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, December 05, 2007

Giftedness and the assumption of provision

I read comments on gifted issues around the internet and what strikes me most is how much sheer ignorance there is in the words of many of the commenters.

The commenters are often scornful and skeptical of the issues parents of gifted children face. They doubt that the gifted parents could possibly face the difficulties they encounter in getting provision for their gifted children. Their assumption is that the gifted child, if actually gifted, would receive automatic provision. Yet, as any parent of a truly gifted child knows, this is simply not so. Provision has to be fought for, on a daily basis. Most educational systems specialize in IGNORING the needs of gifted children. I know of nowhere in the world where suitable provision is automatic. Yet, skeptics assume that this is so. They assume that any parent of a gifted child who is encountering difficulties in finding educational provision for their child is only doing so because their child cannot be gifted. How ridiculous. The true state of affairs is that the needs of gifted children are commonly ignored the world over. Neglect of the needs of gifted children is the norm. Provision is the exception.

I puzzle why people who evidently have no real experience of the situations they comment on - ie. the issues facing gifted children and their parents - actually feel able to comment on the issues such parents and children face. It does not help the situation and only, in fact, makes the situation far worse. It creates a misunderstanding of the true situation. The reasoning is rather like that of viewing starving children in Africa and observing that: "If they have no food, it is because they are not hungry." The thinking is that, if they were hungry, they would automatically be given food. This is, of course, nonsense. Children starve all over the world because of genuine hunger. So, too, do gifted children "starve" intellectually, from lack of provision, despite their hunger for educational opportunity.

To see a child without food and say they cannot be hungry, despite their evident starvation is absolute foolishness. So, too, is it to see a gifted child without educational provision and to claim that they cannot be in need of such an education, simply because they don't have it.

What is interesting is that many of these negative comments on sites around the world, are written by people who appear to be in anger. It would appear that the giftedness of the children concerned inspires jealousy and rage in them.

The big question, then is, why do the site moderators allow the comments to be posted in the first place? Perhaps they have bought into the arguments given and have no understanding of the true issues involved. I rather hope that is not the case.

Many gifted children, the world over, do not have adequate educational provision. The more gifted they are, the less adequate the provision. This is the true situation. It is about time everyone knew it - and acted upon it.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and no months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and five months, and Tiarnan, twenty-two months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, 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 @ 12:17 AM 


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