By Luke Kenton
Though most parents will often tentatively boast of their child’s unrivaled genius, this family may actually have a legitimate claim to such the title, after this adorable toddler has learnt to read just months after starting to talk.
Dad Justice Smith, was delighted when his son, Justus, muttered the words ‘Da-da’ at just nine months old, but even he couldn’t have envisioned that just a few months later, Justus would already be reading out loud.
Standing in front of a large screen, the little whizz-kid reads effortlessly a combination of random words projected in front of him, barely flinching as he pronounces ‘of’ followed by ‘play’.
The complex combination of different sounds proves to be little challenge for adorable Justus who, aware of his staggering ability, looks back and flashes a cheeky grin towards his proud father.
Admitting Justus probably ‘gets his intelligence from his mum’, an enamored Justice, from Nashville, Tennessee said: “My wife, Shaylla, and I realised pretty early on that Justus would be an early talker, but as we were first time parents we weren’t really sure what was considered average or ‘normal’.
“We’ve read to him consistently from around the time he was three months old, but we never tried to get him to read for himself – he just started doing it.
“Justus is like a super sponge at the moment, the way he catches and remembers so many things is quite staggering.
“I wish my mind and memory were as capable as his – we are beside ourselves with his abilities.
“We were absolutely floored when he just started seeing the words and saying them aloud without any coaching – it caught us completely off-guard.
“At first, we thought that maybe he’d just memorized them, but he is able to sound out words phonetically as well.
“Whether we’re home or out in public, he will yell out words that are on display – he gets really excited.
“Do we have the next Einstein on our hands? It’s certainly a possibility.
“Justus will sometimes grab and book and walk over to me or my wife and just say ‘read’.
“We believe he could definitely give Einstein a run for his money in the history books.
“He’s interested in lots of things right now, but as his parents, we believe the best thing to do is let him know as he grows older all his options in this world are limitless – he can be whatever he wants to be.”