When Dayaal Kaur was just 14 months old, she had mastered the entire English language alphabet. Inevitably, her parents wondered if their little girl had abilities beyond her age range and began exploring the prospect.
However, the road to provide Dayaal the best chance in accordance with her superior mental capacity proved a tough one until recently when the four-year-old became one of the youngest people in the UK to be accepted into the elite Mensa membership club of children with a high intelligence quotient (IQ).
“Now there is official documentation that proves that she is way beyond her level. As parents, it is natural for us to consider our child is special, but in this case there is actual proof that she is one in a million,” says her proud father Sarbjit Singh.
Dayaal, who lives with her father Sarbjit, mother Rajvinder and one-year-old sister Kalyaan in , is said to come alive in any kind of learning scenario and readily agreed to appear for the Mensa test when her parents explained what it would involve.
The test is being conducted online from home due to the coronavirus lockdown and her parents in another room could hear her laugh through the online assessment last October, just days before her fourth birthday. She went on to achieve an IQ score of 145, which puts her in the top one per cent of the UK’s population in the “very gifted or highly advanced” category.
John Stevenage, British Mensa’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dayaal to Mensa, where she joins a community of about 2,000 junior and teen members.
“Her family can make use of the supportive parents’ network that has developed and we hope that as she grows up, Dayaal makes many lifelong friends and experiences some of the many learning and network opportunities that Mensa offers.”
Dayaal’s father, himself a special education teacher as a Health, Well-being and Pastoral Lead, is elated as his efforts to convince local experts to enable his daughter access to an extra learning push had proved quite difficult. He, however, persisted to prove that his daughter indeed was gifted.
Sarbjit said: “There is a big debate to be had about how we cultivate our youth and provide the right kind of support and education so that we don’t lose future inventors and high achievers.
“I am so glad we persisted because otherwise Dayaal would have been lost in the system and got frustrated when she didn’t feel like she was being challenged enough to learn new things constantly.”
In her assessment, expert Lyn Kendall recommended that Dayaal’s “ability and maturity” meant that it would be worth considering accelerating her beyond her peer group in a classroom setting.
Horse-lover Dayaal wants to have a stable full of the animals and also harbours dreams of becoming an astronaut one day. According to her family, she is particularly enthusiastic when reading about history and has a fascination for icons such as Banda Singh Bahadur and Gobind Singh and her folks have been making an extra to make that learning process fun during lockdown.
The family, whose roots trace back to Hoshiarpur in Punjab, hope to be able to take Dayaal and her little sister to India post-lockdown, when they are old enough to understand more about their heritage.
For now, the Mensa girl has just about worked out that she is a “genius” as she spends time fun-learning and playing with her grandparents. As a very sociable little girl, she isn’t entirely happy with virtual calls and can’t wait to meet her cousins in person and return to the nursery to play with her friends again, beyond the lockdown.