A 2-Year-Old Has Just Become the Youngest American Member of Mensa
Like a good many adults, Kashe Quest can count to 100. Unlike some other adults, she can identify all 50 states by shape and location on a map, navigate the periodic table of elements, is bilingual, and is improving her aptitude in sign language.
Not bad for a toddler.
According to Fox 11 in Los Angeles, the 2-year-old is a recent addition to Mensa, the well-known society of intellectuals who screen prospective members that fall into the 98th percentile on IQ tests. Quest is said to have an IQ of 146, about 46 points above the national average.
The scores are usually pulled from standardized and supervised testing. For children under age 14, Mensa accepts scores from tests administered by schools and private entities for enrollment via their gifted youth admission. Known as Young Mensans, these members enjoy full membership privileges, including reading programs, lesson plans, and local group activities.
"Gifted youth aged 14 and up can take one our standardized tests," Charles Brown, Director of Marketing and Communications for Mensa, tells Mental Floss. "For kids like Kashe, they apply by submitting evidence from testing by a private psychologist. In fact, about two-thirds of Mensa members qualify and join by submitting scores from up to 150 standardized tests we accept."
Kashe's mother, Sukhjit Athwal, told Fox 11 her daughter began expressing intelligence beyond the norm at 18 months old. “We started to notice her memory was really great,” Athwal said. “She just picked up things really fast and she was really interested in learning. At about 17, 18 months, she had recognized all the alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes.”
Athwal runs a preschool where she teaches Kashe as well as other students. She said she’s aiming for her daughter to have a normal life and choose her own path. “I think one of the biggest things…[is] making sure she has a childhood and we don't force anything on her...We're kind of going at her pace and we want to just make sure that she is youthful for as long as she can be.”
According to Brown, Mensa currently has roughly 50,000 Young Mensans.
[h/t The Hill]