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, September 17, 2007

Tiarnan and the public bar.

Today, Tiarnan passed by a bar and peered inside. He saw people of most ages, sizes and races (except for one) gathered together with pint glasses in their hands, sipping beer and chatting. We carried on walking.

A minute or so later he pointed back at the bar and said that he wanted "susu" - which is Malay for milk. We both laughed. He had concluded that, since it was a place where others were drinking their (unknown) drink, that he would be able to order "susu" for himself, there.

As he asked for milk, I had this image of Tiarnan, the toddler, clutching a glass of milk, surrounded by a bunch of beer-drinking adult onlookers. Funny.

It is interesting to watch Tiarnan's social understanding on display: the way he speaks of the world, tells us his perception. What is notable is that he is usually basically right in his interpretation of the meaning of occurrences and places - even though he has very little experience from which to reason. I think babies learn and understand more deeply, more quickly and more correctly than is generally understood: at least the ones I have observed do. It is very rewarding to watch them piece together their understanding of the world. So much of it is of their own deduction - very little is actually imparted by direct instruction from the parents, I realize. It would be unfair of me to take too much credit for their comprehension of the world: it is largely down to the children themselves. It always was, I suppose.

When Tiarnan got home, he got his "susu" alright.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and nine months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and two months, and Tiarnan, nineteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:39 PM 


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