The Remarkable Cambridge Professor Who Learned to Speak at Age 11 and Read at Age 18

Great Big Story visited with Jason Arday who, despite not speaking until the age of 11 or reading/writing until the age of 18, became the youngest Black professor at Cambridge University.

Meet Jason Arday, Cambridge University’s youngest-ever Black professor who defied all odds in pursuit of his academic ambitions.

Arday was diagnosed with autism and global developmental delay, the combination which stunted his formative growth and made him nonverbal in his early years. Despite his communication challenges, Arday persevered, and with the help of some very dedicated mentors, he achieved his goals. These people include Arday’s high school teacher Chris Trace and his college tutor Sandro Sandri.

All of these lessons go back to being, 14, 15, 16, being taught these things by Mr. Trace, and then it kind of being taken to another level with Sandro and working on the fact that my only two strengths are that I’ve got a lot of will, determination, and I’m good with people.

Professor Learned to Read at 18