She has already graduated from high school and is currently in the process of earning two degrees.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 23, 2021
A young Mexico City native is spectacularly shattering widespread misconceptions about individuals with developmental disorders by proving her incredible intellectual capabilities at just 9 years of age. Adhara Pérez Sánchez has already made a name for herself in academic circles with an impressive IQ of 162. According to PEOPLE, this score is slightly higher than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking's, both of whom had an estimated IQ of 160. Young Pérez has already graduated from high school and is currently in the process of earning two degrees—one in systems engineering and one in mathematics.
Speaking to the Yucatan Times, Pérez—who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder that's included on the autism spectrum and can cause difficulties with social interactions—revealed that she was "made a mockery at school." Other students would bully the girl by calling her names like "weirdo" and "oddball" because of the condition. "I saw that Adhara was playing in a little house and they locked her up. And they started to chant: 'Oddball, weirdo!'" her mother, Nallely Sanchez, told the outlet. 'And then they started hitting the little house. So I said, I don't want her to suffer."
Sanchez revealed that her daughter fell into a "very deep" depression and despite being a bright young pupil, did not want to go to school anymore. Teachers informed her parents that Pérez would sleep in class and displayed an apparent lack of interest. Aware of the child's unusual smartness at home, Sanchez realized that the current education plan wasn't the right fit for her daughter and sought therapy for Pérez. This became a major turning point for the family as they were then able to identify the girl's extremely high IQ and seek a learning environment that adapts to her unique skill sets.
This helped Pérez flourish in academics and she finished elementary school by age 5, middle school by 6 and high school by 8. According to KNSD, she is currently attending Universidad CNCI—a university in Mexico—where she is studying systems engineering and mathematics. Even amid her juggling her studies, the child genius found the time to write a book about her experiences with a title that roughly translates to "Do Not Give Up" and was even featured in Forbes México‘s 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico list.
She also gave a presentation on black holes at an event organized by the Institute of Art and Culture (IMAC) in Tijuana where other young kids were surprised to hear her speak. "I'm surprised because how can a little girl know so much more than an adult? She already has two college careers," said Karen Alonso, a young girl who attended the presentation. Pérez, who wants to explore astrophysics, hoped to work as an astronaut at NASA and travel to Mars in the future. She's already been invited to study astronomy at the University of Arizona after her story captured the attention of UA President Robert Robbins.
"I was thrilled to read about your incredible story online and to find out that your dream school is the University of Arizona," Robbins wrote in a letter to Pérez, reports the Arizona Republic. "We have many outstanding space sciences programs, you would have many opportunities to work side by side with the world's leading experts... You have a bright future ahead of you, and I hope to welcome you on campus one day as a Wildcat." Pérez is now learning English to prepare for the opportunity.
Meanwhile, the youngster is working on developing a new smart bracelet to help autistic kids. According to Vogue México, the device will be able to monitor the emotions of differently abled children, anticipating and preventing seizures and other outbursts. "I’m making a bracelet that measures kid’s emotions and then parents will be able to see what emotion their kids have by checking a phone, tablet, or computer," the young genius explained.