Meet Piersce Ong, the 5-year-old Mensa genius who knows how to write codes to program LEDs on a circuit board, create mobile apps, solve mathematical equations, read and write in English and Mandarin and count in 10 different languages. But that is just the tip of the iceberg of how gifted he is. Not too long ago, we talked about Mensa, the Malaysian Mensa Society, where to test for exceptional IQ and giftedness in children. We revealed the signs that you could watch out for to see if your own child might be gifted and we also promised we were going to introduce some amazing gifted Mensa child geniuses to you, one by one. Piersce is the first in our series. He has an IQ of 150. Motherhood.com.my takes this opportunity to speak to his parents and discover what it takes, and what it means to raise a genius. Conversation With the Parents of Gifted Child Piersce Ong 1. Motherhood: Please introduce yourselves as the parents of Piersce. Is Piersce your only child?\u00a0 Family Portrait \u2500 Pamela, Lin Hu, Piersce and their new baby daughter. Piersce's Parents: I\u2019m Pamela Teng, a stay-at-home mum and my husband is Ong Lin Hu. Piersce is our eldest son who is 5 years old. We recently welcomed our baby girl into this world. She is now 4 months old. 2. Motherhood: When did you first realise there was something different about Piersce even as a baby? Was his motor development faster? Were his first words spoken earlier? What were his interests as a toddler? And what were your emotions when you saw these things?\u00a0 Learning Reading https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vPbgX6qc4wqY Piersce's Parents: We noticed he could move from one end to the other end of his baby cot and also turn 180 degrees while sleeping when he was 1 month old. He learnt his ABCs before 1.5 years of age and he learnt to read in 3 weeks at 2 years old. At that time we didn\u2019t know any of that was different as he was our first child and we didn\u2019t compare to anyone. His first words at 8 months were \u201cpeppa pig\u201d and \u201cdaddy\u201d. He wasn\u2019t talkative when he was younger but he is very talkative now. About his motor development, he had eczema from 0-3years old and we let him wear sleeves most of the time so that may have slowed down his motor development. Fixing Puzzles Meant for Older Children https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vImy_IjIpOjg Piersce's Parents: He loved fixing puzzles when he was young. Each time he fixed a difficult puzzle for his age, like the ABC giraffe puzzle or the world map puzzle when he was only 2, we would feel impressed. What made us decide to get him tested was when we taught him to count in 10 different languages in less than a month just for fun. We started around two weeks before Chinese New Year. It was then that family members were impressed. They commented about how quickly he could catch a concept or remember something within the first or second exposure and suggested we got him tested. At that time, my father-in-law shared with us that there was Mensa Malaysia so we got him tested and he was accepted into Mensa. He did the test when he was 3 years 11 months and was accepted into Mensa when he turned 4. 3. Motherhood: What else made you notice that Piersce was different? Reading in Chinese https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v5bTCn_nWT-E Piersce's Parents: We started taking notice when he was solving puzzles beyond his age. He showed great focus and attempted until he completed them at a very fast speed. We also noticed he picks up concepts fast and remembers what he hears and sees at first exposure. He can recite his ABCs from front to back and then back to front, started reading English books, recognised around 300 Chinese words, counted to 100 and counted backwards, do 2 times tables, recognise Ringgits and Euros and can name the continents on a globe map before 3 years old. He uses big vocabularies and talks like an adult sometimes. He understands deep concepts and never insists we buy him a toy if he knows that it is pricey. 4. Motherhood: You mentioned big vocabularies. Can you give examples of the big vocabularies that he uses? Piersce's Parents: Sarcastic, provoke, toxoplasma, \u201cgreen road signs are for highways and states\u201d, \u201cdon\u2019t jump after you eat otherwise you will get appendix\u201d, \u201cif you park too long in the basement you will get carbon monoxide poisoning\u201d. Doing Maths Equations https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vm4DJLWj-1Cg Apart from using an extended vocabulary, Piersce is also a whizz at Mathematics. Here is a closeup of a math equation he was simplifying. \u201cThat was the first time I taught him and he immediately understood the concept,\u201d says Pamela. 5. Motherhood: What special interests does your child demonstrate? Piersce's Parents: Piersce loves to play the piano so to keep him occupied, we let him take play by-ear lessons. He surprised us by playing the song 12 Days of Christmas on the piano by himself in December last year after hearing it a few times on Spotify. Piersce\u2019s creation of two mobile apps\u2500Space Invaders and Talking App. He is currently the youngest student in his coding school. Piersce's Parents: Apart from playing by ear, Piersce also learns coding once a week and he has learnt to create two mobile apps so far, and is currently still learning python. He is a happy kid, laughs often, he is full of cheekiness, loves climbing on our sofas and enjoys playing Monopoly and other board games with his dad. 6. Motherhood: So Piersce plays the piano by ear and is now learning coding. \u00a0How do you keep continually challenging him?