Two-year-old Isla is an exception: she can already read and spell and scored outstandingly well on an IQ test. But it is important to her parents that she has a normal childhood.
In her case, gifted seems almost an understatement: Isla McNabb from the US state of Kentucky is two years old and can already read and spell – something that most children only learn in kindergarten or the first year of school. Tests by a psychiatrist showed that the girl is more intelligent than 99 percent of her peers.
She was thus admitted to “Mensa”, an association for people with a particularly high IQ. The prerequisite for admission there is having an intelligence quotient higher than 98 percent of people. At two years old, Isla is now the youngest member of the association. “We hope that she can make friends there and attend events,” says her mother Amanda McNabb. “They also offer scholarships. That would be great.”
Two-year-old is accepted into the Mensa association
Shortly after Isla’s second birthday, the parents noticed that their daughter is significantly more intelligent than other children. Her father, Jason McNabb, first taught her to read single words. “She just had an affinity for letters. She loved the alphabet and started pronouncing individual letters. We tried a few simple words and she said them out loud.” Then the girl started laying out words with plastic letters all over the house: cat, chair, mom.
Amanda McNabb couldn’t believe at first that no one had helped her daughter, but surveillance footage proved it. “We wanted to know what’s going on, let’s see how smart this child is,” the mother told n-tv. Normally, IQ tests are not carried out for such young children, but a child psychiatrist made an exception – and was surprised.
Isla scored exceptionally well in all categories, and she was also found to have hyperlexia – meaning she has particularly strong expressive language skills. “I wouldn’t believe any of it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes,” marvels mother Amanda. “You know these stories of children who play chess at the age of three or who know the periodic table by heart or who know all the presidents.”
Isla should remain a child and have fun
Isla enjoys learning words and wants to keep it fun while learning at a rapid pace. “She should enjoy it,” says Amanda McNabb. “Highly gifted children need time to be a child, to be a gifted child, and to be a gifted student. These three things don’t always overlap,” explains child psychiatrist Edward Amend, who conducted Isla’s IQ test.
For her parents, however, a very practical problem arises sooner than expected: Isla understands everything they say – even if they spell it out. There are no secrets like that. “We have to text each other on the phone if we don’t want her to hear something,” says Jason McNabb.
Sources: n-tv / “Cincinnati.com” / Amanda McNabb on TikTok