Boy Who Taught Himself to Read at 2 Joins Mensa at 3

Teddy Hobbs can also count to 100 in Mandarin, 5 other non-native languages
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2023 3:00 AM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2023 6:30 AM CST
Boy Who Taught Himself to Read at 2 Joins Mensa at 3
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / tatyana_tomsickova)

When his parents heard Teddy Hobbs making sounds while playing on his tablet at age 2, they initially thought nothing of it. "We've put appropriate games like Thomas the Tank Engine on—and he was [sitting] there ... making the sounds I just didn't recognize and I asked him what it was and it was, 'Oh mummy, I'm counting in Mandarin,'" his mother tells a BBC radio program. The British boy taught himself to read at 2, and when he was just over 3 1/2, his parents asked Mensa to administer an IQ test. The results placed him in the top 99.5 percentile for his age, and he became the UK's youngest member of the high-IQ society, the Guardian reports.

"He chooses a new topic of something to be interested in every couple of months or so, it seems," his mother says. "Sometimes it's numbers. It was times tables for a while ... then countries and maps and learning to count in different languages." The now-4-year-old can count to 100 in six languages other than English. But, his mom adds, he doesn't know about his IQ specifically, he just understands that people are all different: "He sees it as just 'OK, well, I can read, but my friend can run faster than me. We've all got our individual talents.'" (More Mensa stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.