while—that was a very intense period—then countries and maps and learning to count in different languages,” Teddy’s mom told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

Hobbs said her son’s IQ score, which the Times reported places him in the 99.5 percentile for his age, presents particular parenting challenges. “Well, he doesn’t know, which is quite nice,” she told Today. “And we will keep it that way for as long as we can.” He’s starting to figure out now that his friends can’t read, and he’s a bit like, “Why?” But we need to keep him grounded. If he can do these things, fine. But he sees it as just “OK, well, I can read, but my friend can run faster than me.” “We’ve all got our talents.”

“And we will be trying to maintain that for as long as possible.” “If he goes to school and decides that’s it, he’s finished his education, fine.” Mensa only accepts people who score in the top 2% of the general population on a supervised IQ test. While it does not ordinarily assess children, it will offer support for parents who can have their child tested by an educational psychologist.

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