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 +

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

An unexpected early reader

Fintan, three, is the least verbal of our children. He is very much a visual child. Yet, he has surprised us with his verbal development.

A few days ago, my wife Syahidah was in a library with Fintan, where she was reading books to him. Suddenly, he pointed at some script and said: "What about this: follow the line."

Syahidah looked at where he was pointing and read there the words: "follow the line."

What surprised her was not that he should recognize some words - for he has been doing that for over six months, at random times, but that he should have read words she was sure she had never read to him, before. He had not seen the word "follow" or the word "line" written down before.

Fintan, the least verbal of our children, is reading.

What is also notable is that he didn't say the words piecemeal as if reading phonemes one by one, as some children might - but had said the words naturally in a normal, conversational voice.

We are coming to understand, that every one of our children is surprising. All three of them defy our expectations. If we come to a view of them, and a set of expectations, it is not long before they do something to upset that view.

What next?

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 7:08 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smiled at this story.

On my daughter's third birthday, she read, aloud, the handwritten greetings on her birthday cards.

I still chuckle when I recall the look on the faces of the mothers who had written those greetings.

I don't think we made any friends that day. For some reason, they took it as an affront.

I, on the other hand, am tickled at Fintan's latest development. It makes me smile with wonder at what might be going through his mind.



12:46 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thanks for your story.

It is beautiful to see a young mind grow...I think so anyway. However, it is sad to note the jealousy such growth so often inspires in the less enlightened among us.

Yes, Fintan is one to make people smile, in many ways.

Thanks for your kind thoughts.

Best wishes

1:11 PM  

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