Louisville 2-year-old is Mensa’s youngest member

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 9:58 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kids develop at different speeds, but Louisville is home to one who is sprinting through the fast track.

Isla McNabb is a two-year-old who taught herself to read. She is now the youngest member of the high-IQ organization Mensa.

“It makes me feel a little bit stupid, honestly,” Jason McNabb, Isla’s dad said. He is also a member of Mensa.

Jason and his wife, Amanda, first noticed that Isla was pretty smart when she started writing letters in chalk before she was even 2. She’s come a long way since then.

If you think she’s just regurgitating all these words, they say think again.

“When we took her to the pediatrician, we were explaining how she can read, and 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 said.

The McNabbs spent two days with a psychologist to see just how smart she was. The tests mostly involved solving puzzles and recognizing words.

“Very superior in the knowledge category,” Jason and Amanda said. “But as you can see she’s still a typical two-year-old.”

They say Isla probably knows more than 500 words. They stopped counting when she got to 200.

The McNabbs hope now that she’s in Mensa, the organization 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,” Charles Brown with American Mensa said. “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.”

For now, they’re just letting her learn at her own, admittedly, very fast pace. She’s been a stay-at-home COVID baby, but recently started attending Pre-K twice a week.

“What point is she going to pass us up?” Jason said. “I have a feeling it’s not going to be much longer.”

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