This is Kiara Belle Kit. She turns seven this year and just like children her age, she was eager to start her journey in primary school.
However, her story is slightly different from other seven-year-olds in Malaysia. That’s because she would start her primary school journey from Year 3 instead.
See, Kiara recently sat for an IQ test and when the results came back, she and her parents learned that she scored 165. This puts her among the 99.999% percentile rank. Just to put that into perspective, she scored…
- 5 points higher than Stephen Hawking AND Albert Einstein…
- and 23 points higher than the youngest Malaysian MENSA member (who’s only 4 years old!!!).
Well………there’s a little more to that comparison which we’ll address later on in this article, but for the moment we were very lucky to have a quick chit-chat with Kiara and her parents, Cindy Ong and Tang Kit. In our Google Meet interview, the first thing that Kiara pointed out was that our audio was too echoey. XD
And, according to her parents…
As a baby, Kiara already broke the Malaysian Book of Records
Ever since she was a baby, Kiara has shown several signs of giftedness besides hardly being the type to complain as a baby.
“She’s just different from other kids since she was very young.” – Cindy to CILISOS.
Kiara broke the Malaysian Book of Records for ‘The Longest Distance Swimming By A Toddler’ under the Sports and Games category when she was just a year and 11 months old. While most babies were starting to walk at that age, she swam a distance of 199.35m in an Olympic-length pool non-stop!
You can check her out in this video here:
While that may not come as a total surprise considering how Cindy is the World No 1 swimmer, Cindy also noticed other things about Kiara. Her daughter started stringing up words to build a sentence at the age where most kids would still be coo-ing.
In fact, there was a time when the family was in Singapore for a short while and at 3 years old, Kiara was enrolled in a holiday camp class to keep her entertained. The teachers in the class were telling a story where the children were supposed to imagine themselves as astronauts, launching into space. But as they were ascending, their rocket started to sputter as it was running out of fuel. So, the teachers asked them what the children should do?
Guess what Kiara suggested as a solution?
“She said, “Quick, quick, go get the clock! (referring to the clock on the classroom wall)” Perplexed the teacher asked, “Why the clock, Kiara?” And to this she responded, “because we can take the battery from the back of clock for our rocket (meaning to power the rocket)!” – Cindy.
Despite all these signs, Cindy and Tang acknowledged that kids typically have different growth rates. The teachers in Singapore had even suggested they get Kiara assessed but it was only until she was six that she had gotten her IQ tested.
Thankfully, Cindy is a psychology graduate, so she has gotten Kiara assessed with a full-scale IQ test under the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), a gold standard IQ test for children. FYI, tests like the WISC and Standford Binet test are the very few legit tests that are fully supervised by psychologists, so the ones you see online are oftentimes unrecognised.
This was when they found out that Kiara scored 165 on the test. But what does that even mean?
Actually, high IQ doesn’t mean they’re good at EVERYTHING
One thing we wanna point out is that not all IQ tests and scores are the same, as there are different ideas of what intelligence and IQ are, and how they can be reliably measured. For instance, while the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children is seen as a standard IQ test for children between 6 and 16 years old, there’s also the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale that’s used to measure those between 16 – 90 years old. So while a high score would generally mean that a person is gifted, it may not necessarily mean that they’re for sure confirm 100% smarter than Einstein because they got a higher score.
But here’s another thing – not all people with high IQ are smart, able to memorise periodic tables, or quick at maths. Kiara, for instance, has the ability to pick up new knowledge very quickly.
However, it’s noteworthy that most of the time, these gifted children may be super good at one thing but aren’t that great in other aspects. Cindy and Tang told us that this is called asynchronous development.
“Although Kiara has an IQ of 165, her balance and gross motor skills are not as strong as her siblings. And she tends to daydream often for which we have to snap her attention back into this world.” – Cindy.
Cindy and Tang highlighted that it is important for parents to acknowledge both the children’s strengths and weaknesses. They shared that they once met a parent who thought their child was dumb because he couldn’t speak. Oddly enough, the child was able to rapidly solve a block puzzle that even adults weren’t able to solve.
“Kiara owes it to all her teachers who’ve contributed to her development and learning all these years. Nonetheless, we realized she needed to be shifted off the commodified education programme so that she can flourish.” – Tang.
This is why Kiara, who was previously studying in an SJKC, was moved into a small private homeschool centre after she got her IQ test result, where she was enrolled in Year 3 instead.
Despite all these changes, Kiara told us that she’s having fun in her new school so far and that her favourite subject is Science. All in all…
Kiara is just like any other seven-year-old out there…
…and her parents plan to keep it that way.
Oftentimes, Asian parents have the habit of pushing their children to be the bestest of the best, even if the children don’t have a high IQ. Got an A in your exam? Asian parents will ask you, “Why not A+?”. Got 99% on a test? Asian parents are gonna ask, “Why not 100%???”
However, contrary to the typical Asian parents’ stereotype, Cindy and Tang just want Kiara to have a blissful childhood with her brothers, Hayden and Connor.
“If I were to push her in anything, I would push her in swimming. But we haven’t done that!” – Cindy said jokingly.
“Behaviorally and emotionally, Kiara is like every other seven-year-old. She still plays with her dolls and cuddles her teddy bears to sleep.” – Tang.
At the end of the day, despite having a high IQ, Kiara is just like any other seven-year-old child out there.
Based on the brief chit-chat we have with Kiara and her parents, she will be remembered (by us) as the jolly girl who enjoys reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, watching Niko and the Sword of Light, playing Girl Genius!, doodling and reprimanding us for our echoey voice during the interview. XD #wetechnoob