Boy, 3, becomes UK's youngest accepted in MENSA

Boy, 3, becomes UK's youngest accepted in MENSA


Teddy also attends The Nursery in Portishead, Somerset.

LONDON (Web Desk) - A toddler has become one of the youngest people ever to become a member of MENSA, after he taught himself to read at the age of two.

Now four years old, Teddy Hobbs, began reading during the coronavirus lockdown.

Staggeringly, when he was only 26 months old, he was able to read a book fluently to his parents, Beth and Will.

After that, the youngster progressed to learning how to count up to 100 in Mandarin, Somerset Live reports.

His 31-year-old mum Beth said: "He has always been interested in books so we made sure he had plenty around.

"But, during the lockdown, he started to take a real interest, and by the age of 26 months, he had taught himself to read.

"He then moved onto numbers and was learning times tables. We got him a tablet the following Christmas for him to play games on. But instead, he taught himself to count up to 100 in mandarin."

The child prodigy can already count to 100 in six non-native languages, including Mandarin, Welsh, French, Spanish and German.

Beth and Will were confused by his unheard of talents whilst still a toddler, and so got in touch with health visitors to ask them to assess Teddy.

“With him looking forward to starting school, we wanted to have some sort of assessment so we knew the level of skills he was going to start school with.” said Beth.

“Teddy was our first child and as he was conceived via IVF, we have nothing to compare him with.”

Continuing to search for support for their son, the couple approached MENSA for guidance.

Teddy, then aged three years and seven months old, had to undergo an hour long online assessment with experts.

“I was worried about him being able to sit in front of a laptop for an hour, but he absolutely loved it.“ said Beth.

Experts then revealed that Teddy sat in the 99.5 percentile for IQ.

Those generally accepted to MENSA score within the top 2 per cent of the general population in an approved intelligence test.

“When they said he was in the top 0.5 percentile for IQ, it just blew us away.” said Beth.

Further assessments also revealed that at the age of three years and eight months, Teddy had the letter and word recognition of a child of eight years and 10 months old.

Teddy, who starts school in September, received a certificate confirming his membership of MENSA, making him one of the youngest in the country to join the society.

“It’s something that has really surprised us.“ said Beth.

“We’ve never pushed him to do all this, we have scaffolded his interests by providing him with items such as books and an abacus, but we’ve never promoted it.”

Teddy also attends The Nursery in Portishead, Somerset.

Beth got in touch with the charity Potential Plus - an organisation for gifted children.

“The charity were really good and provided us with tips and worksheets that would help Teddy.

“The nursery was excellent and was already doing all the things the charity advised.”

Beth, a financial administrator, said she started reading by the age of four.

She said: “We just don’t know where this has come from with Teddy.”

Teddy also has a busy life outside his academic abilities and enjoys swimming and gymnastics.

He also enjoys reading to his 15 month old sister Pippa and is considering a career as a doctor when he’s older.

“He goes through phases and recently started learning all the different flags of the countries around the world,” said Beth.

“But, more recently, he’s got into play dough, which is great. All we want for Teddy is to be a good person and be happy with life. That’s all any parent would wish for.”