Kesha had mastered the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes when she was just 18 months old, said her mother.
The youngest American to join the oldest IQ society is a toddler from California. Yes, you heard that right. A toddler. Kashe Quest joined the American branch of the Mensa on March 29, 2021, at the age of 2 with an IQ of 146. Kashe, who's 3 now, is the youngest American member confirmed Mensa, reported Good Morning America. "By 18 months, she had mastered pretty much the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes ... and then that's when we started noticing this is pretty advanced for her age," said Sukhjit Athwal, Kashe's mom. Kashe's family decided to talk with a pediatrician who told them to 'continue documenting.'
Kashe hails from Los Angeles. Her mother Sukhjit Athwal has a background in child education, and said that Kashe was picking up things by herself. She was never nudged to learn anything, said Athwal. "The way we've implemented her learning is we've never really forced her to sit down and do anything — it was out of her natural curiosity," she said. Kashe's family was pretty taken aback by how fast she was grasping information. "That's when we were encouraged to explore our options in terms of getting her tested," said Athwal. "It's pretty amazing what she's doing at this point in time and how fast she's grasping concepts."
"She has always shown us, more than anything, the propensity to explore her surroundings and to ask the question 'Why,'" said Kashe's father Devon, reported CNN. "If she doesn't know something, she wants to know what it is and how does it function, and once she learns it, she applies it." After realizing that there was something significantly different about her capabilities, they had her take the test to gain membership to Mensa. The details of the test are mostly secret but it is customized based on the age of the applicant. To qualify for Mensa membership, applicants must take an approved intelligence test and score at or above the 98th percentile Kash was repeatedly tested until the test material either became challenging or she failed to determine her score. "It was working on receptive memory, cognitive skills, and logical reasoning," said Athwal. "It wasn't necessarily, 'What color is this?' It was working on more of what her mental capacity was like."
Kashe is also picking up on communication and social cues faster than most. "Aside from her high IQ, she understands emotion, she understands context and the way we communicate," said her mother. "If we say something incorrectly she'll be like, 'No that's not what you said,' or, 'That's not what it is.' She's always correcting us." Kashe's parents know she is a precocious kid but they are keen for her to explore everything at her own pace and enjoy being a child. "Being a child is most important. We want to keep her youthful as long as we can. Socialization and her emotional growth are the most important things for us," said Athwal. Kashe's interests include Frozen, Paw Patrol, watermelon, swimming, messy paint, and science experiments. "She's still two at heart, and she needs to be with children her age, and not have that pressure put on her to be older than she needs to be or act older than she needs to be," said her mother.
Kashe's parents want to provide the perfect environment to express herself. So much that Athwal has founded the Modern Schoolhouse for children from 6 weeks to age 5, which was opened in October 2020. Athwal said the preschool has the feel of a natural home environment so children feel safe and comfortable while learning. Apart from sensory stimulation and playtime, kids will also be taught Spanish, sign language, and learn to use various technology.