(NEW YORK) – A Californian toddler is the youngest American to join Mensa – the world’s oldest IQ company.
Kashe Quest, now 3, joined the organization’s U.S. branch on March 29, 2021, at the age of 2 with an IQ of 146, making her the youngest U.S. member, Mensa confirmed to ABC News Good Morning America.
“At 18 months, she was pretty much mastering the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes… and that’s when we started to notice that it was quite advanced for her age,” Sukhjit told GMA. Athwal, Kashe’s mother. “So we spoke with the pediatrician and she said, ‘Just keep documenting.
With a background in child rearing, Athwal has learning resources readily available in his family’s home, but never pushed Kashe in any particular direction.
“The way we implemented her learning is that we never really forced her to sit down and do anything – it was out of natural curiosity,” she said.
According to her parents, Kashe memorized all 50 states by shape and location and could name all the elements on the periodic table by the age of 2.
“This is when we were encouraged to explore our options for having it tested,” said Athwal. “It’s pretty amazing what she’s doing right now and how quickly she picks up on concepts.”
To become a Mensa member, applicants must pass an approved intelligence test and score at or above the 98th percentile. The exact details of the testing are mostly kept under wraps, but Athwal said it was an age-based performance and Kashe was continually tested until the material got difficult or she fails to determine her score.
“It worked on receptive memory, cognitive skills, and logical reasoning,” Athwal said. “It wasn’t necessarily, ‘What color is that?’ It worked more on his mental abilities. “
Kashe’s parents attach great importance to giving their daughter the tools she needs to thrive. To this end, Athwal founded the Modern Schoolhouse for children 6 weeks to 5 years old, which opened in October 2020.
The preschool aims to mimic a natural home environment so that children feel safe and comfortable while learning in space, she said. In addition to sensory stimulation and play time, students learn things like Spanish, sign language, how to use various technologies and yoga, according to Athwal.
One of the things they learned from raising Kashe, said Athwal, is how to communicate and be intentional with their words effectively.
“In addition to her high IQ, she understands emotions, she understands the context and the way we communicate,” she said. “If we say something incorrectly, she’ll say, ‘No that’s not what you said’ or, ‘That’s not what it is. She always corrects us.
Although they encourage Kashe’s development and let her dictate the pace of what she wants to do, her parents also ensure that she keeps her balance. Kashe’s interests include Frozen, Paw Patrol, watermelon, swimming, messy painting, and science experiments.
“Being a child is the most important thing,” her mother said. “We want to keep her young as long as we can. Socialization and its emotional growth are the most important things for us.
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