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 +

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tiarnan's fine motor control

When you are small, it is difficult to manipulate objects which are even smaller. Little hands fumble when the going gets too delicate. At least, that is how it usually is. Yesterday, I saw something to make me question that assumption.

I was holding Tiarnan in my arms, by the door to my home, when he reached out to a white plastic cover of a strange switch near the exit, whose purpose I have yet to divine. It is long, thin and black and sticks out above the light switches. It has a white cover on it. The cover is about three millimetres in diameter and one and a half centimetres long.

Tiarnan held this cover between thumb and forefinger and removed it by sliding it off. He looked at it a moment - then, he did something that any parent of a young child would know is unlikely: he put it back. He slid it on over its three millimetre wide target and smiled to himself.

The fine motor control required to do that is really quite advanced - and so too is the hand-eye coordination, for a thirteen month old child.

This is another demonstration of the fine control that Tiarnan exerts over his own movements. First his drawings that are not scribbles - and now this. This is a type of gift in itself - and, in Tiarnan, I think it will manifest in the type of control of the world we call Art. We will see.

(If you would like to read more of Tiarnan, thirteen months, or his gifted brothers, including Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and three months, and Fintan, three, then please go to: I also write of child prodigy, gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:36 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is truly amazing! Thank you for sharing this anecdote. It will be wonderful for your children to be able to read these entries one day.

I have been wondering why you chose the name "the boy who knew too much" for your blog. You may have answered this question somewhere but I haven't stumbled across such a post yet. :)

Take care,

9:45 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you for your appreciation.

Yes, I too look forward to the day they can read and understand them: what a beautiful glimpse of their own childhoods.

I will answer your question, I think, in a post...

Best wishes

8:21 AM  

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