There's a new genius on the scene. A 17-month old girl has figured out how to read. Her parents taught her sign language right from the get-go, as is a common trend nowadays. Parents teach their kids to communicate in sign language because their verbal skills aren't progressed enough to express their needs, which can lead to frustration. So this little girl was taught sign language, and the only tv she watched was a sign language show. They never focused on teaching her letters (she's not even 2!), and don't know quite how she picked it up. She can even read cursive, which they didn't realize until they were at the Today Show interview!
While this is an amazing feat for a 2-year old (I remember teaching part-time at a Montessori school where 5 year olds were still having trouble with reading and letters), I do hope that it doesn't impact her childhood too much. Let's just hope that she stays grounded and is given a real childhood (go out and play!) rather than having her parents stuff her nose in the books all the time or send her to college when she's 10 (while great for the intellectual part of her, it is nevertheless socially isolating in her formative years). Still, the fact that she just "picked up" reading, just up and reading a cereal box one day? Amazing.