Joshua Beckford now 13 from Tottenham was the youngest person to attend Oxford University, England. This amazing kid with High-functioning autism (HFA) got distinctions in all his courses.
Knox Daniel, Joshua’s father, first noticed how clever his son was when he was sitting on his lap while on the computer. He told him all the letters on the keyboard and he could understand and remember them all.
When Beckford was ten months old, he could read, write the alphabet. He could differentiate colors on a color chart. At the age of two, he mastered reading fluently using phonics. At three, he was speaking Japanese. At four he was on his dad’s laptop which had a body simulator where he would pull out organs. Not surprisingly that at six he became the youngest person in the world to study Philosophy and History, gaining a distinction in both subjects.
In 2011, his father Knox Daniel wrote to Oxford with hopes of getting him admission to the programme specifically aimed at children aged between eight and thirteen — therefore making Beckford the youngest to attend.
Beckford was listed in the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with Autism who have impacted society. His dream is to be a neurosurgeon. Beckford said he would like to change the world.
At 12 he was academically too advanced to attend third grade with his peers so was homeschooled.
When Beckford isn’t studying, he serves as the face of the National Autistic Societ. Black and Minority (BME) campaign
If he doesn’t have enough to do, he is also working on a children’s book about a historical and ancient nation as he has a keen interested in the affairs of Egypt.
Last month, Beckford was appointed Low Income Families Education (L.I.F.E) Support Ambassador for Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and the United Kingdom.
In 2017, Beckford won an event which celebrates the excellent achievements of grass-root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society named The Positive Role Model Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards.
Beckford has raised funds for three autism charities and is celebrated for his campaigns to save the environment. He even wrote a poem ‘Saving Mother Earth’ at the TEDx International Conference in Vienna. This talented young man also designs and delivers power-point presentations on Human Anatomy at Community fundraising events.
Joshua Beckford will hold a live mentoring session with teenagers and his father, Daniel, will facilitate a mentoring session with the parents at the Father And Son Together (FAST) event in Nigeria in August 2019.
There are three types of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Beckford is classed as High-functioning autism (HFA) which is a term related to people with autism who are considered to be cognitively “higher functioning” (with an IQ of 70 or greater) than other people with autism. They can speak, read, write and handle basic life skills. They can live independently. Parenting a child with high-functioning autism can be challenging.
According to Beckford father, Beckford doesn’t like children his own age. He only likes teenagers and adults. He also doesn’t like loud noises and walks on his tip toes. He eats from the same plate, cup, and cutlery.
Joshua is an excellent example that no obstacle is too great to keep you from achieving success.