\u00a0 This is Piersce\u2019s electronic coding device. He connects the LEDs to the circuit board then writes a code to program how the LEDs behave. He loves the challenges of solving programming problems. Piersce's Parents: As he loves playing the piano by ear, we would let him listen to a song and ask him to play it. He enjoys a sense of achievement when he is able to play a song he just heard.\u00a0This is more of a hobby he can enjoy whenever he likes. We don\u2019t have any expectations from him. Piersce Playing the Piano by Ear https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vJusNPKUyHrQ He recently became fascinated with the circuit board. He learnt how to wire up the circuit board with LEDs and using programming language to code the pattern of the lights. After class, we would challenge him to create patterns of our choice and patterns of his own creativity. He never fails to impress us with his creativity! 7. Motherhood: What's a day in the life of Piersce like? Piersce's Parents: Piersce invented his own card game that doubles as snap cards and a memory game. He did the cards all by himself. He Googled for his favourite PJ Masks characters, printed them, cut them out and stuck them on the cards. Piersce's Parents: He wakes up at 9 a.m., takes a shower, has his breakfast and begins typical preschool zoom class from 10-11 a.m.. After that, he completes his written or art and craft homework followed by rest time to do whatever he wants until lunch. After lunch we would either do 10 minutes of Chinese flash cards, 30 minutes of online Maths questions, art or on some days, we just let him play games on the iPad. He would also play with his baby sister if he hears her crying for attention. At around 3 to 4 p.m. he would have Coding, Chinese, or Play-by-ear enrichment classes over zoom followed by his own free time and shower before dinner. Piersce also helps out in the house and does the laundry. After dinner, he would usually help me with either his own or his baby sister\u2019s laundry such as putting clothes into the washing machine, taking them out to dry and folding them. Then a glass of milk, bedtime stories and off to bed at 9:30 p.m. During weekends, he attends Sunday school and plays charades over zoom with his friends and then attends art class over zoom. Before the lockdown on weekends, we would usually go to the park with his friends so they can play together, ride on their bikes or scooters. 8. Motherhood: As parents, how are you preparing yourselves to handle such a gift and what are your thoughts for Piersce for the future? Piersce has travelled quite a bit in his young life. (Left) Piersce reading the menu at the age of 3 years 3 months, at Club Med, Maldives, (Right) in Cinque Terre, Italy, in 2018. Pamela says when Piersce was 7 months old, they brought him to Shanghai, then at 11 months old to Bali, then at 1 year old to Australia, then at 1 year 5 months old to Club Med Phuket, at 1year 9 months old to Singapore Zoo, at 2years 7 months old to Cinque Terre (Italy) and Spain, at 3years old to Club Med Maldives, and at 4 years old to Bangkok, Taiwan and Xiamen. Piersce's Parents: As parents, we are proud of his gift and we feel so blessed to have him. Our focus is to teach him good values in life and build life-long good habits. Piersce is a kind natured and understanding boy to begin with and we can only further learn to understand him, encourage and support that kindness. We believe that since his IQ is already high, we will work on his other qualities such as EQ (Emotional Quotient), SQ (Situational Quotient) and life skills while at the same time still grow his academics at a relaxed pace so that he learns whenever he wants. Swimming with mummy and daddy and just having fun. We believe learning should be fun and never forced nor done to compare with others. Ever since young, we have taught him to be a better version of himself. At home, most of his time is spent with me. Usually I follow his lead on what he wants to learn and also make him see the importance of helping with house chores and being independent. As for the schooling part, we let him go to school to make friends and have fun growing up. Though he is far ahead of what they teach in school, we still love his school due to the encouragement of his teachers and friends. We have even made friends with some of their parents, too, and have our own meet-ups. After school we will let him go for enrichment classes so that he will not be bored and can continue to learn at his own speed. With typical school subjects; for English, I do not teach him from the books but through conversation. Piersce\u2019s favourite board game played with mummy and daddy\u2500Monopoly. For Chinese, I could not speak nor read before June last year but after learning with Piersce, we now can speak basic Chinese as well as recognise around 800 Chinese characters and that was done in three months after which I had pregnancy symptoms and our second baby came along. So we didn\u2019t learn much after that. For Maths, we learn one lesson a week from an online platform and so far he has understood all concepts taught to him at first attempt. As for Malay and Science, he learns these subjects from school. He is 5 years old and is currently doing 8-year-old Maths and Chinese. Although he has an extraordinary learning capacity, Piersce is just a happy child at heart. For now, we are letting him try out various hobbies in the hope that within the next few years he would be able to determine what he wants to focus on. We also realise that as he grows, his learning would become more and more complex and we do hope that we would be able to find him a mentor to guide him in his chosen area of specialty in the near future. *All Images & Videos Courtesy of Piersce Ong\u2019s Parents More on genius kids coming up in the next segment on Child Geniuses. Watch this space on Motherhood Story.