Daniel wanted to challenge his son, so he wrote to the University, requesting them to make an exception for his son. To his good fortune, Joshua was given the chance to try to earn a seat at the University.
Do you remember what you were doing when you were six-years-old? You were probably trying to finish your homework and go out to the park and play. I mean, most kids at the age of six don't really like going to school and they'd do almost anything to just get away with it. Not Joshua Beckford. At the age of six, he was packing his bags to attend Oxford University. The prodigy, who is from Tottenham has high-functioning autism and is the youngest person to have ever attended Oxford University. He managed to score a distinction in all his course subjects, and he was awarded a certificate of excellence.
Now, Joshua is 13-years-old, and he dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon one day. The genius was recently listed in the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with Autism who have impacted society. It all began when Joshua's dad Knox Daniel, discovered his son’s unique learning capability while he was sitting on his lap in front of the computer when he was just 10 months old.
"I started telling [Joshua] what the letters on the keyboard were and I realized that he was remembering and could understand,” said Daniel, according to Hearty Soul. "So, if I told him to point to a letter, he could do it… Then we moved on to colors." By the time Joshua turned three, he could read fluently using phonics, learned to speak Japanese, and he taught himself to touch-type on a computer before he even knew how to write.
"Since the age of four, I was on my dad’s laptop and it had a body simulator where I would pull out organs,” said Joshua. “I want to save the earth. I want to change the world and change peoples’ ideas to doing the right things about the earth." It was in 2011 that his father became aware of a programme at Oxford University that was specifically aimed at children between the age of eight and thirteen.
Daniel wanted to challenge his son, so he wrote to the University, requesting them to make an exception for his son. To his good fortune, Joshua was given the chance to try to earn a seat at the University. This made him the YOUNGEST ever boy to attend the university, at six-years-old. Joshua ended up taking a course in philosophy and passed with flying colors. But, it's quite hard being a brilliant 12-year-old with autism.
According to his dad, Joshua “doesn’t like children his own age and only likes teenagers and adults." In comparison to the usual school curriculum, Joshua is far advanced, so he is homeschooled. Even though his family is INCREDIBLY proud of him, there are days that are a challenge to them. There are days where "he asks so many questions… The other day he asked me 'Is infinity an odd or an even number?' and obviously, I had no idea."
There are also a few other problems they face, but nothing they can't overcome as a family. Says Daniel, “[Joshua] doesn’t like loud noises and always walks on his tip toes and he always eats from the same plate, using the same cutlery, and drinks from the same cup." Joshua is still a child, but he's got immense potential, and concentrating on that might actually bring about a lot of good outcomes.
Joshua apparently has a keen interest in the affairs and happenings in Egypt throughout his studies. He is currently working on a children’s book about the historic and ancient nation. Joshua also serves as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority campaign. He helps in highlighting the challenges that are faced by minority groups especially when it comes to acquiring autism support and services.
Earlier this year, the 13-year-old was appointed as the 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. Joshua Beckford also raises funds for charities (two in Africa and one in the UK) and is celebrated for his campaigns to save the environment. Recently, he wrote the poem 'Saving Mother Earth' at the TEDx International Conference in Vienna. Other than just raising funds and being an ambassador, he also designs and delivers power-point presentations on Human Anatomy at Community fund-raising events to audiences ranging from 200 to 3,000 people.