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Sunday, 02 March, 2008

A Little Reader

In Texas: Lubbock Infant Can Read at 17 Months Old.

A month ago, when I got an e-mail from a Lubbock mom who told me her 16-month-old baby could read, I didn't really take it seriously - especially when she told me it was her first baby. But after a few weeks and a few more e-mails, I decided to meet her and see for myself.

Elizabeth Barrett is now 17 months old. She looks and acts like most babies her age, but her mom Katy says, "She can read sentences. She can read more words than we can count."

The reporter wrote down some words and, sure enough, the kid can read.

So we played "stump the baby". I picked up a magazine, opened it somewhere in the middle and randomly pointed to a picture of a plate and the three words underneath it. "What does this say?" I asked her. Elizabeth said, "How to eat." And she was right.

So we kept at it. "What's this word?" "Family", she said. "Can you read this one?" "Good", she answered. "Ok, what's this?" "Night", she said. Every time, she was right.

It was obvious, Elizabeth talks like she's 1, but she reads like she's 7. So what does her doctor think? Dr. Steve Stripling, Elizabeth's pediatrician, says at 14 months he saw her sight read the word avocado.