Most of the young children in the world enter first grade when they are six, but this is not the case of the extraordinary boy named Joshua Beckford.
When he was six, and living with highly-functioning autism, this young child prodigy who comes from Tottenham, has been the youngest one that ever attended the prestigious University of Oxford.
Joshua received the certificate of excellence after he got distinctions in every course which was part of online learning platforms for talented children. Joshua is no aged 13, and he dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon. Recently, this young scholar was listed in the top 30 most remarkable individuals in the entire world that have autism, and who made an impact on society.
Joshua should thank his father for the incredible feat. When Joshua was only ten months old, his father named Knox Daniel has discovered the unique learning capacity of his son, while he has been sitting on the lap in front of the computer.
As the keyboard was the interest of the child, his father said:
I started telling [Joshua] what the letters on the keyboard were and I realized that he was remembering and could understand. So, if I told him to point to a letter, he could do it… Then we moved on to colors.
When Joshua turned three, he could read quite fluently with the use of phonics. He even learned the Japanese language and taught himself touch-typing on the computer although he still didn’t know how to write.
Since the age of four, I was on my dad’s laptop, and it had a body simulator where I would pull out organs.
During 2011, Daniel knew about one programme at the University of Oxford that was specific for children that are aged between 8 and 13. In order to challenge Joshua, Daniel wrote to the University of Oxford, hoping to get admission for Joshua although he was much younger than it was required.
Luckily, Joshua managed to get the opportunity to enroll, and he became the youngest of all the students ever accepted. He took two courses, in history and philosophy, and he passed the two of them with distinction.
This young boy was said to be more advanced than it was required for standard curriculum, and that’s why he has been home-schooled. As he was particularly interested in Egyptian affairs at the time of the studies, this young prodigy now works on a book for children, which is about the ancient and historic nation.
Despite all this, he also serves as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority campaign. As he was a kid with highly-functioning autism, he helps in highlighting the challenges that minority groups constantly face when they try to acquire services and support for autism.
This year in January, this amazing kid has been appointed as the Low Income Families Education or L.I.F.E. Support Ambassador for Boys Monitoring Advocacy Network in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, and also Kenya and UK.
He even raises funds meant for about three charities for autism kids, two of them in Africa, while the other one in the UK. He is also known for campaigns about saving our environment. Recently, Joshua wrote one poem called Saving Mother Earth during the TEDx International Conference held in Vienna.
The BMAN Low Income Families Education Support has been established in order to create some educational opportunities meant for kids coming from families that have low income, meaning that they can hope to contribute to the thriving society positively.
Moreover, Backford is going to hold live mentoring sessions with teenagers, while his father will also facilitate mentoring sessions with some parents at the so-called Father and Son Together or FAST initiative event which is occurring in Nigeria, this year in August.
Two years ago, Joshua won an award called The Positive Role Model Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards, which is an event that celebrates some fantastic achievements of the grass-root communities which tackle the problems in the society of nowadays.
Joshua was portrayed as one of the most intelligent and brilliant boys living in this world. He designs, and then delivers presentations in power-point on the Human Anatomy at Community events for raising funds, to audiences that range from about 200 to about 3,000 people.
For being the super scholar who has his brain above the brains of his schoolmates, and also adults, Joshua does not like children that have his age, but just adults and teenagers. His father said:
Parenting a child with high-functioning autism comes with its own challenge. Joshua doesn’t like loud noises and always walks on his tiptoes, and he always eats from the same plate, using the same cutlery, and drinks from the same cup.
However, he is really proud of the achievements of his son, and he even believes that his future is bright. Talking about his future, Joshua said:
I want to save the earth. I want to change the world and change peoples’ ideas to doing the right things about the earth.