José Rodriguez, 10, has already completed Grade 11 calculus. The Esquimalt boy was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at three years old. (Facebook/Lil Mathematician)

Esquimalt’s 10-year-old math prodigy has message of hope for kids on autism spectrum

José Rodriguez taking Grade 12 calculus, hopes to become NASA scientist

A 10-year-old Esquimalt boy is shooting for the moon, literally.

José Rodriguez might look like any other 10-year-old, but he has nearly completed his Grade 11 courses and is already diving into Grade 12 calculus. He’ll likely get his high school diploma in the next year or two.

Rodriguez is unconventionally brilliant, with a foolproof photographic memory and a keen interest in astronomy, mathematics and languages, of which he can speak four: English, Spanish, French and Russian.

READ ALSO: Autism support dog helps Langford boy hold his head high

But even though his academic abilities are light years beyond the capabilities of many children (and adults) his mother Cynthia Rodriguez says there was a time when he was notably behind.

Ten-year-old José Rogriguez prepares to give a talk at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory at Victoria Aug 24. (Facebook/Lil Mathematician)

When her son was three, he wouldn’t talk and had difficulties communicating. Doctors eventually told his parents that José was on the autism spectrum.

“We didn’t know how he was going to be,” Cynthia said.

But soon José was doing a lot more than talking. He developed a fascination with letters and words, watching YouTube to feed his interests. YouTube’s suggested videos section popped up with content on the Russian alphabet, and before long José was fluent.

READ ALSO: B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

But it isn’t just words that José memorizes and catalogs. His brain can calculate math equations at a seemingly impossible speed, releasing answers to math questions that a seasoned mathematician would need a calculator for. Whether it’s text books, medical books, maps or equations, José’s mother says all the information that goes into his brain stays there.

Now he has his own YouTube channel called Making Math Easy, where José discusses things like indefinite and definite integrals, functions and conic sections, ionic compounds, cell division and cloning. With the ease and enthusiasm of a career scientist, José explains complex concepts with an infectious fervor.

His current dream? To work as a scientist with NASA – and he’s well on his way. José has given talks at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and regularly attends lectures and open nights put on by UVic’s astronomy program.

But his mother shares his story with hope for other children on the autism spectrum. While the diagnosis left her with a lot of questions, she said embracing her son for who he is has made a world of difference.

“There is always hope with a diagnosis, you cannot feel discouraged,” she said. “Believe in him. … If I give up on him… then he wouldn’t be as far as he is right now.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Falling oak tree causes minor damage to Langford home

Tree damages garden and gutters of home on Lindsay Place

Residents to start moving into first of 100 new affordable homes in Langford

Construction underway on second phase of affordable Indigenous housing project in Langford

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Most Read