A Yorkshire hospital trauma team saved the life of a ‘gifted’ Bradford child after he was rushed to A&E following an unfortunate choking incident involving an abacus.
The seven year old, who cannot be named for fear of being exposed as stupid, was undertaking a Mensa test run by the organisation’s Gifted Children scheme when the accident happened. In an experiment aimed at assessing the time it took the child to divide a twelve figure number by a fraction an abacus bead became lodged in his throat leaving him with an unexpected score of 64%.
In initial intelligence tests he had been given a percentile score of 99% placing him in the top 1% of the population.
Mensa's Gifted Child consultant, Dr Noreen Davenport said, “The test was part of a programme designed to further identify and foster the child’s intelligence. Before the test he had been used to using a computer and a calculator, but when confronted with the Abacus things went slightly pear shaped.”
The child’s mother slammed Mensa for their seeming lack of responsibility. “The abacus was a challenge too far for little J******. After he was weaned I immediately undertook a regime of liquorice allsorts rewards for positive behaviour and problem solving. When he saw the abacus he started salivating and tore it to pieces in seconds and I don’t have to tell you what happened next.”
Dr Davenport defended Mensa’s approach. ”All of us working with gifted children want to present them with varied and interesting challenges. The abacus challenge is something we have used time and time and time again. So, that’s three times in all. Either this child is completely thick or we need to go back and do a little bit more research."
Anyone interested in applying to become a member of Mensa is now being encouraged to purchase an abacus from the Mensa online store at just £350 for something they can get in Early Years for just £4.99.