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, April 18, 2007

Ainan's charity work day

Yesterday was a busy day for Ainan. After his visit to NTU, he did some charity work.

It was Ainan's first taste of volunteer work. He was helping the charity Amazing Kidz raise funds for brain-damaged children. They are seeking to open a therapy centre for them. His role was to stop passers-by and ask them either to fill out a donation form - or to buy some postcards from him for a minimum of two dollars.

Quite a few people recognized him. A couple of elderly ladies noticed him and approached to gawk - but refused to donate when asked: they just wanted to catch a glimpse of Ainan. Fortunately, this kind were not alone. There were others who, when stopped by him, gladly donated to the charity or purchased postcards.

It was a good experience for Ainan. Firstly, it introduced him to the plight of some children who are not as blessed as he is and allows him to come to a better understanding of the world, thereby - and the various places of both others and himself in it. Secondly, it allowed him to do something actively to help others - which is always a good influence on a child's growth and perspective. Thirdly, however, it helped him deal with something which is difficult for many children: rejection. When he first got rejected by someone he approached to ask for a donation, he was put out: his face was a picture of hurt. Syahidah knew how to deal with this - for she was with him. She showed him that it was not personal. She approached someone seeking a donation - and was also rejected. "See, its normal." she said to him - and he did. "If they do that, just say thanks - and move on." she advised him. By her example, he understood - and so did as she had - whenever they donated, he thanked them - and, whenever they refused to donate - he thanked them, too - and moved on to the next. In the end, it was quite a productive afternoon, by Ainan, on behalf of the brain-damaged children of Singapore.

It was my wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley's idea to get him involved - and I think it was a good decision. He enjoyed it, he helped others - and came to understand something about people and himself that he had not known.

The fund raising occasion was in association with Ben and Jerry's, the ice-cream manufacturer. It was a special event at which ice-cream was ten dollars a cone, with the funds going to the charity. People formed big queues for the event - and were generous in paying out so much over the odds for an ice-cream. In addition, Ainan and my wife, Syahidah invited passers-by to make donations. It went well.

Ainan is likely to do other charity work in future.

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

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 3:39 PM 


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