Girl joins Mensa before she starts school


A four year old girl with the IQ of a “genius” has been accepted into Mensa – before she has even started school.

Heidi Hankins sat an IQ test after staff at her nursery said she was so intelligent they were struggling to find activities to challenge her. The average score for an adult is 100 and a “gifted” individual 130 but the exceptional youngster impressed examiners with a staggering 159.

Heidi – who can already add, subtract, draw figures and write in sentences – was reading books for seven year olds when she was just two.

She beats numbers whizz Carol Vorderman (score 154) and is only slightly behind Big Bang scientist Stephen Hawking (160), who are both members of Mensa.

Heidi’s dad, Matthew, from Winchester, Hants, hopes she can now skip a school year to ensure she is challenged.

The University of Southampton public health lecturer, 46, added: “We always thought Heidi was bright because she was reading early.

“I was curious about her IQ and the results were off the scale.

“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 literally since she was born and by age one her vocabulary was quite good.

“Now it is really good.

“The other day I gave her mash and fishfingers for dinner – something quite boring – and her response was ‘That’s impressive’, so she has a sense of humour, too.”

He added: “She is not precocious, she is just a little girl who likes her Barbies and Lego but then you will find her sitting down and reading a book.

“We are really proud of her.”

John Stevenage, chief executive of British Mensa, said: “Heidi’s parents correctly identified that she shows great potential.

“We wish them well and are pleased that they have chosen to join the Mensa network for support.

“We aim to provide a positive environment for younger members to develop.”

Mr Hankins and his artist wife Sophy also have a nine-year-old son called Isaac who is a chorister at Winchester Cathedral.


By age two:

* Count to 40

* Read after teaching herself using the family computer

* Recite the poem The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear

* Draw pictures of people

By age three:

* Add and subtract

By age four:

* Use words such as “impressive” in conversation


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