More than three years ago at a hospital in Portland, Oregon, Lawson Lundberg was born prematurely. After spending several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, doctors expected the boy to have significant delays in cognitive development.
Despite not hearing more than two words during the first two years of his life, Lawson’s mother, Sara, witnessed a sudden change.
“He seemed leaps-and-bounds ahead, learning shapes without us having to teach him, learning words we don’t even remember saying around him.”
“Earlier this year, during the ice storm, we were without power for a few days and during that time he learned the names of countries and their capitals. It was then that we figured out he had somehow learned phonics on his own, which blew us away.”
Now, at 3-years-old, Lawson knows every flag, country, and capitol in the world. While other kids were learning to walk, Lawson was naming all 50 states and 195 countries! His vocabulary is ever-growing and his interest in learning is unique—so much so, that his parents had his IQ tested professionally.
The tyke scored 151. For reference, Albert Einstein’s IQ was estimated at between 160 and 180, but much later in life.
Lawson’s parents signed up their son to join the national intelligence organization Mensa, ranking him among the group’s youngest members. An IQ of 130 is required to join, and at 3 years old Lawson is far ahead of that pace and not done yet.
“About 21% of the IQ test, he didn’t get any of the questions wrong, so they ran out of questions to ask him,” Sara told GNN. “Normally once you get a few wrong they move on, but they weren’t able to move on until they ran out, which is not normal by any means.”
They recommended he get tested again in a few years to get a more accurate look at his IQ because the test for older kids has an unlimited number of questions.
It is a remarkable journey for any child, but especially a premature baby born with a higher risk for cognitive delays and disabilities.
“He’s into currency now and is asking questions like, ‘Where’s my money?’” Sara said with a laugh.
The gifted Lawson is also channeling his creative side to ‘give back’ to the community.
“We have talked about the importance of charity,” said Sara. “March of Dimes helped us out a lot when Lawson and his twin sister were in the NICU.”
Now, Lawson has picked up a paintbrush and ‘made it his mission’ to earn money for the charity. He’s raised $525 from family friends, but now they’re offering to send the boy’s paintings—which consist of the exact shapes of states or countries—to strangers who donate on the family’s donation page at March of Dimes.
Email Sara if you donate and would like a painting shipped as a personal thanks from Lawson: [email protected]