Toddler with superhero-like language ability is UK's youngest Mensa member

Toddler with superhero-like language ability is UK's youngest Mensa member
Toddler who can count in seven languages becomes Britain's youngest Mensa member

Imagine being able to count to 100 in seven different languages. Now imagine being able to do that before most children can count to 10.

One four-year-old boy doesn’t have to imagine such things because he’s already done them. Oh, and he taught himself how to read fluently at the age of two.

At the age of three, Teddy Hobbs became Britain's youngest Mensa member after smashing an IQ test for the intellectual “elite” group: scoring 139 out of 160.

The child prodigy from Portishead, Somerset, can count to 100 in six non-native languages, including Mandarin, Welsh, French, Spanish and German and is now capable of reading lengthy novels.

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"His friends can sort of read a couple of letters of the alphabet - meanwhile he can read Harry Potter,” his mum Beth Hobbs said.

"I remember bringing him into nursery one day and saying that I thought he had taught himself to read - and they didn't really believe me at first. Then they had a preschool teacher go and speak to him that day, and they just called me back saying 'no you're right Beth'."

"Obviously we don't let him read Harry Potter,” she clarified. “We pick more emotionally appropriate books, but he's essentially at the stage where he can read anything we put in front of him.”

Beth, 31, said she and her husband Will, 41, have no idea how they ended up with a genius for a son.

“My husband and I are not linguists - so we always joke that the embryologist must have slipped a needle or something to make him this way,” she said.

Teddy and his younger sister were conceived via In vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Teddy shows off his Mensa certificate (left); with his mum, dad and sister (right)SWNS

However, Beth admitted that Teddy's genius comes "with it's challenges". She explained: "My friends can say 'oh should we have some c-a-k-e' and their kids will not know what they're saying, but Teddy will immediately spell it out and want some.

"You can't get anything past him, he listens to everything. He will remember conversations you had with him at Christmas last year.

"When we had our daughter we bought him a tablet so that we could focus on her, but he was never hugely interested in playing games or anything. He instead just likes to use apps to try and learn to count to 100 in Mandarin and other languages."

She went on: "His idea of fun is that he likes to sit down and recite his times' tables, and he even got so excited over fractions one time that he gave himself a nosebleed.

"That seems to be his quirk, and we'll roll with it, but we're trying very much to not make a thing of it."

He can now read 'anything' his parents put in front of himSWNS

She stressed that she and Will are trying to prevent their son from developing a “superiority complex” by keeping him humble. But whilst he’s so far seemed unaware of his precocity, Beth acknowledged "he is beginning to notice”.

“He'll look at some friends struggling to read and sort of be a bit like 'how come they can't do that' when he can,” she said.

"His social and development skills really are us are the main priority; we spent a lot of time trying to have these children - so they need to be good citizens.

"He has some ideas that he wants to be a doctor one day because he and his friend like to play doctors at nursery.

"But if you ask him what he wants to be he will just say he wants to focus on being a Teddy."

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