As of 3/31/05, American Mensa had more than 1,300 members under the age of 18. American Mensaís youngest member is four years old. Please contact the liaison to the Gifted Children's Committee at the American Mensa National Office with questions regarding our programs, resources, or the testing and admissions process.
- Gifted Children FAQ
- Gifted Children Part One: Is My Child Bright?
- Gifted Children Part Two: Facts on Gifted
Testing and Admissions
The Mensa Admission Test is standardized for people age 14 and older. Children under the age of 14 may qualify for Mensa by submitting a qualifying score from any one of more than 200 tests that Mensa accepts as "prior evidence."
Most public and private schools give tests that Mensa accepts for admission such as the Otis-Lennon. Many parents opt to have their children tested by private psychologists, who may administer tests such as the Stanford Binet or the Wechsler intelligence tests. To find out if a particular test is accepted for Mensa membership, parents may email our Testing and Admissions Coordinator.
- Admissions Procedures for Children
- Intelligence: Not Enough to Succeed in School
Benefits for Children
Each local group plans its own activities, so they vary from group to group. Some groups hold activities specifically for children and others offer activities that are "child-appropriate" but open to all ages. There is no "junior" category of membership in Mensa, so children are welcome at most Mensa events - unless the activity is limited to adults for some material reason (i.e., an activity in a casino or nightclub). Activities might include game nights, science days, visits to a museum, or guest speakers.
Nationally, American Mensa has more than 150 special interest groups (SIGs). These range from astronomy to literature. There is also a SIG for teenagers. TeenSIG offers teenagers from across the country a network of like-minded friends with whom to connect.
Children are also welcome at national events such as the Annual Gathering and Mind Games®. The Annual Gathering is held in a different city each year and includes a special track of programming just for children.
Benefits for Parents
Raising a gifted child can often be a challenge. Membership in Mensa allows parents of gifted children to connect and share ideas. Many parents enjoy the opportunity that Mensa meetings and events offer to meet other parents of gifted children. Through the organizationís national gifted children program, parents can get information and referral to support groups, research about giftedness, and places to learn more about encouraging gifted children. Parents of Mensa members may also join the Brightkids email listserv. On this listerv, parents can debate the virtues of various forms of education, ask opinions about raising gifted children, and swap stories about their experiences with gifted children.
Resources for parents and teachers of gifted children
Do you want to learn more about raising a gifted child? Are you looking for materials for teaching gifted children? Our list of resources will direct you to Web sites that offer information, support, and educational materials for parents and teachers of gifted children.