The Sideshow

5-year-old Mensa member learned to read while using the toilet

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Gus Dorman puts together a puzzle picture of the Periodic Table of Elements (Rob Dorman/ABC News)

He’s one of the youngest members of Mensa, but a 5-year-old boy from Collinsville, Ill., earned his stripes in a pretty conventional manner: learning to read on the toilet.

“He started reading when he was 18 months old,” Rob Dorman told the Suburban Journal about his son, Gus, whom he found perusing a paper in the bathroom. “He was sitting on the porta-potty reading a newspaper. I noticed that he liked to look at maps so I put one up. In about a week's time, he had memorized everything on it. He's just always been very clever.”

In addition to reading at an exceptionally early age, Gus has also memorized every element on the periodic table, along with every country in the world and all 50 U.S. states.

“They teach me stuff I already know,” Gus told the Suburban Journal when asked about his kindergarten experience.

His parents agreed, saying Gus has been struggling at school because the coursework is simply too easy for him.

“He's so far advanced, he is bored and he gets into trouble,” Rob Dorman said. “He thinks he's a bad kid but he just needs to be challenged.”

Last month, the Dormans decided to get their son's IQ formally tested. His tests showed an IQ score of 147, meaning he qualified for membership in Mensa, which requires an IQ of 130 for individuals of any age to join.

Mensa is the world’s oldest and largest high-IQ society. It describes its goals as being “to identify and to foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity; to encourage research into the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence; and to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members"

Mensa has more than 100,000 members in more than 100 countries, according to the group’s website.

Interestingly, there have been a number of toddlers admitted to Mensa over the past few years. The Mensa website even provides a guide for parents wondering if “my child is bright.”

In May 2012, Mensa welcomed a 2-year-old Canadian girl into its ranks. Of course, even with her exceptional IQ, little Emmelyn Roettger was still prone to human needs. During an appearance on NBC’s “Today" show, Roettiger caught the show’s hosts off guard when she bluntly announced, “I need to poop.”

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