Boy With Autism, The Youngest Ever To Attend Oxford University At Age 6, Is Now Empowering Other Kids

Boy With Autism, The Youngest Ever To Attend Oxford University At Age 6, Is Now Empowering Other Kids

In 2017, the young scholar Joshua Beckford was recognized as one of the top 30 remarkable people in the world with autism.

Even as divided as the human race may be, its people still look for inspiration from people - no matter how far apart. Perhaps that is what world history has also taught us. Joshua Beckford's name is already in the list of world's remarkable people, showing promise of much more to come. 

Joshua has been living with high-functioning autism, the child prodigy from Tottenham was, at the age of six, the youngest person ever to attend the Oxford University - the stuff for legends. Now at 13, he dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon, according to


He was recently listed in the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with Autism who have impacted society.

While it is true that such gifted minds need the right exposure at the right time, and Joshua's father, Knox Daniel tried to ensure that he was there for Joshua and his needs. When Joshua was just 10 months old, Daniel discovered that his son could already memorize letters on a keyboard. 


With the keyboard being the child’s interest, Daniel said: “I started telling [Joshua] what the letters on the keyboard were and I realized 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 colors,” Daniel added.


At the age of three, Beckford could read fluently using phonics. He learned to speak Japanese and even taught himself to touch-type on a computer before he could learn to write. 

“Since the age of four, I was on my dad’s laptop and it had a body simulator where I would pull out organs,” said Beckford. 


He has been molded so well that he could already deliver PowerPoint presentations tackling human anatomy to audiences of 200 to 3,000 people at community fundraising events.


In 2011, his father was aware of a programme at Oxford University that was specific to children between the age of eight and thirteen. To challenge his son, he wrote to Oxford with the hopes of getting admission for his child even though he was younger than the age prescribed for the programme.

Fortunately, Beckford was given the chance to enroll, becoming the youngest student ever accepted. He took a course in philosophy and history and passed both with distinction. 


Beckford was too advanced for a standard curriculum; hence he was home-schooled, according to Spectacular Magazine.

Having a keen interest in the affairs of Egypt throughout his studies, the young genius is working on a children’s book about the historic and ancient nation. 


Aside from his academic prowess, Beckford serves as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority campaign. Being one with high-functioning autism, the young child helps to highlight the challenges minority groups face in their attempt to acquire autism support and services. 

Earlier this year, Joshua was appointed Low Income Families Education (L.I.F.E) Support Ambassador for Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and the United Kingdom. 


In 2017, Beckford won The Positive Role Model Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards, an event which celebrates the excellent achievements of grass-root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society.


The young boy also raises funds for three autism charities (two in Africa and one in the U.K.) and is celebrated for his campaigns to save the environment. He recently wrote the poem Saving Mother Earth at the TEDx International Conference in Vienna. 

“I want to save the earth. I want to change the world and change peoples’ ideas to doing the right things about earth,” Joshua told HowAfrica

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