KARACHI: Walking with your four-year-old son to a nearby market and not needing to worry about addresses, street numbers, calculations and anything that has a link with numbers or digits, is a sign of being blessed, says Muniza Rizwan.
Muniza’s son is a genius, particularly in mathematics and geography. The mother of two never thought her eight-year-old son, Saadus Salam Khan, could help her calculate the prices and bills of vegetables, fruits and other household items since he was only four years old.
Khan studies in class three in an English-medium school on a full scholarship and is able to solve class 10 math.
“I love numbers,” says Saad, toying with a globe that his father gifted him on his insistence. “It is like I was born to be a scientist and play with digits and maps.”
His father, Rizwanus Salam Khan, remembers that he was in senior montessori when he started learning tables – not of two or three, but those in the hundreds.
The road so far
Saad was speech-impaired and was not able to speak a single word until he was three, when his parents took him for speech therapy. After the treatment, nothing seems to be stopping him from doing what he wants.
Khan’s parents – his father an engineer and mother a housewife – took interest in the child’s future and his talent with numbers and maps. They made him take several tests to get to know his intelligence quotient (IQ) level. “Saad has 98 percentile IQ when we got it tested by the Institute of Clinical Psychology, Karachi University,” says his father proudly while showing the report.
According to the report, Saad performed significantly higher on the ‘free form distractibility index’, achieving an IQ of 131. This placed him at the 98th percentile rank. He secured an IQ of 107 in the ‘verbal comprehensive level’, which indicates his superior concentration level.
Having a passion for math, he has solved math books of class 10 with the help of a tutor appointed by his parents. “He was keen to learn math and solve all the books of senior grades,” says his mother while talking about why she felt the need to hire a tutor for him.
“He used to show interest in maps, too, and now he can mark countries and many cities in an unmarked map,” says his father, explaining why he brings unmarked maps for Saad.
The prodigy also has an interest in playing football and cricket with his two best friends in the street near his building in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. “I spend two hours downstairs playing with my two friends daily,” says Saad excitedly, who lives on the fifth floor of the second phase of the Billy’s Paradise Apartments.
What lies ahead?
Despite having an intelligent child, Saad’s parents are worried about his future. They are concerned about what will happen when he will solve all the books. “What is his future as, in Pakistan, we do not have proper guidance for students like Saad?” his father shares his concern.
So far, Saad has solved all topics of class 10 math and has started working on class 11 books. He has solved everything from logarithms to trigonometry and factorisations to matrices.
Meanwhile, his mathematics tutor, Haider Zaidi, says Saad is brilliant and ahead of his age. “I am teaching him since the last three years and he does not need any help in mathematics of his class,” says Zaidi, adding that Saad will be complete solving class 11 math by the end of this month.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2016.