A two-year-old girl has officially become the youngest member of high-IQ society Mensa.
Isla McNabb, a two year old from Crestwood, Kentucky, recently joined the organization after scoring in the 99th percentile of intelligence for her age, according to Spectrum News.
Amanda McNabb, the child’s mother, told the outlet that the toddler’s intelligence first began to present itself through an “affinity for the alphabet”.
“She has always had an affinity for the alphabet, so we got her all kinds of blocks and magnets – multiple copies of the alphabet – and I would notice that the cat would have the letter C next to it and then I would have the letter M,” Amanda said.
Despite being just two, the child’s family said that Isla taught herself to read and now knows almost every word you throw her way.
While speaking to Fox19the family recalled one instance, when they brought Isla to the pediatrician and explained that, rather than just memorizing words, she was able to read.
“The pediatrician asked if she was memorizing a lot of words, at which point we took her to a poster on the wall and Isla read every word on the poster,” Isla’s father, Jason McNabb, who is also a member of Mensa, revealed .
Isla’s parents hypothesise that the toddler now knows more than 500 words, but admitted to Fox19 that they stopped counting when she reached 200.
However, it wasn’t until Amanda witnessed her daughter successfully scribble “mom” in crayon, an achievement the toddler’s mother confirmed through footage captured by the family’s security camera, that the family decided to seek out a child psychologist.
“We had suspicions that Isla may be gifted since she was an infant, but she began developing her reading and writing skills rapidly after turning two, and then it was evident that she was had something special going on,” Amanda told The Independent.
After two days of testing, Isla’s father says they learned that the two year old had “scored superior in everything and very superior in the knowledge category”.
“It definitely shocked us. We didn’t expect that,” he told Spectrum News.
The toddler’s mother said that the results were especially surprising considering Isla learned everything on her own.
Following the results, Isla officially became the youngest member of Mensa, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world.
As for Isla’s future, her father told Spectrum News that they plan to let their daughter, who will likely skip kindergarten, take the reins.
“She led us down a very interesting path, but we just let her take the reins and see where it goes from there,” he said. “Hopefully it will lead to a scholarship – maybe Harvard or MIT one day.”
Of Isla’s place in the high IQ organization as the youngest member, Mensa’s Charles Brown told Fox19 that the organization will help the toddler’s family by providing “certain resources” it offers “to kids and their parents”.
“It’s not always easy being the smartest person in the room, especially for young kids,” he said. “They don’t often fit nicely into the educational system, and we recognize that. And so we have certain resources we offer to children and their parents.”
Mensa has nearly 140,000 members worldwide, while American Mensa has more than 50,000 members – with the organization noting that an estimated 6m Americans are eligible for Mensa membership. While there have been other two year olds accepted into Mensa, Isla is now officially the youngest member of American Mensa.
The Independent has contacted Mensa for comment.