Mother admits to falsifying claims that son is a genius
DENVER — A mother whose son scored 298 on an IQ test at age 6 now admits she rigged the results and falsified other records that helped him gain renown as a boy genius.
Elizabeth Chapman hospitalized her son Justin in November after what she feared was a suicide attempt. Ms. Chapman confessed to faking the results after the Rocky Mountain News began investigating her claims about the intelligence tests. She said she decided to tell the truth because her lies were hurting the boy, who is now 8.
Chapman, who moved to Colorado with Justin from New York last summer, told the News she faked documents because they "opened a lot of doors for Justin." She made it appear that Justin had scored a perfect 800 on the math section of the SAT. She also said he memorized answers for the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, on which he scored 298-plus at age 6, and the score on a genius test he took at age 3 was fake.
Despite the deception, Chapman says her son is highly gifted. He did the course work to earn a degree from an online high school when he was 5, and started taking classes at the University of Rochester at age 6.
After she took Justin to the hospital, Broomfield County, Colo., removed the boy from her care and charged her with neglect. A trial was set for March 18.