Joshua Beckford is not only an exceptional black autistic kid but a history maker, emerging as Oxford University’s youngest admitted student. In 2011, Beckford was aged 6 when he gained acceptance into the Oxford University’s Special program for kids aged 8 to 13. His father, Daniel, discovered the Oxford online program for gifted kids and applied just to help groom Beckford’s mind. Though, two years younger than the entrance age, Beckford was still accepted into the program. He studied Philosophy and History at Oxford University, England and eventually graduated with distinction in all courses.
Joshua Beckford’s brilliant performance earned him the reference, “smartest kid in the world” from the City University professor. Courses he thrives at include Foreign Languages, Mathematics, History, Philosophy, Science and IT.
Joshua Beckford is a black child, from Tottenham, UK with high-functioning autism, discovered at a tender age of 10 months. He, however, displayed signs of being a genius quite early in life. His father, Daniel Knox said that from as small as ten months old, Beckford could already identify letters. He carried Beckford on his lap, and he was able to identify and memorize notes from a laptop keyboard. Daniel said, “I started telling him what the letters on the keyboard were, and I realized that he was remembering and could understand.” Also, he said, Beckford was able to type on a keyboard long before he started writing.
The report also has it that, at the age of two to three years, Beckford was already able to read fluently in English and speak Japanese. Daniel says he noticed his son’s advanced mind and unwillingness to play with his age mates. Beckford prefers playing with teenagers and adults and studying the history of ancient Egypt. These were some of the things that prompted the father to homeschool Beckford. He realized that the regular school curriculum would not work for Beckford; therefore, Daniel; registered him at Oxford University.
When Beckford turned four, he already knew how to play the organ using a body simulator on the dad’s laptop. He also could work with PowerPoint presentations. Beckford delivers talks on human anatomy to hundreds to thousands of people during fundraising dinners.
Daniel Knox is a classic example of a visionary, loving, and caring black parent who stood by to help his child attain success early. He confesses that bringing up Beckford or any child with high-functioning autism is an arduous task. According to Daniel, “Beckford doesn’t like loud noises and always walks on his tiptoes, and he always eats from the same plate, using the same cutlery, and drinks from the same cup.” Daniel believes so much in Beckford’s future. Joshua Beckford however, is currently putting his passion for history to work, writing a children’s book on ancient Egypt.
Beckford wrote and recited his poem, “Saving Mother Earth” at the TEDx International Conference held in Vienna. The conference focused on saving the environment. He, however, hopes to become a neurosurgeon and an astronaut later in life. Incredible, little Beckford; who is 14, likes practicing medical procedures like gall bladder and appendectomy removal on his own.
Joshua Beckford has received several recognitions, awards and supports humanitarian courses worldwide. Beckford is the face of the National Autistic Society Black and Minority ambassador. He is also the African and United Kingdom Ambassador for the Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network campaign on Low-Income Families Education (LIFE) support. Beckford also received the Positive Role Model Award during the National Diversity Award, 2017, where he earned recognition for being among the top 30 remarkable people with in the world. Beckford in the company of Daniel Knox was in Nigeria in August 2019 for the Father And Son Together (FAST), mentoring event. They would also be fundraising for schools in Kaduna, Nigeria.
Joshua Beckford’s life and story is a pointer to the fact that black kids can do great things with the right amount of care and mentoring.
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