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Mensa Welcomes Its Youngest Member Ever

Parents of Kentucky 2-year-old Isla McNabb say she already reads at kindergarten level
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2022 11:23 AM CDT
Updated Jul 2, 2022 4:55 PM CDT
Mensa Welcomes Its Youngest Member Ever
Isla can read more than 500 words, her parents say.   (Getty Images/nikoniko_happy)

(Newser) – Mensa has a new member, and she's still in diapers. Meet 2-year-old Isla McNabb of the Louisville suburb of Crestwood, Ky., a precocious little girl the IQ society says is now its youngest member ever. Isla's parents say even though she does standard toddler things—plays with toys, loves her cat—they recently started noticing that "something was different," per WLKY. Isla was obsessed with the alphabet, and soon, "she started sounding out the different letters, then we started out with some simple words and she sounded them out," dad Jason McNabb says.

Shortly after that, Isla was reading at a kindergarten level, her parents say, so they took her to a psychiatrist to get her IQ tested. The jaw-dropping find: Isla scored in the 99th percentile for her age bracket. That's when Mensa got wind and invited the toddler to join its ranks. Spectrum News 1 reports there are about 140,000 Mensa members around the globe, with another 6 million or so who may qualify, though most of them, unlike Isla, were likely born long before the pandemic.

The tot, who's now enrolled in pre-K twice a week—her parents figure she may skip kindergarten—isn't the only family member in Mensa: Her dad, is, too, though he tells WXIX that his little girl's achievements "[make] me feel a little bit stupid, honestly." In some ways, though, Isla remains solidly in the toddler camp. "We're still working on potty training," her dad tells WLKY. "She's still [an] average 2-year-old on that." As for being able to hide things from their daughter, the McNabbs say things are now trickier on that front. "We can't say, 'Let's go to the P-A-R-K' or anything, because she can just sound it out," says mom Amanda McNabb. (Read more Mensa stories.)

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