The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gifted links: resources for genius, prodigy and the gifted

Gifted people everywhere need support. The parents of gifted children, usually gifted adults, need to know where to turn for advice on every issue that faces their gifted children. Raising a gifted child is not like raising an ordinary child: there are special needs, which often go unrecognized. I am trying to help the gifted community by creating understanding of the issues that face gifted children, and by describing my scientific child prodigy son and his gifted brothers, giving people an understanding of what such children can be like.

I shall begin here, a list of sites that write of gifted children, geniuses, prodigy and their needs. This list of gifted links will expand as and when I have time to judge the sites in question before adding them.

The first link I would like to introduce is the Prufrock Press, an organization dedicated to gifted children, providing advice and educational resources:

The other link that should prove of use is:

Hoagies Gifted is a general site dedicated to all things gifted, including material for highly gifted, exceptionally gifted and profoundly gifted. They also have advice for the twice exceptional.

For those who would like to read of my scientific child prodigy son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, and his gifted brothers, please go to:

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 4:53 PM 


Blogger jen said...

I have been reading your blog with much interest for a while now. It is nice to read conversation about giftedness from someone who doesn't shy away from it.(We don't have a choice do we?) So often in my experience when trying to explain to others why we homeschool our gifted ten year old son we are made to feel like we are bragging. Although not profoundly gifted my sons talents have accelerated him beyond our public schools ability to educate him.(U.S.A.) We decided to homeschool our son when we received very little support from the school and his boredom was drowning his joy of learning. Homeschooling has been the best decision ever. We use a combination of homemade curriculum, distance learning programs (Stanford University) and free courses offered on line by Universities. The resources available are immense. Beyond the normal school curriculum he is studying latin, french, physics and advanced mathematics. None of which would have been available at school even if he was permitted to accelerate his grade level by a year. For socialization our son is involved in sports and other town activities. We don't worry about him being with "Peers" for education. As you know from your own experience few of his "peers" really understand where he is coming from. It is very hard not to worry. "Are we doing the right thing,etc." We encounter very few people in the same situation.
I know I'm doing the right thing when he hugs me and says thanks for homeschooling me Mom.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thanks for your comment Jen.

I write of giftedness from my personal experience of it: a lifetime of looking at the world with a particular set of eyes. I don't think the gifted, in general, receive the support that they need to achieve at the rate that they could, anywhere in the world. In many societies they are actively ill-treated by the general populace: it is both a sad and an ugly phenomenon. The foundation of such behaviour is both jealousy of, and an inability to understand, the gifted.

People think you are "bragging" about your son when you tell the truth, because your son's abilities exceed their own children's - and many of them would resent that, whether or not they express it directly.

Your solution to the problem of boredom, which is faced by many gifted children, is admirable - and I am glad that it is working so well for you.

We have not yet begun homeschooling: it is something generally "Not done" in Singapore - but I feel that it would better meet Ainan Celeste Cawley's needs than the regular school regime. That regime is very much geared to the average child and makes no allowance for children who might exceed the norms to any significant degree.

Thanks for pointing the way to a non-conventional source of educational material: it could be of help to many.

I note the unusual presence of Latin in your son's curriculum. I studied Latin, many years ago - which was uncommon even then - but I have since found that it is very useful in understanding the roots of English and the languages of Europe. Am I right in thinking that few Americans study it?

Best of luck with raising your gifted son, Jen...and feel free to write again when you have a thought.

I think you are doing the right thing, too. As for us: there are many changes to make before homeschooling begins...

Kind regards

6:29 AM  
Blogger Punn Siwabutr said...

It was interesting to read Jen’s comments. My eight years-old boy, Punn, is attending a British International School in Thailand. He has learned to adapt to school life, but I do have to help him find appropriate peers who will accept him for who he is. Fortunately, now he has a ‘best friend’ so life is easier at school.

We have a big library at home, and he picked up some of the huge volumes from the school book fair. Once he found the particular huge reference book he wanted, nothing else interested him. Fortunately, my husband alternates with me to cater to his thirst for knowledge and his incessant questions.

I have found him home science tutors who I hope will act as mentors to him. He looks forward to these outside of school sessions. He did as Jen said ‘gave me a sweet hug’ when I’ve done something ‘right’ and understands his needs.

These are always very touching moments and help guide us day-by-day on how best to support and nurture him.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Punn is lucky in more than one way. To have parents who are so supportive of and understanding of his gifts is one thing - to have personal tutors is a definite blessing - and to have a best friend (who happens to be very popular) is perhaps the best thing of all.

I am happy that he is making a good adjustment to "gifted life".

Best wishes

10:30 PM  

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