11 | DIC | 2019
Adhara Pérez, the Mexican child genius with a higher IQ than Einstein
Adhara Pérez is eight years old - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Adhara Pérez, the Mexican child genius with a higher IQ than Einstein

16/11/2019
15:50
Susan Irais
Mexico City
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Adhara Pérez Sánchez is eight years old and like any other girl she has favorite superheroes, although they are not conventional: Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking

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Adhara Maite Pérez Sánchez is eight years old and like any other girl, she has favorite superheroes, although they are not conventional: Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Adhara is just as unique as the scientists she admires, for she has a 162 IQ, even higher than her heroes.

Currently, Adhara is studying two engineering degrees. She has enrolled in several courses, like gravitational waves and observational astronomy in the Astronomy Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and has been selected to take a course in mathematical patterns and programming of the University of Massachusetts in Mexico City. Her dream is to be a scientist and to become an astronaut to work at NASA.

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Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Adhara Pérez
Adhara’s dreams have not always seemed feasible. When she was three years old, she was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder; when she was four she had a very strong seizure that almost made her go into a coma. After the seizure, she lost motility in her hands for a year and had to go to therapy.

“Back then, Adhara followed the example of Stephen Hawking; she said that despite having a disability, that didn’t keep him from achieving great things. She will always admire him because she likes black holes,” says Nayeli Sánchez, Adhara’s mother.

Adhara’s doctors wanted to know the cause of her seizures, “it turns out she had a hemisphere more developed than the other and after many studies, they gave me the whole diagnostic; My daughter has a double exceptionality: autism with a very high IQ,” explains Nayeli.

At school, children called Adhara “weird,” they locked her and her teachers complained about her, not because she was lazy but because she got bored. “When Albert Einstein was young, they didn’t believe in him; they thought his ideas were foolish, but with time he proved them and that is the reason why Adhara likes this character,” says her mother. The Mexican child genius has an IQ superior to Einstein’s and Hawking’s, but what does that number mean?

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How is IQ obtained?
Dr. Andrew Almazán Anaya, director of the Psychology and Research Department of the Talent Care Center (CEDAT) explains that “IQ is the statistic base that tells us about the talent or potential of a child, youth, or adult.”

The also called intelligence tests are the base to detect gifted people. “A gifted child requires an IQ over 130 points; the score determines the capacity of a person,” explains Almazán. These tests must be done by a certified psychologist. The first filter is the gifted person’s profile and he or she qualifies, then the full Weschler scale is applied (which shows the IQ). “The first filter is applied because if we were to carry out massive tests, we would only find three in each hundred,” explains the CEDAT expert. The full David Weschler scale is a clinical instrument applied individually that assesses intelligence in children and adolescents. It allows seeing IQ from 160 to 200 points. This test evaluates four basic kinds of intelligence:

  1. Verbal: semantic comprehension, comprehension, linguistic memory
  2. Perceptual reasoning: logical-mathematical skills, ethical and moral judgment, problem-solving
  3. Short term working memory: hearing and visual
  4. Fine coordination: mental speed

To qualify as gifted, the assessed needs all areas to show a result over the average, they can be in 130, but at least one must be over that score for IQ to exceed the average. “Intelligence confirmation will tell us in which areas to focus with the child and also what kind of classes he will need,” says Dr. Andrew Almazán. Are intelligence tests reliable? The World Health Organization endorses these tests and they are a basic standard for schools in the United States. “The reliability standard of these tests is of 99% with a variation of 4-5 points,” adds Almazán.

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What does it mean to have a high IQ?
Intelligence changes with time, “the score is expected to be different depending on the opportunities given to the child and how he or she used his or her intelligence during that time,” explains Almazán. The IQ score is not definitive until 18 years old when the number stabilizes. “That is why at CEDAT we carry out tests every six months to see the progress. That number is expected to increase or decrease,” he explains. “If someone has a high IQ and achieves nothing, the number is just an ornament. The most important is the use of intelligence. There are kids with IQs of 180, 190, and even 200; the number tells you about the potential, but it doesn’t mean they won the battle. It’s like boxers, although one has more strength, that doesn’t mean he is the winner, there are more elements to consider,” concludes Almazán. Therefore, having a high IQ is not a guarantee of a child genius, it is only a potential that must be developed.

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