The Haase family.
SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ – They named him Rain. “It was raining real hard that week he was born,” Madelyn Hipolito- Haase said. “We thought of naming him thus because every time my husband and I did something together, like going on holidays or celebrating, it was raining,” she added.
Little did they know that even at months-old, their son would be “raining” them with many surprises that exhibited his “giftedness”. Rain Haase was, at two years old, admitted into Mensa last November 14. He was among the very few two-yearold children in the world to have been inducted into this oldest high-IQ (intelligence quotient) society.
Mensa, which was founded in 1946 in London, is open to people who score at the 98 percentile or higher on a standardized and supervised IQ or other appropriate intelligence tests. It has about 100,000 members in 100 countries in the world.
It used to accept children who are 10 years old and above only, in addition to adults, but decided in 2009 to accept younger children, even those at two. “At eight months old, my husband and I first noticed his interest and
abilities when he was able to understand phonetics. When presented with a letter, he would make the sound as opposed to saying the letter,” Madelyn said in her e-mail correspondence with this writer.
Madelyn, a native of Bakal III, Talavera, Nueva Ecija belonged to the first batch of graduates of the development
communication course at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) here in 2003. She went on to complete her information technology certificate in Queensland, Australia and later worked as a communications representative and human resource coordinator in Australia and Canada.
She is married to Alan Haase who was born in the United States but soon acquired Australian citizenship like her. They moved to Alberta, Canada where Alan works as field costs specialist for a power project.
Madelyn said she and her husband decided to have Rain tested for giftedness as they were trying to find a way to get him admitted into some type of school.“We thought that if he could be admitted in Mensa, we could use
their support and achieve this goal,” she said.
Rain, when tested for his intelligence, has 130 IQ. In narrating how they noticed the gift of intelligence Rain has, Madelyn said when her son wakes up in the morning, he would ask about numbers, letters, and colors. She also said that at the very young age he would be staring at the magnetic letter posted on the refrigerators for hours on end.
“He read his first word ‘cat’ at eight months old. When he was 16 months old he was already reading words and was obsessed with the letter ‘W’,” the mother said. The boy, continued the mother, was at one time passionate about the Arabic language but having not much material available for him, he turned to the Greek alphabet.
“He could count up to ten in 12 languages,” Madelyn said. She said they never dreamed of having anything other than a normal child. But having understood his capabilities, they were surprised that his memory is “amazing”.
She said she had no inkling that she would be having a gifted child as her whole pregnancy period was marked by her problem of pregnancy diabetes and other complications “making the whole experience tough”.
When Rain was three weeks old, they moved to Canada where definitely “there were new surroundings, new culture, new language, new weather and others which were all very stressful”. “I bought him regular toys, as other mothers would to their young sons or daughter, but he plays with them only for a few minutes and he then goes back asking for more (materials) to read,” she said.
She and her husband decided to watch and observe to fi nd out things that will motivate him to learn more on his own terms and sustain and feed it. “For example, when he showed interest in a toy piano, we bought it for him.
When he demonstrated he could learn to play by ear, we bought him a Yamaha 105 so that he could grow into it,” she said. Madelyn quit her job to cope with the needs of Rain who is a “full-on and is constantly requesting more mental stimulation”.
As he is not in school yet, she said she keeps on observing and motivating him further for his interest in learning. “We have no plans for his school yet.
There’s no school in Canada which likes to admit him as he is still ‘too young’,” Madelyn said. As to what Rain would like to be someday, his father said that when he asked him, the boy replied tersely: “The Boss”.