Barnet boy, 12, misses out on spot in final of Child Genius on Channel 4

Child genius, 12, misses out on spot in final of TV competition

Child genius, 12, misses out on spot in final of TV competition

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A child genius feels “humbled and lucky” to have had the chance to enter a television competition alongside other masterminds after he failed to reach the finals last night.

Cuneyd Kahraman, of Cat Hill, East Barnet, was one of 20 handpicked out of 2,000 others to compete in Channel 4’s Child Genius documentary.

The 12-year-old was in his element as he answered questions about maths, logic and verbal reasoning to a panel of judges.

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But he narrowly missed out on the chance to make it to the finals after mixing up the letters in the word ‘cochineal’ during the spelling round.

He said: “I wasn’t really nervous. It was cool to test my brain and find out just what I’m capable of.

“I really enjoyed the challenges they set and taking part gave me a lot of confidence. I know I'm lucky and I guess I feel humbled to have made it this far.

“I was so annoyed when I got cochineal wrong because some of my opponents got harder words which I could have spelt no problem.”

Parents Fatih and Ilknur Karhaman, and brother, Tarik, ten, were in the audience to provide moral support during the competition.

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While the show was on air last night, many people tweeted words of support for Cuneyd.

Mrs Kahraman said: “I was really nervous, because a lot of parents have had a lot of stick for letting their children do the show, so I was really relieved when I saw people had been saying nice things.”

Cuneyd, who goes to the North London Grammar School in Hendon, (formerly the Wisdom School, Haringey), now has dreams of becoming a physicist or a biological artificial intelligence scientist.

When he was six, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome , a form of autism, after months of tests.

His parents decided against telling their young son about his condition – but he diagnosed himself at the age of ten anyway.

Having never spoken to his friends about the challenges he has faced, he decided to speak up about his autism during the show for the first time.

Mrs Kahraman said: “I was so proud of him for doing that. He said if he can speak up about autism in front of thousands of others in a TV studio, he can speak to his friends about it too.”

Comments (1)

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12:07am Tue 5 Aug 14

TheKLF99 says...

Brilliant show, thought it was good last night, however did think that the knockout round was a bit unfair on people with Asperger's seeing as it was mainly done on spelling which is where people with Asperger's are more likely to fall down (however as it does seem to be monitored by "MENSA" it wouldn't surprise me - I took the MENSA test years ago and noted that they had a specific test for Dyslexia, but when asked if they had one specific for Asperger's they told me that it shouldn't make any difference - however they seemed to fail to see that someone with Asperger's might look too deeply into some questions and come out with what could be considered the "correct answer" to someone who reads the question literally when in actual fact it could be decided that it is wrong - one good example last night was the one of the questions where they asked the name of computer networking via radio frequencies - the girl passed on this, but I thought to myself there could actually be a number of answers to that - 3G, 4G use "radio waves" to create a computer network, so does microwave link (I was at a scout camp the other week in Cumbria that used a microwave link to create a computer network), and of course possibly the answer they were looking for - Wi-Fi is also a network created by radio waves (and I suppose if you really wanted to you "could" even create a network via blutooth!), so that question could have had multiple answers to it.

Well done though to Cuneyd, it was good to see Asperger's getting some airing on the TV, and it was even better to see him do a presentation to his class to explain what Asperger's is. I have Asperger's too and know how hard it can be to give presentations. I was only diagnosed with Asperger's at 26 so I was quite late, I have to give lived experience presentations on Asperger's for Shropshire Autonomy and I know how nerving that can be. Well done Cuneyd and hope you make your dreams of becoming a scientist, maybe end up working at CERN or something.
Brilliant show, thought it was good last night, however did think that the knockout round was a bit unfair on people with Asperger's seeing as it was mainly done on spelling which is where people with Asperger's are more likely to fall down (however as it does seem to be monitored by "MENSA" it wouldn't surprise me - I took the MENSA test years ago and noted that they had a specific test for Dyslexia, but when asked if they had one specific for Asperger's they told me that it shouldn't make any difference - however they seemed to fail to see that someone with Asperger's might look too deeply into some questions and come out with what could be considered the "correct answer" to someone who reads the question literally when in actual fact it could be decided that it is wrong - one good example last night was the one of the questions where they asked the name of computer networking via radio frequencies - the girl passed on this, but I thought to myself there could actually be a number of answers to that - 3G, 4G use "radio waves" to create a computer network, so does microwave link (I was at a scout camp the other week in Cumbria that used a microwave link to create a computer network), and of course possibly the answer they were looking for - Wi-Fi is also a network created by radio waves (and I suppose if you really wanted to you "could" even create a network via blutooth!), so that question could have had multiple answers to it. Well done though to Cuneyd, it was good to see Asperger's getting some airing on the TV, and it was even better to see him do a presentation to his class to explain what Asperger's is. I have Asperger's too and know how hard it can be to give presentations. I was only diagnosed with Asperger's at 26 so I was quite late, I have to give lived experience presentations on Asperger's for Shropshire Autonomy and I know how nerving that can be. Well done Cuneyd and hope you make your dreams of becoming a scientist, maybe end up working at CERN or something. TheKLF99
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