The oldest current Mensa member is 106, which is remarkable. But the age of the youngest member might really impress you. Two-year-old Isla McNabb of Crestwood, Kentucky, recently received her membership in the organization of the world’s most intelligent people.
You must score in the top 2% of the general population on one of more than 200 standardized intelligence tests to be eligible for Mensa. So how did a toddler qualify?
Her parents noticed her unique abilities early on.
“She just had an affinity for the alphabet, she really loved the alphabet,” Isla’s father, Jason McNabb, told Local 12 WKRC-TV. “And she started sounding out the different letters. Then we started out with some simple words and she sounded them out.”
By the time she reached age 2, she was reading at a kindergarten level.
“So, I said, ‘Let’s see what’s going on here, let’s see how smart this kid is,'” Isla’s mother, Amanda McNabb, told Local 12 WKRC-TV.
Amanda sought out a psychologist who administered IQ tests. Although he said he didn’t usually test children under age 4, he was intrigued by the mom’s claims and made an exception. So in May, when Isla was about 2 1/2, she was tested using the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales. She scored in the 99th percentile.
The parents reached out to Mensa, who inducted her as the youngest member. Perhaps even more surprising is that she wasn’t the first toddler to enter this elite group. In 2019, Zayn Riyas of Frisco, Texas, became a member at 2 years and 11 months old. And last year, 2-year-old Kashe Quest of California joined Mensa.
Not only can Isla read, but she can write, count forward and backward and do simple math, including subtraction. However, her parents say she is still a typical toddler in many ways. She likes to watch pre-K shows like “Bluey” and “Blippi.” She has fun playing with her friends at preschool and her cat, Booger, at home.
“She can read well beyond her little years, but we’re still working on potty training,” Jason told Local 12 WKRC-TV, “So, she’s still an average 2-year-old on that.”