Joshua Beckford, at only six years of age, emerged the youngest person with autism to be accepted to Oxford University. He graduated from the prestigious Institution at the age of 14.
His father, Knox Daniel, was instrumental in spotting his son’s extraordinary abilities when he was only ten months old. While Joshua sat on his dad’s lap in front of the computer, he quickly noticed his son’s keen interest in the keyboard and realised that the boy could understand and remember the letters on the keyboard.
“I started telling Joshua what the letters on the keyboard were, and I realised that he was remembering and could understand. So, if I told him to point to a letter, he could do it. Then we moved on to colours,” Daniel said.
Joshua was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at an early age but didn’t let this stop him from aiming high. When he was two years old, he learned how to read using phonics. By age six, he was accepted at Oxford University OLP Online Learning Platform to do a master class in Philosophy and History Research Project on the Plague of 1665, becoming the youngest person in the world to receive a distinction in both subjects.
Awards And Recognition
Now 14 years old, Joshua has achieved some remarkable feats and has many awards and recognition to show for it.
He was named among the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with Autism who have impacted society. Joshua is also an Ambassador for Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network (BMAN) in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and the United Kingdom.
In 2017, Joshua Beckford won The Positive Role Model Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards, an event celebrating the excellent achievements of grass-root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society.
Knox Daniel revealed that nurturing a child like Joshua is not easy, stating that the boy doesn’t like noise, walks on his tip toes and prefers to associate with teenagers and adults, instead of his peers.
“He doesn’t like children his own age and only likes teenagers and adults…Joshua doesn’t like loud noises and always walks on his tiptoes,” he said.
Joshua Beckford is currently writing a children’s book on ancient Egypt. He plans to become a Neurosurgeon and an Astronaut.