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Two-year-old genius from Kentucky becomes the youngest member of Mensa in the US

'She scored superior in everything and very superior in the knowledge category, so it definitely shocked us. We didn't expect that,' her parents said.

Two-year-old genius from Kentucky becomes the youngest member of Mensa in the US
Cover Image Source: YouTube/The Telegraph

A 2-year-old from Kentucky recently became the youngest American member of the Mensa High IQ society, an organization of the world's most intelligent people. Isla McNabb from Crestwood received her membership in the organization after scoring in the 99th percentile of intelligence for her age, reports Spectrum News. The young genius' parents, Amanda and Jason McNabb, first recognized their daughter's intelligence when they started noticing strange configurations of plastic alphabet blocks around their house. While by the chair, the blocks had been arranged to read "chair," they spelled out "sofa" next to the family's couch in their house in a Louisville suburb.


The blocks near the Amazon Fire Stick remote read "TV" and even the family's tabby, Booger, had been identified as a "cat" by the multicolored toy alphabets. The McNabbs soon found out that the culprit was none other than their toddler. "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 revealed. Meanwhile, Isla's father, Jason, told The Washington Post that there were a few "creepy moments" during the first years of his daughter's life that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up and made him think something exceptional was happening.


These feelings grew stronger around the time Isla turned 2 in November, when her family noticed that she had been sounding out letters on her own. This was when her mom and dad—an auditor and a dentist, respectively—got her a tablet as a birthday gift and started teaching Isla how to sound out letters. Wondering whether she would be able to piece those letters together on her own, Jason wrote the word "red" and was stunned to discover that Isla had no trouble reading whole words. "Everything we threw at her, it just seemed like she picked it up right away," Jason said. "It was incredible."


Isla's vocabulary grew so quickly that the McNabbs stopped counting at 500 words. "Now she can just read," Amanda said. The family recalled one incident a couple of months ago during a doctor's appointment when they told the pediatrician that Isla could 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," Jason, who is reportedly also a member of Mensa, told WXIX-TV. In addition to light reading and writing, Isla can also count forward and backward and do simple math, including subtraction. However, it wasn't until Amanda discovered "mom" scribbled in crayon on a cardboard box that the family decided to seek out a child psychologist.


"I noticed that on the box it said 'mom,' so I asked my husband, 'was it you? Have you been working with her?' He said no, I didn't do this," Amanda recalled. "So I went back and looked at the security camera footage of the living room and sure enough saw her with the crayon writing 'mom.'" The family researched psychologists who administered IQ tests and found one in Lexington, a little more than an hour’s drive from their home. Although he told Amanda that he typically doesn't test children younger than 4 years of age, the child psychologist made an exception for Isla upon hearing the family's claims. After two days of testing, it was determined that Isla's results on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales rate her as "superior" or "very superior" in all categories.


"Dr. Amend was saying typically these kids will have asynchronized development so they might be really far ahead, really advanced in one category and might be fairly normal or on par or maybe lag behind in some other categories," Jason revealed. "She scored superior in everything and very superior in the knowledge category, so it definitely shocked us. We didn't expect that." Isla's parents reached out to Mensa—an organization of people who score in the top 2% on IQ tests—and the toddler was inducted into the society as its youngest member from the U.S.


"She led us down a very interesting path, but we just let her take the reins and see where it goes from there," said Jason. "Hopefully it will lead to a scholarship—maybe Harvard or MIT one day." While the McNabbs suspect Isla will probably skip kindergarten, for now, they're letting her learn at her own pace. They hope Mensa will help her as she continues to grow and get smarter. "It's not always easy being the smartest person in the room, especially for young kids," said American Mensa spokesperson Charles Brown. "They don't often fit nicely into the educational system, and we recognize that. And so we have certain resources we offer to kids and their parents."

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