London: A four-year-old girl has stunned academicians with an IQ of 159, just one point below Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. Heidi Hankins has become the youngest member to get an entry into the elite IQ club Mensa. She sat for the Mensa test, a mixture of problem-solving puzzles and word games, after nursery staff struggled to find activities to challenge her.
By the age of two, she could count to 40, draw pictures of people, recite poems and read books meant for seven-year-olds. Within a year, she was adding and subtracting.
Her parents Matthew, 47, a University of Southampton lecturer, and Sophy, 43, an artist, are hoping their daughter can skip a school year when she starts in September.
Heidi sat a Wechsler IQ test, which uses puzzles to measure a child`s intellectual potential.
"We always thought Heidi was bright because she was reading early. I was curious about her IQ and the results were off the scale," a leading daily has quoted her father as saying.
"I got her the complete set of the Oxford Reading Tree books when she was two and she read through the whole set of 30 in about an hour. It`s what you would expect a seven-year-old to do. She was making noises and trying to talk since she was born and by age one, her vocabulary was quite good. She was using full sentences almost as soon as she started to speak," he revealed.
And at 18 months the family found her using the computer to teach herself to read.
Heidi is a head taller than her classmates and, at 3ft 10in, is closer to an average six year old.