A toddler boy has blown his parents away with his 'photogenic memory' when he can name every flag and has even started learning Russian.
Little Harry Pile's ability and passion for learning has shocked mum, Shellie, and dad, Steve, by being able to identify a whole host of flags by image – a skill commonly mastered by seven-year-olds.
Steve, a financial adviser, told Liverpool Echo : “He just retains everything. He is the one that is grabbing your finger and asking what things are – it is like he is teaching himself."
They were keen to stress they do not push Harry and he is the one asking to play the difficult memory games.
Looking back to early signs of Harry’s intelligence, full-time mum Shellie, 29, said: “When he was first born, we noticed that he was really alert. His eyes were so big and open, we would joke that he always looked shocked.
“And at about 11 months he really took a shine to education. By 18 months he could spell and read his own name and he knew all his complex shapes, telling the difference between a rhombus and a pentagon.
“He can count in different languages and once he started to talk, it just kind of snowballed.”
This was when Shellie had Harry’s two-year check-up with a health visitor that she brought up Harry’s special ability to retain information.
An autistic screening was suggested, but Shellie said: “He was still playing with his PAW Patrol toys and developing normally, I thought maybe he was overexposed [to certain educational subjects], but when he started retaining all the flags, I started looking for answers.”
Shellie and Steve, 41, searched for help online on ways to help Harry progress and what the best possible path for him would be when they found the National Association for Gifted Children.
But the association can’t help until Harry is three when he can take their tailored IQ test.
Shellie said: “The flags start when I found out that Steve had memorised them when he was little. So, I thought it would be a fun thing for me to do with Harry.
“I never thought he would be able to do it so quickly and at 24 months he knew them all."
But the learning is very much led by little Harry and his inquisitive nature, Shellie said: “Then he wanted to know what all the stars were on the American flag were, so we have started that [learning the US states and their flags].
“He is constantly asking questions, he seems to have a photographic memory.
“Even down to the emotional education, he is just such a caring and loving little boy.”
Shellie believes it is the shapes that Harry recognises most and he has already branched out into identifying the Russian alphabet.
She is hoping the IQ test will help get Harry in the right support when he starts education.
She added: "There could be other kids out there who can do very similar things and their parents don’t know what to do, we just want that awareness that children need support even if they are gifted.
"He still pushed his trains under the couch, he still does everything a normal child does.
"Children learn through play and he is a bundle of joy."
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