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Next up? junior kindergarten. Are you smarter than a three-year-old? If the tot in question is Henry Venus, probably not. The little Londoner has completed tests that show his IQ is in the top two per cent of the population – qualifying the mini-genius to become one of the youngest members ever of Mensa Canada.
“We started to realize he was different at 16 months old,” said Bryan Venus, Henry’s father. That’s when his parents said Henry started using words, like the names of shapes, colours and construction vehicles.
By 18 months, Henry was speaking in short sentences. At 20 months, when a typical kid has about a dozen words in their vocabulary, little Henry could sing the ABCs and spell his name. Now, Henry‘s parents say he understands the lunar phases, can count in English, French and Korean, and studies math at Kumon. When the pint-sized prodigy turned three, parents Bryan and Raina began searching for resources to help with his rapid development. “We’d have to keep him busy, so it was hard for us,” his father said. The couple soon discovered Mensa – an international organization for people with sky-high IQs – and had Henry’s intelligence tested with a Toronto-area psychologist.
Younger children can take the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence test. It includes several different tests like putting blocks together, answering questions and drawing images, said Ewa Antczak, a registered school psychologist. The process also includes interviews with parents, teachers and the child. Henry’s parents said he scored an IQ of 141. The average person’s IQ is between 85 and 115. They contacted Mensa Canada. The organization soon sent a letter saying he was eligible to join. Mensa, also known as the International High-IQ Society, is a worldwide group for individuals who score within the top two per cent on intelligence tests.
“It’s unusual for a three-year-old to join,” Mensa Canada president Vicki Herd said, adding only about two of every 100 members of the group are younger than nine. Henry starts junior kindergarten this fall. His parents have already booked a meeting with the school’s principal to set up a plan that will help maximize the young genius’s potential. “As a parent, I’m really proud of my son,” his father said. “I’m super-excited he has this gift.” But his gifted intelligence doesn’t mean Henry isn’t still like any other three-year-old kid. When he grows up, Henry says he wants to be a firefighter “because they look super cool.” His favourite thing to do is play with his toys. Parents Bryan and Raina say they just want their son to have a normal childhood, gifts and all.
“We’re still parents of a little boy — there are so many other important things in his life beyond this,” Bryan said.
What Is Mensa?
- Also known as the International High-IQ Society, it’s an organization for people who score in the top 2% in intelligence tests.
- It was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and by Dr. Lance Ware, a scientist and lawyer. They wanted to form a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership being a high IQ.
- The word “mensa” is Latin for “table,” and they wanted a roundtable society where all members regardless of age, sex, race, beliefs or income are considered equals.
- The objective of membership is to enjoy each other’s company and to participate in a wide range of social and cultural activities.